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The Nonprofit Consulting Playbook: Winning Strategies from 25 Leaders in the Field


In The Nonprofit Consulting Playbook: Winning Strategies from 25 Leaders in the Field, Susan Schaefer and Linda Lysakowski have compiled a first-of-its-kind insight into the everyday lives of consultants to the nonprofit sector. This collection of firsthand articles takes the reader on a journey that spans a consultant’s professional life—from the decisions that formed the business to a detailed set of options for winding it down.

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The Nonprofit Consulting Playbook: Winning Strategies from 25 Leaders in the Field is a first-of-its-kind insight into the everyday lives of consultants to the nonprofit sector. This collection of firsthand contributions from some of the most respected consultants in the nonprofit sector takes the reader on a journey that spans a consultant’s professional life—from the decisions that formed the business to a detailed set of options for winding it down.

This well-received book takes the reader on a journey that spans a consultant’s professional life—from the decisions that formed the business to a detailed set of options for winding it down.

The beauty of this book lies in the honesty of its contributors. They write openly about the decisions that guided their business models, their early mistakes, and their lessons learned. Even those in this business for decades have commented that their copies of The Playbook are strewn with highlights and bookmarks.

It is a fun, informative read that gets into the minds of successful consultants who have consulted for at least a decade. Its first-person storytelling has a style that will both inform and entertain. Most importantly, it has the power to transform your business—or your future business—in ways large and small. From insider retellings of client stories to state-by-state registration requirements, its contents will guide basic business decisions you have to make.

Readers will find answers to these questions and more:

  • What can I do to prepare myself before I start consulting?
  • How should I determine my scope of business?
  • How should I set fees and get off to the right financial start?
  • Which marketing strategies work best?
  • How do I close a deal with potential clients?
  • How can I grow or reinvent my business?
  • How do I deal with angry, slow-paying, or demanding clients
  • How do I regroup when business is slow?
  • What information should I include in contracts?
  • What state regulations might apply to my business?

The Playbook does not tell the reader what to do. Instead, it offers first-person accounts that walk the reader through thought processes, actions, and reflections about a given subject. The main takeaway: there is no one path to success.

Many consultants enter the world of consulting with a deep background in their areas of expertise but a very shallow knowledge of what it takes to run a business. Most small businesses fail within the first two years.  Why?

  • The business was started with inadequate capital
  • There was no business plan
  • The owners are too busy providing services to market  their companies
  • The cost of staffing the company is too high
  • There is no competitive edge
  • The owners fail to sign enough contacts to keep the company profitable
  • There is no market for the services
  • The owners have tried to grow too fast (or not fast enough)

The contributing authors to this book have been in the field for a minimum of ten years each. They have shared with the reader their inmost feelings, their secrets of success, and even their failures. It’s like having twenty-five mentors when most of us are lucky we can find one!

While directed at those who serve the nonprofit sector, The Playbook offers valuable lessons for all consultants. Even those who serve the for-profit sector will benefit from articles about naming your business, marketing, and closing the deal with prospective clients.

The Playbook is a must-have guide if you fall into any of these categories:

  • A professional who is exploring a future career path in consulting.
  • A staffer who is making the transition into full- or part-time consulting.
  • A novice consultant who wants to get off on the right foot.
  • A veteran consultant who wants to strengthen, reenergize, or reinvent your business.

Table of Contents

Part One: Getting Started

Chapter One: I Did It My Way

Chapter Two: So…What Exactly Do You Do?

Chapter Three: Home? Suite? Home?

Chapter Four: What’s in a Name?

Chapter Five: It Takes Money to Make Money

Chapter Six: Marketing Your Business

Chapter Seven: Closing the Deal

Part Two: Finding Your Groove

Chapter Eight: Playing the Part

Chapter Nine: …and Associates

Chapter Ten: Preparing for the Unexpected

Part Three: Sticking It Out

Chapter Eleven: Reinventing Yourself

Chapter Twelve: Where Have All the Clients Gone?

