Stefanie Stark, President of Development Systems International, fell in love with the nonprofit sector early in life when she was recruited at the age of 12 into a performing arts college. Stefanie saw firsthand the funding challenges that arts organizations faced. A serious car accident with a drunk driver ended her performing arts career and changed the trajectory of her life. It was then that Stefanie turned her passion for charity and the arts into what has become her life’s true calling: perfecting the art of fundraising, connecting donors and philanthropists to the missions and organizations that inspire them.
Stefanie has worked as an executive and a fundraising professional in the charitable sector for more than 20 years. She is a founding member of the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives (NANOE). Stefanie is a Certified Nonprofit Consultant, Certified Development Executive, and Certified Executive Coach and serves on the faculty of National Development Institute. She studied at the National Hungarian Ballet Academy and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Utah, B.F.A.
Since 2016, Stefanie has been a marketing and fundraising consultant for some of the most recognized NGO brands in the charitable world - including the United Nations Foundation, the American Foundation for Children with AIDS, the Bridgespan Group, and the San Diego Museum of Art - as well as newcomers to the sector. She has coached nonprofit leaders through successful multi-million dollar campaigns that are donor-driven, using the Major Gifts Ramp-Up model, in order to meet their organization’s financial goals, achieving exponential growth, sustainability, and measurable ROI.
Development Systems International ensures professionals who lead: human welfare, health services, education, arts, and environmental nonprofits have access to the Major Gifts Ramp-Up Model (MGRU). Major Gifts Ramp-Up is used by organizations around the world to raise the millions they require to accomplish their important mission. Stefanie and her team of experts introduce wealthy donors to nonprofits who in turn secure the financial-capacity of charitable organizations who achieve significant impact.
Jimmy LaRose’s passion for “people who give” has inspired philanthropists around the world to change the way they invest in nonprofits. His belief that donors are uniquely positioned to give charities what they truly need – leadership rather than money – is the basis for his work with individuals, governments, corporations and foundations, in the U.S., Europe, Asia & Middle East. Jimmy, in
his role as author, speaker, corporate CEO & nonprofit CEO champions all of civil society’s vital causes by facilitating acts of benevolence that bring healing to humanity and advance our common good. Now, in his twenty-seventh year of service, his message that money is more important than mission and donors are more important than people or causes has resonated with policy institute scholars, social activists, doctoral students, business leaders, think tanks, nonprofit and NGO executives who rely on him and his team of veterans to meaningfully grow their charitable enterprise.
He’s the author of RE-IMAGINING PHILANTHROPY: Charities Need Your Mind More Than Your Money™ written to philanthropists who give nonprofits what they really need...enterprise models that grow capacity and achieve financial sustainability. He’s the architect of the Major Gifts Ramp-Up™ Donor Cultivation Model & Online Cloud used by charities around the world to meet the needs of their primary customers – the advocates, donors and volunteers who underwrite their mission. Finally, Jimmy is the founder of both Development Systems International™ and PAX Global™ firms that specialize in implementing the Major Gifts Ramp-Up Model for nonprofits, ministries and churches who raise major gifts.
James P. LaRose has served as a specialist with the U.S. State Department’s Speakers Bureau traveling the world working with embassies, foreign governments, and leaders to promote philanthropy and civil society in developing countries. He was the founding President of the Western Maryland Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and is a graduate of AFP’s Faculty Training Academy (FTA). He is a graduate of Indiana University’s Executive Leadership Program, Indianapolis, IN, the National Planned Giving Institute, Memphis, TN, Tennessee Temple University, Chattanooga, TN and Word of Life Bible Institute, Schroon Lake, NY. Dr. LaRose received his Doctorate in Philanthropic Studies from Ecumenical University. Rev. LaRose was ordained as minister of the gospel by the Ecumenical Church of Christ in further support of his service to the hurting and hopeless around the world. He and his beautiful wife Kristi are citizens of the Palmetto State where they make their home in Lexington, South Carolina.
