Sandra James BIO

Sandra JamesJames brings more than 20 years of experience in development across local, statewide, national and international non-profit organizations in North Carolina, Colorado and New York.

After beginning her career in Colorado as the Director of Public Programs at the Denver Museum of Natural History, she transitioned to chief development officer roles at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) Training Center and the Colorado Public Radio Network (10 stations). In New York City, Sandra served as the Senior Major Gifts Officer for Individual Gifts at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) National Headquarters.  She returned to her native state of North Carolina in 1995 to direct university advancement efforts at UNC Charlotte as Director of Development and subsequently at Wingate University as Vice President for Resource Development.

Following her service at area universities, Sandra founded Efird/James Philanthropy to provide counsel to non-profits and philanthropists. The primary focus of her work has been on strategic fund development that is mission-driven, builds capacity and strengthens donor relationships. Sandra is particularly passionate about the future of philanthropy and the building of social capital in Charlotte.

Sandra’s career has centered on leading new initiatives and major strategic changes for growth. She has served in a primary role in capital campaigns at UNC Charlotte, Wingate University Pharmacy School, Colorado Public Radio Network and UNICEF National Headquarters. She also developed and implemented the first formalized major gifts programs at UNICEF, Colorado Public Radio, UNC Charlotte and Wingate University.

In addition to WIE, Sandra has chaired the boards of the Colorado Dance Festival and the Fort Dobbs Historical Site (Statesville, NC) and served as Co-chair of the Arts and Culture Grants Committee for the Women's Impact Fund. 

In her spare time you can find her riding a bike, ballroom dancing, cooking or spending time on the farm in Harmony, NC where she was raised. She holds a bachelor’s degree in arts administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.