“Donna created and facilitated a fundraising training session for our nonprofit Board of Directors and volunteers that was truly outstanding. Donna took the time to learn about our organization and then, using her expertise that has been honed over many years, crafted a presentation that addressed our specific needs. All of us took away from her session many effective, actionable ideas that will help us grow and thrive. Without question, I would hire Donna again and I certainly recommend her very highly.”
Donna Ann Harris is the principal of Heritage Consulting Inc., a Philadelphia-based consulting firm that works nationwide in three practice areas: downtown and commercial district revitalization, historic preservation, heritage tourism and nonprofit organizational development.
Prior to starting her firm eight years ago, Ms. Harris was state coordinator for the Illinois Main Street program for two years and the manager of the Illinois suburban Main Street program for four years. During her tenure as State coordinator, Ms. Harris served 56 Illinois Main Street communities, led a staff of 12 and managed a budget of over a million dollars.
Prior to her Main Street career, Ms. Harris spent 15 years as an executive director of three start-up and two mature historic preservation organizations. In these positions in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Illinois, she began membership drives, lead strategic planning efforts, public relations and a capital campaign, raised more than $3.75 million in grants, managed staffs ranging in size from two to eight, and was responsible for organizational, project and endowment budgets of up to $2.6 million.
As a preservation planner with more than 25 years of professional experience, Ms. Harris has assisted citizen groups and government agencies to identify appropriate reuses for threatened historic properties that ensure the long term preservation and maintenance of the site.
In the past seven years, Ms. Harris has been speaking about and consulting with historic house museums around the country about alternative uses and stewardship responsibilities. AltaMira Press published her book New Solutions for House Museums: Ensuring the Long-Term Preservation of America’s Historic Houses in 2007. In 2011 Heritage Consulting Inc. won the prestigious Grand Jury Award from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia for its yearlong project Delaware County (PA) Public History Feasibility Study and Implementation Plan. Ms. Harris has been working on heritage tourism assessments for clients in New Jersey for the last three years.
Ms. Harris has published articles about reuse of historic house museums in History News, the quarterly magazine of the American Association for State and Local History and Forum Journal, the quarterly journal of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In the past seven years, Ms. Harris has spoken at more than 35 national, regional and statewide conferences about her house museum research.
Ms. Harris earned a Master of Science degree in Historic Preservation from Columbia University in New York City, and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Fels Center of Government at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She holds a BA in both American Studies and Art History from the State University of New York at Albany.
Heritage Consulting Inc. is certified as a Disadvantaged or Woman owned business in Philadelphia, and the following states: Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Illinois. Please ask to see our certificates from these state or city certifying agencies.
In 2007, Donna published New Solutions for House Museums, and scholarly articles in Forum Journal the scholarly journal of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and History News, the quarterly journal of the American Association for State and Local History. In the last eight years Donna has published five feature articles in Main Street News the monthly newsletter of the National Trust Main Street Center on community based fundraising, business improvement district feasibility, member retention, case studies on local program management and advocacy. The most recent article was published in July/August 2012 and is available here.
Master of Science in Historic Preservation, Columbia University Historic Preservation Program, New York City New York
Master of Public Administration, Fels Institute of Government, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude in American Studies and Art History, State University of New York at Albany New York
Certified Main Street Manager, National Trust Main Street Center, Washington District of Columbia.
Di Gao will be working with us for the summer and fall as an intern. Di is a first year graduate student in the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Design, concentrating in Preservation Planning and Real Estate Development. Originally from Seattle, WA, Di obtained her undergraduate degree in economics from NYU and has prior experience working as a fundraiser and program administrator for nonprofit organizations in NYC. Laura DiPasquale who has worked as an intern and then as an associate in our firm for the last four years has been hired by a well-regarded cultural resources management firm in New Jersey. We welcome Di and wish Laura the best as she continues her preservation career
We enjoy having interns work for us and are thrilled that so many keep in touch over the years as their careers advance.
Last updated 3-31-13