Hall and began his business career in Decatur, Georgia with Powell & Company Insurance, a multiple-lines general insurance agency, founded by Halls’ grandfather, George W. Powell. For five years, Hall developed skills in in how to develop long-term relationships with individuals and corporations, putting the needs of policy-holders as the priority foundation for success. He built his business by understanding that success was determined by identifying a need, meeting the need, and stewarding relationships with his clients.
Success in the insurance industry led Hall to accept an offer from Johnson & Johnson to manage a territory for a new manufacturing division of medical/surgical supplies for hospitals, and physicians. Hall’s success in this new opportunity required (1) a preferred product because of uniqueness and performance, (2) a way to effectively market the products to users and suppliers, and (3) a manufacturer/customer relationship built on trust. These same principles would eventually accompany Hall into the nonprofit sector.
Hall was ordained for pastoral ministry by the Southern Baptist Convention, a role in which he served for nine years. The pastoral experience instilled within him the desire to help other churches and faith-based, nonprofit organizations acquire and develop resources for their ministries.
One day in 1983 he received a phone call that was to result in a new direction for the “calling” upon his life.
A good friend of Hall had decided to run for the U.S. Congress. Hall was asked to raise funds for the campaign. The fundraising campaign was successful, exceeding goal. Because of the successful campaign, Hall was referred to Ketchum, Inc. in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Hall was invited to join the firm, and serve the firm out of its newly established regional office in Charlotte, NC. After a year of on-the-job training, he was assigned to direct, what was at that time, the largest capital campaign conducted in Charlotte. The $10 million campaign to fund a youth and young adult alcohol and drug treatment facility exceeded its goal. The Board of Directors asked Hall to establish and serve as the CEO of a supporting foundation. It would serve as the fundraising arm of the organization. The Amethyst Foundation was established.
During his time at Amethyst Foundation, Hall helped establish the first National Society of Fundraising Processionals (NSFRE) – later renamed Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) chapter in Charlotte, NC, as he did so again In Wilmington, NC a few years later. Hall was awarded the Certified Fund-Raising Executives (CFRE) designation in 1989 while earning his MBA in the first Executive MBA program at Winthrop University. Soon after he graduated from Winthrop, Hall was invited to participate in the College of Business as an adjunct professor.
Soon after his retirement to Kure Beach, NC, Hall was introduced to Jimmy LaRose and the Major Gifts Ramp Up model that is offered and implemented for nonprofit clients through Development Systems International (DSI). Seeing how the donor-sensitive model of major gifts fundraising reflected his own convictions, and ethical principles of helping clients build long-term relationships with donors, while helping clients to achieve financial stability, Hall joined DSI as Senior Vice-President, and continues to serve clients through his cohort of fellow consultants.
Carol Young’s love for people and the nonprofit industry is what drives her to mentor others change the world. Leveraging her experience in sales from the corporate sector, Carol has been a part of the nonprofit industry since 2008. Serving as Senior Vice President for Development Systems International, she has helped raise more than $50 million for charitable causes. Carol patiently listens to what nonprofit leaders are facing and offers customized wisdom to shape the philanthropic culture of the organizations she serves. As the CEO of Healing Strides, Carol is on the front lines of changing lives every day. In less than five years, she has tripled the revenue of Healing Strides.
Carol, a family oriented Mom and Grandmother, holds a Masters in Mental Health Coaching and five Certifications in the areas including Life Coaching, Leadership Development, Consulting, and Fundraising. Frequently invited to be a panelist for discussions regarding Boards, Volunteer Leadership, Program Management and Fundraising, Carol shares her expertise with other business leaders. With her creativity, enthusiasm, and expert teaching skills she instills a contagious entrepreneurial spirit in those with whom she works.
Carol is a life learner and is always working to increase her education in the latest trends in the nonprofit industry. She loves to develop other leaders to discover the gifts they have to offer to their communities.
Carol is a compelling public speaker and inspires others to see the benefits of the services offered by the nonprofits she serves. Carol has a special way of looking at fundraising to allow people to understand that by raising money, they can solve the problems faced by their communities.