Chapter Thirteen: Giving Back

Chapter Fourteen: Winding Down

Part Four: Consultants’ Survival Kit

Chapter Fifteen: Building Blocks for Success

Chapter Sixteen: Details, Details

Appendix A

Suggested Reading List

Appendix B

Fundraising Consultant Registration by State 






Many nonprofit staffers dream about going to “the other side,” as a nonprofit consultant. There are many real challenges in making that leap, and even once you do, the career choice entails continuous learning around both the content of your consulting as well as business acumen. The idea of running a business is quite foreign to many of us who come out of the nonprofit sector. Last year, I was privileged to edit The Nonprofit Consulting Playbook: Winning Strategies from 25 Leaders in the Field, with Linda Lysakowski, ACFRE. The 25 contributors to the book, as well as hundreds of other consultants I have met since the book’s publication, have helped me winnow down a few of the key practices that typify successful consultants in our field.

Seek the Support of Your Peers

Yes, we are technically competitors, but this is one of the most generous groups of colleagues around. I’d like to think that this generosity is a result of our roots in the nonprofit sector. If you are a new or aspiring consultant, ask a respected colleague to serve as a mentor, and you are likely to get an enthusiastic “yes.” Plenty of veterans still consider themselves green enough to hold onto an early advisor. Many more seek the ongoing guidance of peers over time. After all, consultants juggle business development; client relations; and the latest developments in grants, campaigns, technology, and the development field generally. We need all the insights we can get.

Let Your Values Guide You

Your content knowledge plays only a partial role in your consulting success. The way you make that first impression, negotiate the contract, and regularly communicate with a client carries just as much weight—and there is no magic formula to perfect any of these things. Solid ethics are the thread that runs through them all. If you are honest, reliable, and a good listener, you build trust. Trust is a consultant’s number one asset.

Follow Your Path to Success as a Nonprofit Consultant

What I loved most about compiling The Nonprofit Consulting Playbook was affirming the success of consultants with all sorts of business models. I have met successful specialists and generalists, those who work locally and nationally, those with staff and those who are sole proprietors. All are successful in their own right. If someone gives you a prescription for their success, infuse it with your own goals and values before moving forward. If I had a dollar for every push I’ve gotten to move heavily into social media, I could take a nice vacation. But my emphasis on targeted, rather than mass, networking and writing has resulted in a steady flow of clients. Of course, others’ businesses thrive on social media.

Even if you are just beginning to explore consulting, consider using these principles to lay the groundwork for your business plan. As with most things in life, solid advice—infused with a heavy dose of intuition—makes for the strongest foundation.

Susan Schaefer

Susan Schaefer, CFRE is a consultant, writer, and speaker who is passionate about the nonprofit sector. Her practical approach to fundraising has made her a frequent presenter at conferences and in classrooms. She teaches fundraising in the master’s program of museum studies at Johns Hopkins University.

In 2001, Susan founded Resource Partners LLC, a consulting firm that provides professional, ethical, and collaborative fundraising counsel to nonprofit organizations.

Prior to founding Resource Partners LLC, Susan served as National Director, Foundations at the United Negro College Fund. There, she helped lead the design and implementation of the historic Gates Millennium Scholars, a $1 billion program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Susan coedited The Nonprofit Consulting Playbook: Winning Strategies from 25 Leaders in the Field, and was a contributing author to YOU and Your Nonprofit Board: Advice and Practical Tips from the Field’s Top Practitioners, Researchers, and Provocateurs. Her latest book is the forthcoming Serving on a Nonprofit Board for the GENIUS, co-authored with Bob Wittig.

She is an active volunteer, having served as president, development chair, and multiple other leadership positions on nonprofit boards. Susan has held the Certified Fund Raising Executive credential since 1999 and holds a master’s degree in Not-for-Profit Management and a bachelor’s degree in English, both from the University of Maryland.

Linda Lysakowski, ACFRELinda Lysakowski, ACFRE, is graduate of Alvernia University and AFP’s Faculty Training Academy, receiving the designation Master Teacher for the latter. She is one of one hundred professionals worldwide to hold the Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive designation. Linda is the president of Linda Lysakowski, LLC, dedicated to inspiring creativity and philanthropy.

