As philanthropy and charitable giving become increasingly important in our society, the role of fundraising experts has become more critical than ever. These professionals help organizations raise the necessary funds to support their missions and make a positive impact on their communities. With so many individuals and firms claiming expertise in this field, it can be challenging to identify the best.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of America’s Top 25 Fundraising Experts – individuals who have demonstrated a deep understanding of the fundraising landscape, a proven track record of success, and a commitment to making a difference. From seasoned veterans to rising stars, these experts have what it takes to help organizations achieve their fundraising goals and create a better world.
2023 America’s Top 25 Fundraising Experts
The right fundraising expert can make all the difference in helping a nonprofit achieve its fundraising goals, build long-term relationships with donors, and sustain its mission over time.
Hiring the best fundraising expert is critical for several reasons. First, fundraising experts have extensive knowledge and experience in creating effective fundraising strategies, developing relationships with donors, and navigating the complexities of the fundraising landscape. With their guidance, nonprofits can maximize their resources and raise more funds to support their activities. Second, the best fundraising experts are excellent communicators who can convey the nonprofit’s mission and vision to potential donors in a compelling way. They know how to tailor their message to different audiences, build trust, and inspire action, which is essential in the crowded fundraising space. Ultimately, hiring the best fundraising expert is a smart investment for any nonprofit that wants to increase its fundraising effectiveness and achieve its goals.
1. Dale Berkey, President, BBS & Associates
Dale Berkey is the President of BBS & Associates, a full-service fundraising agency. With over 40 years of extensive experience and expertise, BBS & Associates has developed a strong reputation in the industry for helping organizations raise funds and meet their financial goals. As a leading fundraising agency, BBS & Associates offers a variety of services to support their clients, such as campaign planning, donor research and identification, direct mail and email fundraising, digital fundraising, major gifts solicitation, and more. Dale Berkey is a well-regarded and trustworthy fundraising expert with a long history of success in helping organizations achieve their fundraising goals.
2. Timothy L. Smith, Managing Partner, Non-Profit DNA
Timothy L. Smith is a leading fundraising expert and the managing partner of Non-profit DNA, a firm dedicated to helping churches and non-profit organizations raise funds and achieve their goals. Smith is the author of multiple books including one of the best books about major donor relationships, Donors Are People Too. Smith has worked with a diverse range of non-profits, including relief and development charities, churches, religious organizations, and humanitarian agencies. He is known for his strategic approach to fundraising, which involves developing tailored plans that are based on each organization’s unique needs and goals. Smith’s expertise extends to all aspects of fundraising, including major gifts, annual giving, planned giving, and capital campaigns. He is also a sought-after speaker and trainer, and has delivered presentations and workshops on fundraising to audiences across the country.
3. Mike Meyers, Nonprofit Leadership Expert, Mike’s LinkedIn
Mike Meyers is a leading expert in the field of fundraising, with a focus on the critical importance of investing in leadership and fundraising capacity for nonprofits. With over two decades of experience in the nonprofit sector, including serving as the Chief Development Officer for two large nonprofits and as CEO of Food for the Hungry, Mike has an extensive track record of success in driving strategic planning and increasing private income to support some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. Mike is the co-author of the book Maximize the Middle (with leading expert Dale Berkey). With his impressive background in fundraising and leadership roles, Mike has helped to raise funds on six continents and has worked in nonprofit organizations in over 60 countries. His deep expertise and passion for creating sustainable solutions to complex social problems make him a valuable asset to the nonprofit community.
4. Jeremy Reis, VP of Marketing, CRISTA Ministries
Jeremy Reis is a highly respected fundraising expert known for his exceptional skills in digital and monthly fundraising. With years of experience in the field, he has gained a reputation as a thought leader in the industry and has helped numerous organizations achieve their fundraising goals. His expertise lies in creating and implementing successful fundraising campaigns that utilize cutting-edge digital strategies and techniques. Jeremy is the author of Magnetic Nonprofit, The Post-Pandemic Nonprofit, and Raise More Money with Email. Jeremy is passionate about empowering organizations to achieve their missions and make a positive impact on society. With his extensive knowledge and proven track record, he has become a go-to resource for nonprofits and fundraising professionals seeking to improve their fundraising results, especially on LinkedIn, where he posts about fundraising daily.
5. Penelope Burk, Founder, Cygnus Applied Research
Penelope Burk is a leading fundraising expert who has devoted her career to helping nonprofit organizations achieve their fundraising goals. She is the founder and CEO of Cygnus Applied Research, Inc., a consultancy firm that specializes in helping nonprofits build stronger relationships with their donors. Burk is best known for her groundbreaking research on donor behavior, which has informed the fundraising strategies of countless organizations worldwide. She has authored several books, including “Donor-Centered Fundraising” and “Donor-Centered Leadership,” and her work has been recognized with numerous awards and honors. Burk is a highly respected authority in the fundraising community and continues to make significant contributions to the field.
