Kara Endsley

Sr. Director, Philanthropy,
Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

With a proven track record in the areas of fundraising, program management, and training & development, Kara has worked with organizations throughout the country to provide her unique brand of expertise and insight.


Kara launched her professional career and her passion for fundraising in academia as the assistant director of the annual fund at DePauw University. In this role, she was responsible for the direct mail, the student phonathon, and increasing annual contributions within the G.O.L.D. class years during a capital campaign. Continuing her enthusiasm for philanthropy, Kara worked at United of Way of Central Indiana as the senior campaign manager. There, she worked with over 150 businesses to help increase participation in their annual employee campaigns. Known for building and maintaining strategic partnerships, she successfully increased annual contributions significantly. After her tenure at United Way, Kara worked as the corporate events director for the American Heart Association. In recent years, she joined North Carolina Central University as the Director of Annual Giving and in 2021 was promoted to the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations. During her time at NCCU, she achieved record breaking fundraising goals in the University’s history; she successfully secured close to $1M in endowments/scholarships, increased donors and dollars by 150% during the University’s Day of Giving, and raised over $2M during Homecoming.

As a consultant, Endsley has been tapped by such prestigious organizations including the Boys and Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties, WakeUP Wake County, Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency, National African American Tobacco Education Network (NAATEN), and former NFL player Damon Rhodes’ charity, Rhodes to Success.

Program Management

From 2003-2009, Kara worked as the director of special projects for Indiana Black Expo, Inc. Her responsibilities included managing multiple budgets in excess of four million dollars as well as serving as the agency’s lead ambassador and community advocate for its special initiatives. At one time, Kara managed the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation program and the US Housing and Urban Development lead outreach project, facilitated culturally competency workshops with the Arc of Indiana, and served as the minority media voice for the US Attorney’s Project Safe Neighborhood Campaign.

Upon relocating to North Carolina in 2010, Kara served as the senior program manager for the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network in Durham, NC. She organized and coordinated all the activities including outreach, policy and advocacy efforts to address the tobacco disparities in the black community.

Kara continued her consultative work as a specialist in program manager with various organizations including the Health Education Council (CA); the Campaign to Prevent Smoke-Free Pregnancies (IN); Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention (IL).

Training & Development

Known for her high quality, engaging presentations, Kara has successfully worked with diverse audiences. Most recently, she served as an educator and project developer for the Family Resource Center of Raleigh Project P.U.L.S.E. program. Using evidence-based curricula, she trained over 1000 adults and youth in Raleigh and Durham. Prior, she served as a quality management and training director for the Family Care Networking – an agency that worked with individuals and families dealing with substance abuse addiction and mental illness.

Since 2010, Kara has conducted many workshops with subjects covering cultural competency, media advocacy, coalition building, community outreach, and strategic planning. She has worked with several states in the Northeast, Southeast, Central and Mid-Atlantic regions as well as various organizations and federal agencies including the Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), the Minnesota Institute of Public Health, the Education Development Center (EDC), the Urban Minority Alcohol and Drug Abuse Outreach Program (UMADOP), and the Center for Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT).

Her passion for service and her unparalleled commitment to the underserved populations, it only seems fitting that Kara is dedicated to increasing the capacity, awareness and overall growth of community organizations.

She is a graduate of DePauw University (Greencastle, IN), where she received a BA in political science. In addition, she earned a Master of Science degree in organizational leadership from Oakland City University (Oakland City, IN). Currently, Kara is working toward a certification in fundraising leadership from the prestigious Lilly School of Philanthropy (Indianapolis, IN).

She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., she serves on the board for the Allen University Education Foundation (Columbia, SC), and as a co-ministry leader at her church – Baptist Grove Church (Raleigh, NC).

Kara married her husband, Houston E. Vines last April. They live in Morrisville, NC.