In her twenty plus years as a philanthropic consultant, Linda has managed capital campaigns, helped hundreds of nonprofit organizations achieve their development goals, and trained more than 26,000 development professionals in Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, Egypt, and most of the fifty United States.

Linda is the author of a number of titles published by CharityChannel Press, the publishing imprint of the CharityChannel professional community:

Fundraising as a CareerFundraising is one of the hottest careers in the United States. So no, you are definitely NOT crazy! It is also probably one of the least understood careers, sometimes even by those who are in it. Fundraising as a Career: What, Are You Crazy? was written to enlighten anyone who wonders about a career in fundraising, wants to advance in their mid-stream fundraising career, or hire a development person onto staff. The book gives you an insider’s view that will equip you for success. It helps you examine the many possibilities in the field of development and assess whether you have the right skills, personality, and enthusiasm for the job.

Capital Campaigns: Everything You NEED to KnowCapital Campaigns: Everything You NEED to Know is a practical, down-to-earth guide that will take the “pain” out of your capital campaign. Is your organization considering a capital, endowment, or other major fundraising campaign? Do you work for or serve on the board of a nonprofit that is thinking about or ready to launch a capital campaign? Many organizations launch campaigns that disrupt the annual giving program, drain the staff, and fail to reach their goals for a number of reasons discussed by Linda in the book.

Raise More Money from Your Business Community: A Practical Guide to Tapping into Corporate Charitable GivingRaise More Money from Your Business Community: A Practical Guide to Tapping into Corporate Charitable Giving is based on research and practical experience that will enable you to raise more money from your business community. It will help you:

  • Identify the types of businesses likely to give
  • Communicate with business leaders in a more compelling manner
  • Involve volunteers from the business world in your fundraising activities
  • Understand why businesses support their local communities and why some organizations are successful in their approaches to businesses and others are not.
  • Reach beyond event sponsorship as a way to involve the business community.
  • Understand the corporate/foundation relations fallacy and why it often does not work.
  • Learn the secrets used by successful nonprofits when asking for money from businesses.
  • Involve your board members in developing their business network for your organization.
  • Plan an annual business appeal.

The Leaky Bucket: What's Wrong with Your Fundraising and How You Can Fix it, by Ellen Bristol and Linda Lysakowski, ACFREEven some of the finest fund development programs have leaks—pockets of inefficiency that, left unaddressed, will continue to reduce the support the nonprofit organization receives from its fundraising program. The Leaky Bucket: What’s Wrong with Your Fundraising and How You Can Fix, coauthored with Ellen Bristol, is a groundbreaking book that shows you how to find the leaks and plug them quickly and effectively. This book is a must-read for every nonprofit fundraiser, senior executive, and board member. Raising money is truly mission critical. The authors detail every area where your agency can improve results, not just for today but for year after year after year.

YOU and Your Nonprofit BoardIn YOU and Your Nonprofit Board: Advice and Practical Tips from the Field’s Top Practitioners, Researchers, and Provocateurs, Linda joins a star-studded cast of collaborators assembled  from the CharityChannel professional community by editor Terrie Temkin. This remarkable board volume that delivers the wisdom of the nonprofit world’s leading practitioners, researchers, and provocateurs. This easily-digestible book is a must for board directors and anyone who is interested in effective nonprofit leadership. The focused, short essay format makes it easy for the reader to absorb the authors’ thinking on a variety of topics: some traditional—such as board member roles and responsibilities, recruitment, meeting management, and evaluation—and others not so much. For instance, you’ll find articles on coaching for directors, the value of conversation, and several new structures for governance.

YOU and Your NonprofitLinda served as the coeditor, along with Norman Olshansky, and contributing author of You and Your Nonprofit: Practical Advice and Tips from the CharityChannel Professional Community. It was written for those who want to learn more about the nonprofit sector or improve their knowledge and skills related to nonprofit leadership, management and fundraising. Peer-reviewed articles selected for inclusion in this book have been contributed by nationally known experts within the nonprofit sector.