Carol says this is the bottom line: “Our Donors want to help, we must show them where the need is and how they can get involved to move the needle for our organizations. We are offering them a way to reach their personal goals through our organizations. Let’s do this together!”
Louis Fawcett serves as President of the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations and Executives (NANOE), President of PAX Global and Senior Counselor for Development Systems International. With more than 20 years’ experience leading churches and non-profit organizations, Louis Fawcett offers a unique set of faith based, domestic and international leadership and fundraising skills. Louis was raised in Farmville, Virginia and matriculated at Randolph-Macon College where he received a BA and finished as valedictorian of his graduating class. He then earned a MA at Wake Forest University where he wrote his theses on the theology of predestination and free will during the Lutheran Reformation. Following his studies at Wake Forest, Louis was called to enter the ministry and completed his Master of Divinity at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC. Louis served at St. Matthew’s Lutheran in Charleston, SC where he participated in capital campaign leadership.
Rev. Fawcett began non-profit service through his work at Christian World Foundation where he raised support for orphans and school children in China, Russia and Ethiopia for six years, raising more than $10 million. During the Great Recession, Louis led a successful capital campaign to build a children’s home in Ethiopia. This is where he learned that the river of philanthropy is deep and wide and he often says, “there are no excuses when it comes to raising money.”
Following the 2010 earthquake, Louis transitioned to Haiti Children, a non-profit serving special needs orphans and school children in Haiti. He developed capacity for five feeding programs, three schools, a technical college and a special needs orphanage outside of Port au Prince. He created Promise 126, an initiative to sponsor 126 special needs orphans under the care of Haiti Children and raised more than $7 million in three years. In 2013, Louis accepted the position of Senior Vice President of Principal Gifts at EdVenture. In addition to securing funds for EdVenture’s work in Columbia, Louis blazed the trail for EdVenture to expand locations in Hartsville and Myrtle Beach. Louis also forged collaborations to expand EdVenture’s work in under resourced communities throughout South Carolina. This work included capacity building for the EdVenture Health RV, after school programs, professional development for teachers and the Future Leaders Youth Development Program in rural counties of South Carolina. Louis oversaw more than $10 million in philanthropy over four years.
Through his work with NANOE, DSI and PAX Global, Louis has served nonprofits all over the United States including California, New York, Florida, Alabama, Ohio, Missouri, Mississippi, the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, Maryland and Louisiana. While his primary focus has been international aid and faith-based organizations, Louis is also passionate about raising money for education and the arts.
When asked what motivates him, Louis replied, “I wake up every day trying to figure out how to change and save more lives. That is my agenda. In this world, the only way to maximize impact to change and save lives for generations is with money. The more money we raise, the more children and families we can help. Email and social media don’t count; the way to raise millions of dollars is to pick up the phone, meaningfully engage a donor and meet them where they are – spiritually, mentally and geographically.”
Kristi began her nonprofit career in retail management with Goodwill Industries, where she discovered she had a heart to serve the disadvantaged members of her community. This journey led her to take a position as Program Director for a residential shelter for women where she successfully performed social work services ensuring these precious individuals built a new and productive life. In 2013, she became the head of accounting for Development Systems International, and was them promoted to Vice President of Operations. She serves on the Board of Directors of National Development Institute (NDI) and volunteers with the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations and Executives (NANOE).
Kristi has dedicated her life to the charitable sector ensuring that “all creatures great and small”, experience a life worth living. She is fond of sharing, “Find a need and meet it. Make a promise and keep it.” Kristi is a Bonnie McElveen-Hunter member of the Tiffany Circle of the American Red Cross. In 2017, CityLight International recognized her as World Circle Associate in honor of her global philanthropy and travel to foreign communities in need.
In 2019 Rev. Kristi LaRose was ordained as a minister of the Gospel by Ecumenical Church of Christ and spends countless hours serving senior citizens throughout the southeast. She enjoys scuba diving, golfing, and spending time with family and friends. Kristi is a native of the Palmetto State and makes her home in Lexington, SC with her husband, Jimmy LaRose.
