Meet Our 2014 Editorial Advisors
Chair of Russ Reid and chair of the Omnicom Nonprofit Group of Agencies
Tom says his job is to help nonprofits grow. How? “I make sure our people understand the objectives, have the resources to exceed their goals, and then I get the heck out of their way.” He has been on the FundRaising Success Editorial Advisory Board since 2007 and serves as the 2014 board chair. Other than fundraising and motivating people, Tom enjoys bird watching, wine, all things French, SCUBA diving and travel.
More about Tom:
- Fundraising philosophy: Meet the donor where she is rather than where we wish she was.
- Best fundraising advice: When I joined Russ Reid, our clients were concerned that their donor files were aging and that boomers are different and don’t give. Russ Reid (the guy) said to relax and that boomers would start giving when they turned 45.
- Best life advice: Make it count.
- Heroes: My wife, Lori. Ronald Reagan.
- Personal motto: Most people have the will to win. Few people have the will to prepare to win.
- My life in six words: Abandoned. Accepted. Husband. Dad. Intense. (I’ll save the sixth word in case I need it later …)
Director, digital marketing, Blackbaud, and blogger at npENGAGE
For more than 10 years, Frank has been helping nonprofits use the Internet for digital communication, social media and fundraising. He’s worked with organizations including LIVESTRONG, United Methodist Church, American Heart Association, In Touch Ministries, Heifer International and the University of Notre Dame. When Frank’s not navigating the interwebs, he loves spending time with his wife and triplet (yep, that’s three) 2-year-old boys. Watching “Sesame Street,” playing with Elmo toys, reading pop-up books, building fortresses with Legos and racing Hot Wheel toy cars are among his greatest joys.
More about Frank:
- Fundraising philosophy: Love people. Not money.
- Best fundraising advice: Love your work and educate.
- Best life advice: Consider others better than yourself.
- Heroes: My wife. My mom.
- Personal motto: Bring it!
- My life in six words: I have triplet 2-year-old boys.
VP, direct marketing, Easter Seals
Jennifer is responsible for the oversight of a national direct-response marketing program generating $40 million annually through the production of 45 million pieces of direct mail, telemarketing and online direct-response initiatives. Her industry recognition includes the 2002 Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit of the Year Award and 2006 Nonprofit Times Top Fundraiser of the Year. Jennifer has served on industry boards including the DMA Nonprofit Federation Advisory Council and the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers.
More about Jennifer:
- Fundraising philosophy: Always be true to your brand and mission, be ethical in all your dealings, and never forget the donor.
- Best fundraising advice: The only way to truly innovate is to fail.
- Best life advice: Make time for the things that are important.
- Heroes: My parents. They taught me the value of hard work, always encouraged me to try new things, and showed me that to be truly rich in life all you need is the love of your family and to be surrounded by friends.
- Personal motto: You only have one life to live, so live it to the fullest.
- My life in six words: Nonstop tempo, abundantly blessed, joyful parenting.
Ellen Cobb Church
CEO and a principal at Craver, Mathews, Smith & Co.
Ellen joined CMS as an account executive in 1997, was appointed president and CEO in 2006, and was delighted when Roger Craver sold the agency to her and Jenn Mercer in 2008. Ellen is happily married to Jeff and has two adult sons, Adam and Clark, a sweet dog Gracie, and a soulful “grand-dog” Bear. She is on the advisory board of the Centreville Immigration Forum in Centreville, Va., and has a long history of raising her hand and volunteering herself, her family members and her company for just about anything.
More about Ellen:
- Fundraising philosophy: Be honest.
- Best fundraising advice: Don’t cut prospecting.
- Best life advice: From my grandmother, “Keep your feet warm.”
- Heroes: First responders because they are first responders.
- Personal motto: Be honest.
- My life in six words: Fabulous 50s, joyful heart, fierce fundraiser.
VP, consumer marketing and fundraising, American Red Cross
Jennifer and her team develop strategies and implement programs to maximize individual giving at the American Red Cross. Through direct mail, online digital engagement and phone marketing channels, the team seeks to acquire new donors, deepen relationships with existing donors and optimize long-term donor value. Based in New York; London; Frankfurt, Germany; and Singapore, Jennifer has managed marketing teams globally to drive results in new product development, payment technology innovation and luxury travel.
More about Jennifer:
- Fundraising philosophy: It’s all about talking to the right donor, at the right time, with the right message, in the right channel.
- Best fundraising advice: Remember, as a fundraiser, you’re giving someone the chance to make a difference to a cause he or she cares about with a financial donation, so don’t be shy!
- Best life advice: Act like a duck. Be calm and graceful above the water, and paddle like crazy below!
- Heroes: I admire those who roll up their sleeves to truly make a positive difference in this world, whether that is with one person or for thousands.
- Personal motto: Bloom where you’re planted.
- My life in six words: This is not a dress rehearsal!
Senior VP, direct marketing and donor care, The Humane Society of the United States
Geoff oversees fundraising via direct mail, online, telemarketing and DRTV, as well as the organization’s in-bound donor services team. Geoff previously led HSUS’ online advocacy and fundraising program, which contributed to dozens of major victories for animals and brought in more than $50 million online. Geoff was recognized by FS as one of its 2006 “Top Fundraisers Under 40” for his work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
More about Geoff:
- Fundraising philosophy: The holy grail of fundraising is speaking to your donor as if she is sitting across the table from you, about the issues that interest her, in the language she speaks — yet doing so on a scale that helps your charity thrive.
- Best fundraising advice: Emotion opens wallets. Showing impact opens wallets again.
- Best life advice: Be yourself, but keep working on yourself. Such a cliché, I know, but it makes you better at everything from public speaking to being a parent.
