Development Team

Erika MathewsErika Mathews works closely with ALDF donors in the New York region in crafting their philanthropic legacies for animals. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism from Rutgers University. Erika brings 20 years of experience working for animal protection organizations. Prior to her work at ALDF, Erika worked for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She has worked in all aspects of development, including direct mail, major gifts, planned giving, capital campaigns, foundation and corporate gifts as well as events and publicity, most recently as vice president of development and communications at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center. Erika also worked for Liberty Humane Society and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in New Jersey, and she served on the board of The Grey Muzzle Organization and the Animal Welfare Federation of New Jersey.

Erika also oversees the humane goose management program at several lakes in New Jersey. She is a passionate advocate for a ban on New York’s horse-drawn carriage industry and for providing hospice care for homeless dogs and cats. Erika is most grateful for the friends she has made along the way, especially brown dogs Chelsea and Hunny, four audacious cats, a 33-year-old rescued horse, daughter Willow, and a very patient husband who puts up with it all.

Cindy believes that it’s everyone’s responsibility to do their part in improving the world. As our Donor Relations Manager, Cindy helps expand our supporter base and secure the resources that allow the Animal Legal Defense Fund to pursue the most effective strategies to protect animals. Her career spans 35 years and covered health and human services and the arts before she decided it was time to use her expertise for her personal passion of animal protection. Cindy is well-versed in all facets of development, including major gifts, annual giving, planned giving, endowment funds and grants. She holds certifications from UCLA in Fund Raising, is a Certified Specialist in Planned Giving and continues as an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Partners in Philanthropy.

Cindy makes her home in the Los Angeles area with her two cats Lily (the essence of calm) and Chloe (a total goofball). When Cindy’s not in the office she’s enjoying the beach, the local music and theater scene, volunteering at animal rescues, or swing dancing.

Dale ThompsonDale works closely with the director of development in day-to-day operations and specializes in grant writing. She received her undergraduate degree from Evergreen State College, where she developed a passion for animal rights and environmental conservation. She later completed a master’s degree in professional communication at Westminster College.

Previously, Dale worked with the Great Salt Lake Institute in Utah, an organization dedicated to supporting research, education, and stewardship of the Great Salt Lake. This is a vital migratory habitat for birds designated as part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network in 1992, and Dale is proud of the work she did to help people understand the value of the lake and the wildlife who rely on the lake habitat for survival. Conservation is important to Dale’s animal activism and she has worked for another organization that protects wilderness areas and endangered species—in addition, Dale has volunteered with the Great Salt Lake Audubon Society. Dale also has a background in the arts, having previously worked for a performing arts center and an online arts magazine.

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