Anne Munson, M.Ed., CNC has over 15 years of experience in nonprofit management, higher education administration, and private industry. She began her professional career in higher education administration, spanning both large public and small private schools, and currently leads a human services nonprofit in Florida. Anne's experience includes Organizational and Board Development; Community Advocacy and Public Relations; Fundraising and Grantwriting; Volunteer Services; Program and Event Development; Database and Website Management; Systems and Personnel Management; Marketing; and Corporate Relations. She has been nationally recognized in nonprofit association management for her work in education, certification, and membership development. Over the course of her career, Anne has managed organizations from with 100+ employees, coordinating the recruitment and services of 200+ volunteers. She has served as a community college adjunct faculty member, and as a trainer in leadership, technology, marketing, and sales.
Although, Pamela says she began her nonprofit career at the age of eight as a preacher’s daughter, her professional career with nonprofit organizations officially began as the Executive Director of a local arts council in her hometown almost 25 years ago. During her 5-year tenure, the arts council saw a 200% growth in revenue and programming . Though recruited back to banking—her first professional career, her passion for nonprofits only grew. She has been appointed by the past three governors of Oklahoma to serve on the Oklahoma Community Service Commission (OCSC); serves on the national board of America’s Service Commissions, and has served on the board of directors for more than twenty-five nonprofit organizations. A United Way enthusiast for more than two decades, Pamela has served in every volunteer capacity, as well as being an agency Director. She has led a record-breaking campaign as a volunteer, and as the CEO, has helped guide her own organization to begin Impact Initiatives. This work has resulted in new heights in both giving and also community collaborations. Pamela is currently the chair of the OCSC, a member of the Enid Civil Service Commission, the Enid Metropolitan Human Service Commission, the Cherokee Strip Community Foundation, and an adjunct instructor at Autry Technology Center. She is a proud two-time graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where she was named the Outstanding Senior while earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Administrative Leadership and later earned her Master’s in Human Relations with an emphasis in Community Service. Last year she was featured in the University’s Insight magazine for her work with nonprofits. She is a zealous advocate for growing future givers and has recently co-written a children’s book with her grandchildren to encourage early philanthropic discussions between adults and children.
Debbie began her nonprofit experience with United Way over 30 years ago with her first United Way campaign. Since then she has been a volunteer in numerous capacities for United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois including, facilitating the investment process, campaign cabinet, volunteer of the year, and served on the Board of Directors. After volunteering for many years, Debbie became the Resource Development and Marketing Director prior to becoming the President of the organization in 2012. She has led the organization to new levels since her tenure. She secured 10 years of funding for the information referral line 211 in three counties. This is the only 211 system that is fully funded from outside sources. Debbie is also on the Board of directors for the national brain aneurysm awareness non-profit organization The Lisa Colagrossi Foundation. Debbie’s role has been to assist with strategic planning, social media, and to launch a survivor webinar. She is also the volunteer coordinator for the largest food drive in the United States, bringing in over 1.5 million pounds of food in one day with over 300 volunteers during a 12 hour fundraiser. Her vast experience includes Board Development, Public Relations, Marketing, Corporate Relations, and all aspects of Fundraising.
Hello fundraisers, nonprofit executives and board members, and fellow learners. I want to help you with all your fundraising needs. So I can learn more about you and your concerns, please fill out my brief questionnaire, and I will send you some solutions to your needs.
But first, let me introduce myself so you can learn more about me. At about the age of about ten, I started writing short stories, so I guess I always loved to write. Seven decades later, I am proud to say I am an accomplished (and more importantly, published) author, having had more than thirty books published. Read more about my nonprofit books, and how they can help you find the answers you need. And check out Articles by Linda.
Although I never thought I’d be a teacher, I’ve come to love helping people gain the knowledge they need to succeed. I’m proud to say I’ve trained more than 50,000 development professionals in Canada, Mexico, Egypt, Bermuda, and most of the fifty states in the US, in addition to leading hundreds of virtual training programs with a worldwide audience. I am especially proud of my comprehensive Online Courses, which provide you with an easy and affordable way you learn the skills you need. Check them out on the Courses by Linda page.