The Nonprofit Consulting PlaybookLinda and Susan Schaefer, both successful nonprofit-sector consultants in their own right, coedited The Nonprofit Consulting Playbook: Winning Strategies from 25 Leaders in the Fielda first-of-its-kind insight into the everyday lives of consultants to the nonprofit sector. This collection of firsthand contributions from some of the most respected consultants in the nonprofit sector takes the reader on a journey that spans a consultant’s professional life—from the decisions that formed the business to a detailed set of options for winding it down.


Fundraising for the GENIUS, Second EditionLinda is also the author of the first book written for For the GENIUS Press, also an imprint of CharityChannel. Whether you are a “newbie” to fundraising, an experienced fundraiser concerned about shrinking funding sources, or want to become a fundraising “superstar,” Fundraising for the GENIUS will give you the answers you need to succeed. Learn how to develop an integrated fundraising program that allows you to leverage your human and financial resources to create a strong organization. Why do we call this book a GENIUS book? Thomas Edison famously said:

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.
—Thomas Edison

Reading this For the GENIUS book shows that you have the inspiration to master the art and science of fundraising. Linda helps you with the perspiration part by showing you how to dramatically increase your fundraising results by employing tried-and-true methods used by the most successful nonprofits and institutions.

In additional, Linda is author of:  Recruiting and Training Fundraising Volunteers, The Development Plan,  and The Matriarch (a novel). She is a contributing author to The Fundraising Feasibility Study—It’s Not About the Money, and coauthor of  The Essential Nonprofit Fundraising Handbook, and Your New Donor.

Helen B. Arnold, CFRE is president and CEO of Arnold Olson Associates, a nonprofit consultant firm, and is a principal of Clearly Compliant, which provides state registration services for nonprofit organizations. Clearly Compliant also aids consultants in negotiating their state registration processes. She is a member of CharityChannel and a contributing author to You and Your Nonprofit. Helen is an AFP Certified Master Trainer, a Certified Webinar Facilitator, and holds the Certificate of Nonprofit Management from Iowa State University. She has served on fifty-eight nonprofit boards in her forty-five year involvement in the nonprofit industry. Helen serves as a trainer, faculty, and speaker to audiences nationally on a wide array of fund development topics.

Leo Arnoult, CFRE, MA established Arnoult & Associates Inc. in 1987 to help nonprofit organizations strengthen their development programs. He was the founding president of the Memphis chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and has served on its national board of directors. Since 1995, his firm has been a member of the Giving Institute, formerly the American Association of Fund Raising Counsel (AAFRC), and he is past chair and current board member of the Giving USA Foundation, which publishes Giving USA, the annual report on charitable giving and philanthropic trends.

Betsy Baker is President of and She has a master’s degree in public administration from Auburn University and is an author, trainer/coach, public speaker, and grant writing consultant, having raised $10 million in grant funding. Betsy is a regular presenter for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, The Foundation Center, the Grant Professionals Association, the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, and United Way agencies and is a regular contributor to Opportunity Knocks!, CharityHowTo, and CharityChannel. She also hosts webinars, workshops, and other educational opportunities concentrating on grant writing and how to successfully market a nonprofit consulting business.

Jean Block turned her direct experience as a nonprofit staff and volunteer leader into two profitable nonprofit consulting firms. She is a nationally recognized consultant and trainer on nonprofit management, board development, fundraising, and social enterprise. She has written books on nonprofit subjects, speaks at national and regional conferences, and presents webinars on these topics.

Jan F. Brazzell, PhD, ACFRE leads Advancement Consulting, a firm she founded in 2001 to provide customized, professional solutions and practical advice in governance, fundraising, strategic planning, and management. Based in Tacoma, Washington, Advancement Consulting has served more than sixty organizations spanning the fields of health, education, social services, recreation, wildlife, arts, economic development, and culture. Prior to becoming a consultant, Jan led the MultiCare Health Foundation as executive director; served as vice president for development and university relations for Pacific Lutheran University; and directed corporate and foundation relations for the Franciscan Foundation for Health Care. She holds a certificate in education management from Harvard University, an MA and PhD in sociology from Indiana University, and a BA in sociology from the University of Alabama.