- Heroes: Ben Franklin. Statesperson, inventor and a guy who understood the value of compound interest.
- Personal motto: Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender who you are for what you could become. And view the world’s problems in the same way.
- My life in six words: Family, friends, baseball, beer and cats.
Development director, PETA Foundation
Steve’s career has focused on target marketing, fund development and donor engagement, among other things. He joined the PETA Foundation in 2007 and brought with him enthusiasm, energy and compassion for all beings. He has been a friend to animals as far back as he can remember and practices that same compassion through a vegan lifestyle. In his off time, he spends a great deal of energy testing his culinary skills and relaxing with his partner, K.C., and two rescued cats, Gustav and Maxine.
More about Steve:
- Fundraising philosophy: I don’t raise money; I raise compassion.
- Best fundraising advice: Be genuine.
- Best life advice: This too shall pass.
- Heroes: My parents. They taught me to love life to its fullest and to always put out a hand to help others.
- My personal motto: Celebrate the good, confront the bad and never settle for mediocrity.
- My life in six words: Wherever you go, there you are.
Director, customer engagement, American Cancer Society
Serving the American Cancer Society since 2004, Julie’s focus is on revenue building and long-term customer retention. With more than 20 years of experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit marketing fields, Julie’s previous work experience includes collaborating on the development of eKetchum, the digital arm of Ketchum; telecom marketing with MCI; and retail marketing strategy with Books-A-Million. When not focusing on work, Julie loves spending time with her husband and 10-year-old daughter. A perfect Saturday for Julie would include a run with friends, then catching up at the local coffee shop. Then after breakfast with the family, a soccer game, some shopping or relaxing with a good book. In the evening, cooking and watching a movie would round out a perfect day.
More about Julie:
- Fundraising philosophy: Know your donor and be relevant.
- Best fundraising advice: Remember that people want to give, and don’t be afraid to ask.
- Best life advice: Be yourself — and be OK with it.
- Heroes: My dad, because he’s a regular guy with a huge heart. He listened, cared and always tried his best to help others when he saw a need.
- Personal motto: Choose your life.
- My life in six words: Laughter, family, noisy, balance, messy, laughter.
VP, strategy and development, Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing and with experience over the years at the startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group. She spent more than 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie also is the author of FS’ Navigating Off the Napkin blog, and she is ridiculously passionate about everything she’s involved in.
More about Angie:
- Fundraising philosophy: All the creative, segmentation and offers in the world will never outweigh the gain of focusing on donor relationships and the experience they are having with an organization.
- Best fundraising advice: If you are comfortable, you are not pushing the strategy hard enough.
- Best life advice: My father gave me this advice, and I think it came from Muhammad Ali, but it was a quote that said, “Don’t count the days — make the days count.”
- Heroes: Peter Drucker. The impact his thinking has made on me as a professional, a leader and even as a person in everyday life is unmatched.
- Personal motto: Not really a motto but the quote that guides me: “That many had ventured farther and done so in finer style bothered me not. My journey was my own and I found it to be quite spectacular.” (Markus Pierson)
- My life in six words: Foodie. Wine drinking. Camping. Lucky mom.
Author of “Ask Without Fear!” and founder of FundraisingCoach.com and the weekly e-mail service “Fundraising Kick”
Marc’s expertise and enthusiasm engage audiences around the world and have caught the attention of media organizations as diverse as Al Jazeera, SUCCESS Magazine and Fox News. His experience also includes pastoring a Vineyard church, managing a gubernatorial campaign, and teaching Internet marketing and fundraising. He is the husband to his best friend and the father of three amazing kids. And if you drive by him on the road, you’ll catch him singing ’80s tunes loud enough to embarrass his family.
More about Marc:
- Fundraising philosophy: Being honest with the prospect and being yourself are the most effective ways to raise money and to ask without fear!
- Best fundraising advice: After you’ve asked for a major gift, shut up and give the prospect space to think!
- Best life advice: There are two: 1. Follow Jesus with all you’ve got. Finding out how he’s wired me and following that has made life a very cool adventure. 2. Feed your mind at least as often as you feed your stomach.
- Heroes: Jesus. He broke barriers and freed people to enjoy life in ways that inspire me to want to do the same.
- Personal motto: Life’s short. Live passionately.
- My life in six words: Faith-filled risks, amazing wife, great brews.
VP, marketing, City Harvest
Heather provides leadership to the marketing, communications, special events and direct-mail divisions at City Harvest, where she oversees and develops strategies to increase brand awareness. She joined City Harvest in 2002 as manager of direct mail and has more than doubled the program’s revenue to more than $5 million during her tenure. Recently married, she lives in Astoria, Queens, with her husband and a terrific view of Manhattan and the Triborough Bridge. She enjoys cooking, reading, watching the Tour de France and tormenting her copywriter.
More about Heather:
- Fundraising philosophy: Don’t be afraid to ask. People are busy, and it’s unlikely that someone will wake up thinking, “I have to donate to City Harvest today!” You’ll be surprised at how much people want to help if the cause is compelling and real for them.
- Best fundraising advice: Don’t underestimate the importance of brand recognition on fundraising. Marketing and fundraising should work hand in hand — the stronger your brand and the more people know about you, the more likely they are to support your work.
- Best life advice: Pull up your big girl panties and get on with it.
- Heroes: 1. Elizabeth Taylor — bold, brash and flash. Unapologetic believer in love, dedicated advocate and loyal friend. 2. Eddie Ayala, City Harvest truck driver. Caring, compassionate and generous of spirit. One of the kindest and most genuine people I’ve ever known.
- Personal motto: Laughter is the best medicine.
- My life in six words: I am a work in progress.