Why am I the one to help you? I am one of slightly more than 100 professionals worldwide to hold the Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive designation. In my thirty-plus years as a philanthropic consultant, I have managed capital campaigns that have raised more than $50,000,000, helped hundreds of nonprofit organizations achieve their development goals, I am a graduate of Alvernia University, with majors in banking and finance and theology/philosophy, and a minor in communications. I am also a Master Teacher, graduating from AFP’s Faculty Training Academy. I served on the Association of Fundraising Philanthropy (AFP) Foundation for Philanthropy Board and the Professional Advancement Division for AFP. I am a past president of the Eastern Pennsylvania and Sierra (Nevada) AFP chapters. I received the Outstanding Fundraiser of the Year award from the Eastern Pennsylvania, Las Vegas, and Sierra (Nevada) chapters of AFP, was honored with the Barbara Marion Award for Outstanding Service to AFP and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Las Vegas AFP chapter.
While my consulting practice is limited because of my active teaching and writing career, I take on a limited number of clients each year and offer coaching services.
During Joanne’s 30+ years working in the nonprofit arena, she has held positions from volunteer to executive director in both small and large organizations. Integrating fundraising with strategic planning, marketing, operations, and financial systems, she builds up organizational revenue streams. Her exceptional interpersonal, communication, planning, and organizational skills help improve financial stability and sustainability efforts. Joanne holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Bethany University where she graduated cum laude. Her master’s degree is in health administration from Wilkes University, where she graduated with distinction. Her first job out of graduate school was at Maternal and Family Health Services, where she raised $200,000 in six months. She moved on to the March of Dimes Central Jersey Chapter, where she oversaw the grants review process and ensuing allocation of funding. Her next position was at Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey, where she oversaw a $1.2 million federal grant. Later, she worked at Community Access Unlimited, first as a development director then as an assistant executive director for business development. During her twelve years at Community Access, she raised $14.8 million, 42 percent of it representing new funding. The pinnacle of her nonprofit management career was as executive director of Caring Contact, a suicide prevention hotline. While there, she doubled contributed revenue and increased assets tenfold. With a collaborative approach, Joanne specializes in helping nonprofits improve the return on their fundraising investment, usually more than quadrupling performance. Past clients include the Rhode Island Parent Information Network, New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra. Family to Family Network of New Jersey, Christian Health Care Ministry Renewal Center, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, 200 Club of Union County, Westfield United Fund, Friends of Gold Butte, Braver Angels, Set Point Tennis Organization, No Means No Worldwide, Next Door Solutions, Sound Start Foundation, Blue Sage Center for the Arts, and Calvin Crest. Joanne envisions a world where mission-driven organizations are equipped with the tools and infrastructure necessary to financially sustain themselves. Her unbridled passion for what she does is obvious to all who meet her. Joanne is creator of The High ROI Fundraising series and co-creator of the Nonprofit Quick Guide series. She has authored or coauthored more than twenty books. She has been a grants reviewer for the United States Department of Education and the Union County Department of Human Services. She was a founding member of the Union County Nonprofit Consortium. By gubernatorial appointment, she served on the New Jersey Behavioral Health Planning Council for four years. By Freeholder appointment, she served as part of the Union County Alliance Steering Subcommittee of which she was president for two years. She has also been a volunteer trainer for the Center for Nonprofit Success, Charity Channel University, Grants Professional Association-New Jersey Chapter, North Jersey Health Collaborative, and Union County Nonprofit Consortium. Joanne values authenticity above all else. She is known for her forthright honesty and adherence to high moral standards. She and her husband live in Florida on the space coast. They can see rocket launches from the back lanai. They enjoy traveling and like to visit their three children and four grandchildren whenever they can. They are also avid national park fans, with close access to the Indian River Lagoon, Jetty Park, and the Cape Canaveral National Seashore, where you can often find them observing the local wildlife.
