Craig Shelley

Craig Shelley

Craig Shelley (@craigshelley) is a managing director at Orr Group, which provides nonprofits with strategy, fundraising, leadership and management solutions and has offices in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Craig brings an entrepreneurial approach to fundraising, nonprofit management and strategy. Prior to joining Orr Group, Craig served in a variety of positions with the Boy Scouts of America, most recently as the national director of development and corporate alliances. He serves on the executive committee of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ New York City Chapter and the editorial advisory board for Nonprofit PRO, and is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE). 

Buck the Trend and Retain Your Fundraisers

If you inspire, trust and lead your staff well, you can and will retain fundraising staff. If our missions deserve increased philanthropy, the teams we’re asking to attract that philanthropy deserve attentive and effective leadership.

Lead Change in Your Nonprofit

The only constant is change. That’s a cliché for a reason. It’s true. We have access to more information, more quickly than at any other time in history. And that’s just one seismic change that’s occurred over my relatively brief 20-year career...

The Right Development Committee for Your Nonprofit

The fund development committee of your board of directors should be an integral part of your nonprofit’s governance and fundraising strategy. Fundraising success is dependent on volunteer connectors; a fund development committee provides a mechanism to organize and lead this function for your board...

The Trinity of Nonprofit CEO Success: Talent, Donors and Finances

In my daily interactions with nonprofit CEOs, I am struck by how quickly the expectations for the role are evolving. During my time as a nonprofit CEO, nearly 10 years ago, I was acutely aware that my duties had progressed beyond those carried out by my predecessors and involved much more complex leadership and management...

Fundraisers: The Times, They are a Changing’

Nonprofits continue, with undiminished passion, to seek out ways to change the world for the better. The historic gains the markets have seen in recent years have encouraged nonprofits to take on greater challenges than ever before. These are exciting times to be a fundraiser, but aren’t they always?...

Entrepreneurial Fundraising: Is It for Your Nonprofit?

In my experience, nonprofits can be divided into two groups based on the organizational model they deploy: those that depend on a legacy model that depends on an established donor base supporting an entrenched institution, and those that take a more entrepreneurial fundraising approach...

The Path to CEO and Board Partnership: How to Supercharge Your Board

A common feature of successful nonprofits is a highly engaged board of directors; a board partnership with the CEO on the right issues and investing quality time and resources in the organization they lead. If your board is falling short of this goal, there are steps that you can take to improve their performance...

Transformational Fundraising Campaigns

Large-scale problems demand large-scale solutions. In order to dramatically improve outcomes for the constituents and communities they serve, nonprofits are increasingly expanding their thinking and vision to tackle problems they might have deemed beyond their reach five or 10 years ago...

Fundraising Events: Ensuring Exponential Results

I cut my professional teeth as an event fundraiser nearly 20 years ago. There was no better way to learn how to fundraise. I was forced to ask for money, form relationships quickly and articulate a case for support over and over again. Plus, I got to eat a lot of free food, which in my early 20s was a significant financial benefit! It laid a tremendous foundation for the fundraising career that followed...

Set an Example: Leading Successful Fundraising Teams

I have had the good fortune to personally experience many examples of great leadership. Regrettably, I’ve also seen firsthand the way poor leadership can negatively impact fundraising results. Bad leadership results not only in poor morale (as in the Rensselaer example), but also in ineffective execution and, ultimately, the underfunding of vital philanthropic missions...

Major Giving: 4 Must-Dos for Nonprofit CEOs

A CEO who is actively interested and engaged in fundraising is critical to attracting transformative philanthropic investment. For CEOs who have a passion for building relationships with donors or who perhaps served as fundraisers earlier in their careers, rolling their sleeves up and jumping into the fundraising fray comes naturally...

Attracting 'Big' Philanthropy in a Changing Landscape

The philanthropy pie is growing, but the slices are getting bigger. Those slow to the table are going to be left hungry. The evolving behavior of philanthropists will also require an innovative approach from the nonprofit organizations and leaders that seek their investment. Focusing on improvement and activity in three key areas will best position nonprofits to win in an increasingly competitive market...

The Nonprofit CEO: Collaborator-in-Chief

Our sector seeks to achieve impact at scale on some of society’s greatest and most persistent challenges. For today’s nonprofit CEO, the key to success is collaboration—striking a balance between making decisions from the middle and leading from the front. Nonprofit CEOs who do this effectively see their organizations accomplish their missions. We need more CEOs like that...

20 Things You Can Do Right Now for Better Fundraising in 2017

The next 60 days promise to be hectic. Holiday spirit, tax planning and general procrastination collide at this time of year to create a perfect storm for nonprofit fundraisers. Charities need to embark on an all-out effort to ensure the maximum amount of dollars flow to their cause. Here are 20 things you can do right now to help ensure success next year and long into the future...