For the past twenty years, Ellen Bristol has helped hundreds of nonprofit agencies achieve fundraising success. She is an expert on managing fundraising for optimum performance using a scientific approach built on the continuous improvement model.
Ellen designed the Leaky Bucket Assessment for Effective Fundraising, an online survey that measures the level of maturity of nine fundamental business practices that either contribute to or detract from the effectiveness of the fundraising effort. She is also the developer of the methodology for effective fundraising, Fundraising the SMART Way™, and its software-based toolkit, the SMART Way™ Scorecard 2.0. Her most recent publications include the e-book De-Mystifying Fundraising, and The Leaky Bucket: What’s Wrong With Your Fundraising—And How You Can Fix It, co-authored with Linda Lysakowski, ACFRE. Ellen has also published articles for two CharityChannel Press compilations.

Pamela A. Cook, ACFRE is the founder of Pamela Cook Development Search,, a firm that assists Northern California nonprofits in recruiting senior development staff. Prior to establishing her firm, Pam was a fundraiser for Stanford University, California Academy of Sciences, University of Virginia, and United Way. She also managed the Clorox Foundation. Pam is a graduate of Duke University and University of Virginia and was a Fulbright Scholar at Australian National University. She holds the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) credential. She was selected as Hank Rosso Outstanding Fundraising Executive by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and served as president of the Golden Gate Chapter of AFP.

Michelle Cramer,
CFRE is president & CEO of CRAMER & ASSOCIATES, a full-service fundraising consulting firm. Michelle is passionate about fundraising, entrepreneurism, and the power of philanthropy, often referring to her profession as “her life’s calling.” In 1987, she co-founded Hodge Cramer & Associates and over the course of twenty-two years, grew the practice into a nationally recognized consultancy. In 2009, she and her colleagues launched CRAMER & ASSOCIATES. True to the firm’s brand, Forward Thinking Forward Fundraising, Michelle and her team bring an entrepreneurial mindset when developing fundraising strategies and spearheading campaigns. Michelle serves as dean of the AFP GI International Consultants School and is on the board of directors of the Giving Institute. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University.

Bob Crandall
has been active in the nonprofit community for over twenty-eight years, working in a wide variety of positions with responsibilities encompassing the creation of new fundraising and planned giving programs, developing capital campaigns, growing annual support, spearheading major special events, and more. Bob has been a Certified Fund Raising Executive for twenty years and owns his own consulting firm: Crandall, Croft Associates. In addition to serving on the board of AFP Northeast Indiana Chapter, Bob has been a member of the Christian Leadership Alliance and other professional fundraising organizations. Most recently, he served for six years on the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy board and as the foundation’s vice chair for fundraising. Bob also enjoys international fundraising—speaking in Brazil, India, Jordan, Israel, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Bob was awarded the Barbara Marion Award for leadership and service to AFP.

Marti Fischer founded Marti Fischer Grant Services with the personal commitment to help nonprofits become vital partners that enhance the social and cultural fabric of their communities. Marti works with organizations to define their core work and purpose, develop strategic and fundraising strategies, and guide them in implementing practical applications. Marti has worked with groups of all sizes, but gravitates toward the enthusiastic optimism of start-up and small organizations. Have a question or need some advice? Please feel free to contact Marti through her website at Marti is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate on this book and wishes its readers success in their endeavors.

Described as “strategic, bright, insightful, fearless, and principled,” Gayle L. Gifford, ACFRE is president of Cause and Effect, Inc. and a nationally known consultant whose lifework is to help nonprofits improve the quality of life for all people. Gayle challenges conventions to find practical solutions to the problems nonprofits face. Her expertise includes governance, strategic and business planning, organization and fund development, and public engagement design. Gayle is one of a select number of fundraisers who have earned the advanced credential ACFRE. Gayle is the author of How to Make Your Board Dramatically More Effective, Starting Today. Follow her on Twitter @gaylegifford or at and her blog The Butterfly Effect.