6. Tom Ahern, Founder, Ahern Communications
Tom Ahern is a well-respected expert in fundraising and donor communications and has worked with hundreds of organizations, ranging from small nonprofits to large universities, to help them improve their donor communication strategies and raise more funds. Ahern is particularly skilled in crafting compelling messages that resonate with donors and motivate them to take action. He is also a prolific author, having written several books on fundraising and communication, and is a sought-after speaker and trainer in the nonprofit sector. Through his expertise and passion for helping organizations achieve their fundraising goals, Tom Ahern has become a trusted advisor to many nonprofit leaders and development professionals.
7. Andrew Olsen, Senior Vice-President, DickersonBakker
Andrew Olsen is a nonprofit fundraising expert who specializes in helping organizations improve their revenue streams. He believes that the key to success for nonprofits is to move away from transactional relationships with supporters and instead focus on building transformational connections. By developing meaningful and long-lasting relationships with donors, nonprofits can not only increase their revenue but also foster a sense of community and engagement that can lead to sustained support over time. Andrew’s approach emphasizes the importance of understanding supporters’ motivations and values and creating personalized strategies that resonate with them. Through his work, he has helped numerous nonprofits achieve greater financial stability and impact in their communities.
8. Jeff Brooks, Future Fundraising Now
Jeff Brooks is a well-known fundraising expert and has helped numerous organizations increase their fundraising revenue through his innovative and practical strategies. Jeff is an author, speaker, and consultant, and has worked with a wide range of nonprofits, from small grassroots organizations to large international charities. He is known for his expertise in direct mail fundraising, but also has extensive experience in online fundraising, major gifts, and donor retention. Future Fundraising Now offers daily fundraising and nonprofit leadership advice for people who, on occasion, need hit upside the head with great information. Jeff’s approach to fundraising is focused on building long-term relationships with donors, and he emphasizes the importance of storytelling and emotional connection in fundraising campaigns.
9. Gail Perry, Founder, Gail Perry Group
Gail Perry is a well-known fundraising consultant and coach, with over 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She is the author of several books, including “Fired-Up Fundraising: Turn Board Passion into Action,” a leading resource on moving your board to give. Gail is also a sought-after speaker and has presented at numerous conferences and workshops on topics such as donor retention, board development, and major gift fundraising. She is known for her practical, no-nonsense approach to fundraising, and her ability to inspire and motivate nonprofit professionals to achieve their goals. Gail’s expertise and insights have helped countless organizations to raise more money and make a greater impact in their communities.
10. Erica Waasdorp, Founder, A Direct Solution
Erica Waasdorp is a well-known fundraising consultant, author, and speaker who specializes in nonprofit organizations. She is the president of A Direct Solution, a fundraising consultancy that helps nonprofits increase their revenue through direct mail, monthly giving, and donor retention. Erica is also the author of the popular monthly giving book, “Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant.” She is a sought-after speaker and has presented at conferences and workshops worldwide. Erica is passionate about helping nonprofits achieve their fundraising goals and is known for her practical and actionable advice.
11. Michael Rosen, www.mlinnovations.com
12. Marc A. Pitman, fundraisingcoach.com
13. Pamela Grow, www.pamelagrow.com
14. Tony Martignetti, tonymartignetti.com
15. Dave Raley, www.imago.consulting
16. Joan Garry, www.joangarry.com
17. Ben Greene, Charity: water
18. Beth Kanter, bethkanter.org
19. Amy Eisenstein, www.amyeisenstein.com
20. Larry C Johnson, theeightprinciples.com
21. Adrian Sargeant, www.philanthropy-institute.org.uk
22. Jay Frost, www.frostonfundraising.com
23. Paul Goldsmith, Vidare Creative
24. Lynne Wester, DRG Group
25. Jon DeLange, www.linkedin.com/in/delangejon/
Fundraising experts play a critical role in helping nonprofit organizations achieve their goals and create a positive impact in their communities. We’ve highlighted America’s Top 25 Fundraising Experts – individuals who have demonstrated a deep understanding of the fundraising landscape, a proven track record of success, and a commitment to making a difference.
From developing effective fundraising strategies to building strong relationships with donors, these experts have the knowledge, experience, and skills needed to help nonprofits raise more funds and achieve their missions. By working with these experts, nonprofits can maximize their resources, build long-term sustainability, and make a lasting impact on the world.
Whether you’re a seasoned nonprofit leader or just starting out, we encourage you to explore the expertise of these Top 25 Fundraising Experts and take your fundraising efforts to the next level.