Mercy Housing appoints Sharon Saxelby as new Chief Philanthropy Officer

Sharon SaxelbyMercy Housing announced today the appointment of Sharon Saxelby as Senior Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer. Saxelby’s appointment culminates an extensive national search to establish a new structure for the organization’s philanthropic efforts. She will report to Mercy Housing Chief Executive Officer Sister Lillian Murphy, RSM, and be based out of the national Mercy Housing office in Denver.

Saxelby is a veteran fundraising executive with more than 25 years of management experience. In her new role, Saxelby will be responsible for integrating Mercy Housing’s philanthropy and social impact strategies to better serve the organization’s mission and improve fundraising outcomes.

Most recently, Saxelby served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Friends of the Orphans, an $18 million national fundraising organization serving 9 orphanages, a pediatric hospital and outreach programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. During her tenure, Sharon had responsibility for the transformational support for nearly 4,000 orphaned, abandoned and disadvantaged children. Prior to her work with Friends of the Orphans, Saxelby also held executive level development positions with the Illinois Chapters of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Foundation, as well as Loyola University Medical School and School of Law.

“Sharon is an exceptional addition to the Mercy Housing leadership team,” said Sister Lillian Murphy, RSM, Mercy Housing’s Chief Executive Officer. “She has a strong depth of talent, leadership and wisdom that we feel will add significant value to our organization. Given her considerable marketing and philanthropic background, I am confident Sharon will optimize Mercy Housing’s brand awareness and achieve our five year philanthropic strategy by working closely with corporate and foundation grant makers, major donors and government funding agencies.”

During Mercy Housing’s 30-year history, the organization has successfully grown its affordable housing portfolio while striving to ensure its long-term sustainability and strength. By focusing on the organization’s mission and fiscal responsibility to residents, investors and communities, Mercy Housing has developed more than $2.5 billion in affordable real estate and has provided homes for more than 144,000 people on any given day.

“It is a privilege to lead the effort at Mercy Housing to increase revenue from all sources, especially in the area of Individual Major Gifts,” said Saxelby. “I look forward to working with the Mercy Housing team to close the gap in affordable housing.”

Saxelby received her Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin and is completing her MBA in Global Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management where she was chosen as an Emerging Market Laboratory leader.