With nearly 10 years of comprehensive experience in the clinical counseling and nonprofit fields, Amanda offers a client-centered and mission-driven approach to tackling the modern challenges faced by nonprofit leadership. Amanda was born and raised in Ohio and attended Miami University where she received a BA in Psychology. She then earned a MA in Clinical Counseling at Columbia International University (CIU)) in South Carolina. Focusing on trauma and addiction counseling, Amanda’s clinical internships included equine-assisted psychotherapy supporting children and families through the EGALA model and intensive outpatient groups supporting men and women in addiction recovery. During her time at CIU, Amanda discovered her treatment paradigm to be one of identity formation. Through the power of the therapeutic alliance, Amanda helped clients explore the question, “Who were you created to be?”
Amanda’s passion for a holistic approach to treatment led her to work in private practice and several local Columbia schools supporting children who survived physical and sexual trauma. In addition to practicing trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, she provided crisis intervention and suicide assessments. She advocated for these children to receive the necessary wrap-around services during their healing process.
Realizing that the most vulnerable populations are severely underserved, Amanda transitioned to a nonprofit career where she continued to serve at-risk children in need of support, services, and advocates. Amanda joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia (BBBSGC) team as the Programs Director. She brought a unique perspective to the BBBSGC mission and improved training, educational opportunities, and program metrics utilizing her clinical skill set and client-centered approach to services. She was promoted to President/CEO and, over her career, developed over $230,000 in funding to support Big Brothers Big Sisters one-on-one mentorship programs.
Amanda always had a passion for the pro-life movement. She believes that change begins with protecting the innate value and integrity of human life and many modern social issues can be addressed through strengthening the family system. Through her clinical experience, she treated children whose mental and physical well-being had deteriorated due to broken family systems and a disregard for the sanctity of life. That passion grew into a fire and Amanda joined Daybreak LifeCare Center as the Executive Director at the onset of the COVID-19 national shutdown. Familiar with crisis management, she immediately created policies and procedures to protect the health and safety of her team and continue serving the community with free-of-charge ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, and counseling services.
Tim is an elder in the Free Methodist Church. He is on the boards for Men’s Ministry International and Set Free Movement and ex-officio of a number of ministry boards through his current role. He has also served on the board of directors for Holy Light Seminary, Kaohsiung, Taiwan and has served as a delegate to the Free Methodist General Conference and a board member and delegate for the Light and Life Church and Wabash Conference. Tim is available as a public speaker to preach, teach and share by encouraging others to more fully follow Jesus in all areas of their faith and stewardship journey.
Tim is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University and has spent more than twenty-five years educating himself in the area of finances, planned giving and estate planning. He is a graduate of Gift College, Crescendo Interactive (www.giftcollege.com) and is a Certified Gift Planning Professional (CGPP). He is a graduate of the National Planned Giving Institute from the college of William and Mary. He has taught Successful Money Management from a Biblical Perspective at the University level. Topics include building a foundation according to God’s Economy, budgeting, retirement, saving, college planning and estate planning.