Mary Hiland,
PhD has over thirty-five years of experience in the nonprofit sector—both as a board member and executive director. Mary’s consulting, speaking, workshops, and training focus on strengthening nonprofit leaders, and executive and board teams, as powerful forces for community impact. Mary assists with effective governance, board and leadership development, and strategic alliances. She has extensive experience with nonprofit mergers. She is an executive coach for new and experienced executives and board leaders. Mary is a researcher and published author. She has a PhD in human and organizational systems with a focus on nonprofit leadership and governance. You can learn more about her at

Margaret M. Holman is president of Holman Consulting, a full-service fundraising consulting firm she founded in New York City in 1991. She served as senior vice president for development & communications at America’s first and largest humane society, the ASPCA. She has also held senior fundraising management positions at a variety of arts, health, and educational institutions throughout the country. She has published numerous articles on fundraising and nonprofit management, lectured widely, and served as faculty for institutes and conferences, including the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, the European Association for Planned Giving, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the International Conference for Fundraising Managers in the United Kingdom.

Simone P. Joyaux, ACFRE is described as “one of the most thoughtful, inspirational, and provocative leaders in the philanthropic sector.” A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, she works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in a graduate program for philanthropy. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field. Her feature articles, Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ) web column, and blogs receive rave reviews. She founded the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, chaired CFRE International, and regularly serves on boards. Simone gives at least 10 percent of her income annually and has bequeathed her entire estate to charity.

Alexander “Sandy” Macnab, FAHP, CFRE is president of Alexander Macnab & Co. (, which he founded in 1994. The creator of nationally-respected annual and planned giving programs, he provides on-going annual and campaign counsel, development audits, board self-assessments, feasibility studies, and planned and major gift support. His workshops, seminars, webinars, and audio conferences have helped hundreds of professional fundraisers and nonprofit board members increase financial and volunteer support. A Master Trainer, he was invited to join the inaugural AFP Faculty Training Academy class, represents the Association of Philanthropic Counsel to the CFRE International Advisory Council, and is an adjunct professor in the graduate school of Business and Nonprofit Management teaching Planned Giving for Nonprofit Organizations at Chicago’s North Park University.

Stephen C. Nill, JD is the founder and CEO of CharityChannel, established in 1992 as a community of nonprofit sector professionals who work together to advance philanthropy. He founded CharityChannel Press (, the publishing arm of CharityChannel and the publisher of the In the Trenches™ series of books, of which this book is a part. He also founded For the GENIUS® Press (, publisher of books on just about any subject people want to learn. He is a practicing attorney in his fourth decade advising nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. He has also served as chief development officer of a large west coast university, as CEO of a large healthcare foundation, as senior vice president of a west coast nonprofit hospital chain, and as the cofounder and development director of a thriving parochial school. He also composes symphonic music that has been performed internationally.

Meri K. Pohutsky, MA is currently the national program manager for resource development at Goodwill Industries International. She is the lead grant writer, resulting in $80 million in awards to date. She also provides consultation and training in all resource development strategies for the 158 affiliated US Goodwill agencies. Meri operated her own consulting firm, Meri and Associates, for sixteen years. She honed her skills as a leader in several nonprofit organizations, including service as a CEO. In each position, she was able to expand services and increase revenues significantly. She has also served as a grant reviewer and chairperson for federal, state, and United Way grant reviews. Meri has a long history of volunteer service on boards and in local service groups.

Sandy Rees, CFRE is founder of GetFullyFunded (, where she helps nonprofit leaders raise the money of their dreams and build successful boards. She started her career in nonprofit work in 1998 at Knox Area Rescue Ministries and spent five years at Second Harvest Food Bank. During her time at Second Harvest, the organization nearly tripled its budget, based largely on her efforts in fundraising. Sandy is the author of Get Fully Funded: How to Raise the Money of Your Dreams, Fundraising Buffet, and Simple Success Fundraising Plan. She co-authors the column “Little Shop” for Fundraising Success magazine and authors the blog Get Fully Funded. Sandy is an accomplished presenter and an AFP Master Trainer. She has led fundraising seminars for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Chattanooga Center for Nonprofits, and many local and regional conferences.

