Who We Are

An experienced marketing partner doing serious work… but a lot of fun to work with!

  • Your Partner, Not Your Vendor

    We aren’t big on sales pitches, selling services you don’t need or gasp-worthy contracts. We are in this with you - maximizing dollars in and minimizing dollars out.

  • Serious But Not Stuffy

    Doing good work doesn’t require a starched navy suit and an old briefcase. We get after it and get it done, but we’ll make you laugh a lot along the way.

  • Experience Without Ego

    We’ve got the decades of experience and expertise you need - but without the ego. You know your donors and we respect that. We offer strategy with humility.

Meet The Partners

Who we are and what we do are related to each other, but not the same. Who we are is a little more personal… We were business colleagues before we were friends, but rather quickly those two personas became entwined and eventually Mile19 was born.

Marketing for non-profit agencies is a very specific field and we know it requires people who understand the nuances of fundraising – not just singularly good at their craft. So we hire and recruit only the best in the industry for our team of writers, designers, project managers, and strategists. Additionally, both partners are actively engaged in every project – with every client – from start to finish.

Bottom line, we have the know-how to help your organization – but we’re also a fun bunch to work with.

Karen Burman

Managing Partner

Karen holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Biola University in Southern California, and began her career working at nonprofit organizations. She found her way to the crazy world of agency life, where she spent 21 years serving clients in their marketing and fundraising efforts. She’s a jack of all trades, having served as account leader, as well as overseeing the operational and project management sides of client services.

Karen loves bringing order from chaos, and hates to admit that her summer job in college balancing ledgers in an accounting department has actually come in handy in her career. Don’t call her a numbers girl, but she’s definitely a numbers girl.

A native Coloradan, Karen now resides in the west suburbs of Chicagoland. When she’s not watching the Chicago Cubs (Go Cubs Go!), she enjoys baking, time with family, and reality tv.

She chooses Coke Zero over coffee, she’s a thinker and a problem solver, and her efficiency quotient will make your head spin.

Tracy Howard

Managing Partner

After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Davenport University, Tracy worked in the travel industry – focused solely on direct mail marketing. That foundational work led to years in the design/build industry as a marketing manager and then owning and operating her own agency – helping clients of all shapes and sizes with their marketing needs. Most recently Tracy has worked in a large agency who provides service specifically to non-profits in their marketing and fundraising efforts.

Raised outside Chicago – she, along with her husband, teenage son, and their goldendoodle Charlie, now live in West Michigan on 35 peaceful acres. When she’s not working, she’s dreaming up the menu for her future gourmet food truck, designing and remodeling, or out boating on Lake Michigan.

She gets energy from thinking outside the box, generating ideas, is highly creative and the right brain to Karen’s left. And in case you’re taking orders, she prefers Chai Tea over coffee – with coconut milk please.

What We Do is a Big Part of Who We Are

If you find yourself part of the industry-wide movement away from big contracts with big overhead, you’ll be relieved to know we’re the un-agency of agencies. We’re raising questions about what can and can’t be done, birthing a new way of thinking: empower our clients to grow their fundraising program WITHOUT outsourcing the work to an agency. More revenue, less spending. We meet you right where you are, and help you get where you want to go.