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Director of Development
American Friends of Soroka Medical Center
Pazit’s doctoral research explored how women become influential leaders on nonprofit boards. As she interviewed seasoned board directors, she found solidarity and inspiration from others who were, like her, juggling it all.
Director of Development
Outlier Media, Detroit, MI
Chelsea had a secure job she enjoyed. But the unsettling events of 2020 caused her to reflect, and she felt she could use her skills to do more for society and the world.
Ukraine Global School Consulting Group
Kyiv Christian Academy
Forty years ago Wayne realized he loved fundraising at a time when few others did.
Advancement Officer, Major Gifts
Minneapolis Heart Institution Foundation
Jessica survived a harrowing heart health experience – and then went on to work for the organization that saved her life.
Vice President of Philanthropy and Assistant Vice President for Principal Gifts
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
Last fall the Fred Hutch team celebrated the biggest single gift in the hospital’s 47-year history.
Legacy Giving Marketing Officer
Amnesty International, Ottowa, Canada
Hala was an immigrant with no connections. Then she found Amnesty – and found a job, a community, and a cause.
Middletown Community Foundation
A born-and-raised Midwesterner, Sarah has dubbed Indiana “The World Capital of Philanthropy”
Managing Program Director
Episcopal Church Foundation
Jim Murphy isn’t afraid to talk about money. That’s somewhat unusual in American culture – and highly unusual in church culture.
Dale never planned nor wanted to start a nonprofit. She expected to find an established organization addressing the problem – someone she could join.
Director of Development
Ronald McDonald House of Delaware
Troy recounts the time, at a previous job, that a $10 million dollar gift fell into his lap.
Sons of the American Revolution Foundation
Phil grew up in Louisville–home of baseball bats and thoroughbred horse racing–and dreamed as a child of becoming a jockey. Instead, he says, “fundraising found me.” Through his work with the Sons of the American Revolution, Phil has met some fascinating people and learned some surprising things about his own ancestors.
Chief Development Officer
Shriners Hospitals for Children
Many people who work as consultants start out in some career field and then, after acquiring years of experience, move into consulting others in that same career field. That’s what Stuart did. But then he did something most people don’t do. He left consulting and went back to leading a fundraising program.
Senior Manager Planned Giving
Southern Poverty Law Center
Michelle was an environmental attorney with the EPA – until she attended a Christmas party that redirected her into planned giving, and ultimately to her dream job fighting for civil rights.
President and CEO
When James wanted to start a philanthropically-funded university on the other side of the world, everyone said it couldn’t be done. He did it anyway.
Vice President, Philanthropy
Hospice of Northwest Ohio
The tragedies pf 9/11 caused John to seek a more meaningful career. He didn’t have to look far for inspiration.
Chief Revenue Officer
Margi left a demanding career in international finance marketing thinking she would find a better work-life balance woking for a charity. She soon discovered that nonprofit work was equally, if not more, demanding than her previous jobs – but exponentially rewarding.
Vice President, Sponsorship and Development
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
How a nice midwestern kid working at a department store ended up sharing the stage with Jeff Foxworthy at a Baseball Hall of Fame reception.
Special Gifts Officer
For Stephen, the blending of planned and major giving has been a natural and exciting transition, creating opportunities for his own career development and for building the endowment for the places he works.
Senior Development Specialist
World Relief Durham
When the Taliban seized back control of Afghanistan and thousands scrambled to flee the country, Elizabeth and her team at World Relief were inundated with hundreds of new donors and volunteers.
President and CEO
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Foundation
Cynthia spent her young life on the stage–dancing, singing with her school chorus, and acting in plays. She imagined herself someday having a musical theater career. But there were other driving forces in her young life that sent her in a very different direction.
Senior Vice President
The American College of Financial Services
Steve was the one they called when other fundraisers ran into a hitch with a donor relationship. That’s how he learned that fundraisers aren’t necessarily supposed to be subject matter experts, but relationship experts.
Executive Director of Planned Giving
Working at Harvard for more than 30 years, Anne is a trusted expert in every ascpect of planned giving. What keeps her there? Collaborating with donors and people who aspire to make a difference in the world.
Director of Development
Daughters of the American Revolution
Sandra is buliding on a rich 131-year tradition of philanthropy with Daughters of the American Revolution.
Director of Gift Planning
In a sector with a reputation for high turnover, Ben Madonia breaks the mold. Ben was happily engaged at Hamilton College in central New York for more than four decades until his retirement this month.
Founder & Director of Training Alpha Bravo Canine
Through her experience as a military wife and mother, Jennifer Green discovered that for some vets, even after they’re safe at home, a new battle is just beginning.
Director of Gift Planning of The Salvation Army’s Eastern Territory
A tragedy early in life taught Scott that life is short and time is precious. He’s spent the rest of his life helping people find meaning and purpose – and even immortality.
Associate Vice President for Principal Gifts, Duke University
In three decades of working in development, Cam Kelly has cultivated her skills in diplomacy and collaboration. Today, she needs all those skills in her position at Duke, which she calls “The Switzerland Role.”
Executive Director of The Parkesburg Point
Dwayne’s childhood years in Brooklyn forecast nothing but trouble. But mentors and coaches helped guide his path to success – and now he does the same for hundreds of at-risk youth in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
Vice President and Chief Development Officer of The White House Historical Association
Like most professional fundraisers, Rhett prefers not to discuss politics with his donors-a challenge since he represents a place synonymous with politics: The White House.