Eugene A. Scanlan, PhD recently retired after forty-two years in the nonprofit sector. He served as a consultant for over twenty-five years, including as senior staff of a major national firm and as president of eScanlan Company. Additionally, he served as foundation officer for a major think tank, development director for an environmental organization, and senior staff of a grant-making foundation as well as in other positions. He has taught graduate-level online and in-person courses, authored two books, book chapters, and several articles, and served in various volunteer positions with his professional association at the chapter and international level. He has been a frequent speaker at conferences, workshops, and programs and lives in British Columbia.

Martha H. Schumacher, ACFRE is president of Hazen Inc. Hazen specializes in campaign and major gift strategy, solicitation and training; development planning; and board, staff, and organizational development ([email protected]). Martha’s current and recent clients include the American Red Cross, National Aquariums in Washington DC and Baltimore, Best Buddies International, and Safe Kids Worldwide. Before launching Hazen, she led the Defenders of Wildlife fundraising team as vice president for development. Martha serves on the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International Board of Directors and was recently named the AFP DC Chapter Outstanding Professional Fundraiser of the Year.

Regarded as America’s ASKING Coach, M. Kent Stroman, CFRE is a talented speaker, insightful advisor, effective communicator, and published author. Kent’s purpose in life is to equip, inspire, and encourage. He accomplishes this through speaking, writing, teaching, consulting, and executive coaching. After a twenty-five year career in higher education, Kent launched Stroman & Associates, consulting in fundraising, board governance, strategic planning, and leadership development. He holds numerous credentials, including Certified Fund Raising Executive. Kent is a popular speaker and presenter to regional, national, and international audiences. Learn more at

Justin Tolan, CFRE, a fundraising veteran since 1995, serves as chief fundraising adviser at ME&V Fundraising Advisers ( in Cedar Falls, Iowa. His guiding fundraising philosophy is to treat donors as you would like to be treated. Justin has counseled successful campaigns for hospitals, community centers, endowment building, and state associations. Justin raised major gifts for a youth organization prior to joining ME&V in 2001. He is a long-time mentor with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and serves as treasurer of the Bremer County Community Foundation. He is a past president of the Eastern Iowa Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and graduated from the University of Iowa.

Sandra Migani Wall, PhD is the founder of TELESIS, a resource development consulting firm in Maumee, Ohio, providing an array of services and creative solutions tailored to meet each individual client’s needs. Sandra has developed people, boards, programs, and resources over thirteen years in health education, fourteen years as a member of local and national boards, and eighteen years of part-time consulting. She has helped raise over $20 million from grants, sponsorships, and individuals for nonprofits of all sizes, in all life cycles, with local, regional or national geographical boundaries, and in varied sectors—education, human services, justice, arts, health, wildlife, zoological, botanical.

Deborah Ward, MA, CFRE is a nationally recognized proposal writing consultant whose services include project development, prospect research, RFP analysis, writing and editing of proposals, and evaluation of grants programs. Deb is also the grant writer for Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She is a monthly columnist for eSchool News and the author of Writing Grant Proposals that Win, 4th Edition and Effective Grants Management, published by Jones and Bartlett Learning. In addition to grantsmanship, Deb has experience with individual donor and corporate solicitations, direct mail appeals, special events, and annual funds. She has her graduate degree in philanthropy and development from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

About the In the Trenches Series

You’ll know an In the Trenches™ book not just by its cover, but by the author’s fun, upbeat writing style. But don’t be fooled by its down-to-earth approach and ample use of sidebars. In the Trenches books are authoritative and cover what a beginner should know to get started and progress rapidly, and what a more experienced nonprofit-sector practitioner needs to move forward in the subject.

























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