Director of Gift Planning of Smith College
After a short career in acting, he got another bug – the planned giving bug. Today, nearly two decades later, he’s still as hooked as he was on day one.
Founder and Executive Director of Wonder Wood Ranch
This Stanford-trained chemist, award-winning author, wife, and mother of six entertains gang members at her home.
Associate Vice President of Development for Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center
Gary Bukowski studied history, was drawn into politics, and eventually landed in fundraising — all driven by the same passion for improving the lives of others.
Vice President of Development for ECRI
As a young girl in India in the 1970s, Michelle faced limited options for her future. But she listened to her grandfather, who told her, “Get an education and you can conquer the world.”
Director of Gift Planning for University of Pennsylvania
Lynn’s recent book on storytelling was named one of BookAuthority’s best 100 Fundraising Books of All Time. Here’s how she came to view storytelling as the most effective way to communicate, the most powerful way to teach and learn, and the best way to change behavior.
Director of Development for The Pathway School in Greater Philadelphia
Typically an economic downturn implies negative consequences. But for those with the courage and foresight to act despite uncertainty, it can create incredible opportunities. For Jory Barrad, Director of Development at The Pathway School in Greater Philadelphia, when the 2008 recession derailed his 30-year career, he embraced the opportunity to pursue a more meaningful journey.
Executive Director of Greensgrow
As the executive director of Greensgrow, an urban farm in Philadelphia, Meg DeBrito finds herself leading both a nonprofit and a business, facing the challenges common to each type of leader, as well as challenges unique to their hybrid model.
Deputy Chief Development Officer for ALSAC
Sue Harpole is Deputy Chief Development Officer for ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Looking back, she can see how fundraising was part of her life–even from childhood.
Senior Director of Gift Planning for University of South Carolina
Mark Seeley had been in the nonprofit sector for decades, but always from the side of an organization doing some type of good work. But when a crisis struck his family and threatened the life of his two-year-old grandson Jennings, Mark suddenly found himself in a very different seat–this time as a recipient of the good work.
National Director of Harold Grinspoon Foundation
Arlene D. Schiff has a varied professional career. But whether she was working in urban planning, running her father-in-law’s clothing store, or working in development, the common thread is her one true passion: building community.
Founder and Chief Belief Officer for GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers
It all started when her third child was born with Down syndrome, and Nancy set out to create a community for families like hers. Today GiGi’s Playhouse is a $14MM nonprofit with 44 locations in the U.S. and Mexico. And Nancy is just getting warmed up!
Chief Philanthropy Officer for Hough Ear Institute
Justin Demoss took a long and bumpy road to end up where he is today: a successful fundraiser, loving husband and father, and committed member of his church. The painful mistakes along the way gave him his recipe for a successful and meaning life: Be honest. Be curious. Be humble.
Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives and Congregational Engagement for Duke University
Thad Austin, PhD, believes that understanding religion and religious motivations for giving is critical for understanding the nonprofit sector itself.
Vice President of Advancement for United Way of Greenville County
When you ask kids the classic question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” they usually say something like teacher or doctor or astronaut. But Lauren actually dreamed of a career in fundraising. And she made it happen.
President and CEO for National Philanthropic Trust
Eileen doesn’t subscribe to today’s trendy aspiration of excessive leisure time, early retirement, or even the “work-life balance” we hear so much about. Eileen does not consider herself a workaholic, nor does she resent taking work calls on a Sunday afternoon. She just really, really, really loves her job. And she loves her life. For Eileen, it’s more of a work-life blend.
President and Chief Advancement for Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare
Nigel Allen learned sales and people skills while working at a job that would terrify most of us – selling expensive advertising for big-name magazines. Now, after 15 years in nonprofit development, Nigel finds himself tapping into those skills every single day.
Director of Planned Giving for The ALS Association
Jessica landed at The ALS Association a few years after the ice bucket challenge educated the world about this nervous system disease – and drenched the organization with new money to manage.
Donor Relations for The Salvation Army Massachusetts Division
In André Gorgenyi’s first career, he built relationships with the purpose of putting people in jail. Today he builds relationships to help people stay out of jail.
Executive Director for Franciscan Missionary Union
For Father David Convertino, “nonprofit development” is not just a job title, nor is it a separate category of his life. It’s part of who he is. This is his story, including his path to the priesthood, what it’s like to be a friar, and the most shocking donor phone call he ever received.
Vice President of Principal Gifts and Planned Giving for Oregon State University
Jeff Comfort’s journey from not even knowing what “development” meant to being recruited by planned giving departments at the nation’s top universities.
Chief Development Officer for Abramson Cancer Center
Tricia Bruning landed her first-ever development job at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center. When she started, she was the sole gift officer on staff, and giving was at around $2MM a year. Today, 17 years later, the Abramson Cancer Center routinely raises between $30-50MM a year under Tricia’s leadership.
Founder of Mighty Writers
Rachel wanted to help kids learn to love reading and writing. Eight years later her Philadelphia-based nonprofit has seven sites – and they’re not stopping anytime soon.
President and CEO for Surrey Services for Seniors
Businessman Bob Madonna was itching for a chance to take what he had learned about sales and marketing and try it in the nonprofit sector.
Founders of Reality Ministries
They had a staff, a building, volunteers, and even board members. They just needed to figure out what they were supposed to be doing.
President and CEO of Great Dames
Sharon left a 30-year career as a leader in a Fortune 500 company to start a nonprofit with her daughters. Why?