Jackson M. Doggette Jr. is The Solutions Expert. His God-given gifts, formal education, and real-world experience uniquely qualify him to serve the nonprofit sector with excellence. Jackson has tested with the CliftonStrengths Assessment and his top five strengths are Maximizer, Strategic, Learning, Achiever, and Ideation. His strongest domain is as a strategic thinker. He has also tested with the Myers-Briggs Assessment and is an ENTJ, a natural leader. These God-given gifts have served his clients very well in helping them achieve their most desired goals. Jackson’s formal education includes earning a B.A. in Theology from Oakwood University, a M.A. in Religion with a concentration in Theology, Ethics, and Philosophy from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, and a J.D. from the prestigious Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He has earned certifications as a mediator, Nonprofit Executive, Development Executive, Nonprofit Consultant, Diversity Professional, Specialist in Planned Giving, and he has completed the classwork for the Certified Financial Planner designation and LL.M. in Employment Law along with other certificate courses. Jackson is an ordained Seventh-day Adventist minister with more than 42 years of leadership experience in nongovernmental organizations. He has planted churches and led small and large churches, served in several executive positions including Director of Stewardship & Philanthropy, served on numerous community boards and chambers of commerce, and continues to positively impact thousands of lives around the world. The experience of growing ministries led Jackson to write a book to help ministries to grow. Retaining the Harvest: How to Attract, Engage, and Keep the People Who Join Your Ministry is a unique treatise that can help thousands of congregations large and small that have plateaued. He is the creator of the Retaining the Harvest System™, the RTH Mastery Program, and the RTH Mastermind Group. He is an international keynote speaker and professional musician. Jackson is the Founder of Life SOULutions, a nonprofit ministry designed to help people live their best life! Jackson holds active licenses to practice law in four jurisdictions, a United States federal court and the United States Supreme Court Bar. He has practiced law since 1993. In his career, he has served as In-House Counsel for the largest hospital system in Florida, General Counsel to a church organization with 182 congregations, 11 private schools, three adult assisted living facilities, and other auxiliary organizations, and in private practice. This experience helps him to spot issues and help resolve them expeditiously for many types of nonprofit organizations. Jackson is a founding board member of the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives (NANOE) headquartered in Washington, D.C. Jackson is very happily married to Celia and they share three wonderful adult children, David, Jacquelyn, and Jackson III.
Jacque is a highly experienced, dedicated and results-oriented resource development leader with an expansive and a demonstrated track record of helping organizations build capacity to grow their mission. Through leadership roles with public and private Universities, a community Hospital a Community College and a Regional Medical Center, she has leveraged her organizational, and communication skills to build relationships with diverse stakeholders, and prioritize complex projects. As a conscientious, diplomatic, and collaborative leader, and an innovative and resourceful problem solver, she has worked with cross functional teams, departments, agencies, and organizations to focus on proactively solving complex problems to enhance the organizations mission and impact.
Jacque has led five supporting organization Foundations, working closely with the boards, volunteers and staff to raise charitable funds to advance the organization’s mission and capacity. She brings vast experience in all aspects of fundraising including annual giving, major gifts, capital campaigns, signature events and other donor engagement, delivering strong results. Jacque’s direct experience with ground level prospect research, database management, developing funding priorities and Fund management, coupled with her collaborative approach of developing a strong case for support, crafting communications and marketing strategies, donor engagement and stewardship have driven successful fundraising results. Jacque’s career in the non-profit sector began in higher education and student affairs as the director of student wellness centers at two public Universities. Through this work Jacque contributed to the growth and development of undergraduate and graduate students whom she led and mentored to positively impact the health and well-being of the student body at each institution she served. She went on to serve as a marketing consultant for a community hospital’s occupational health services and was later tapped to lead the Hospital’s Foundation. Working alongside donors and volunteers, Jacque built the Foundation’s capacity by creating and leading signature fundraising events to engage more members of the community and executing a capital campaign which raised $4M, $800k over goal. Jacque continued to develop her administrative and fundraising skills in her role with Rhodes State College as the Vice President for Advancement, where she led the integration of development, public relations, marketing, grants and alumni affairs to maximize relationships, collaborations partnerships and opportunities for the College. She continued her work at a small private University as the first Director of Development of the Engineering College where she successfully identified, cultivated, and engaged alumni and friends to support a successful $22M campaign to build a new building that would nearly double enrollment of the College. In her next role as President of a Regional Medical Center Foundation, Jacque expanded the annual giving program, established a wildly successful signature Gala, and led a $5M capital campaign through its most critical stages. In 2020, Jacque began a consulting firm, JDP & Associates, LLC and has been helping small to mid-sized non-profits build capacity to grow and sustain their mission by providing expertise in strategic fundraising and philanthropic planning.
Thomas Draves Reed was born in 1946 in San Antonio, Texas. The second born of four children, Tom was raised in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan where he was a lifeguard and tennis instructor. He played on the ice hockey team at Michigan State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising. During the Vietnam War, Tom was trained as a pilot in the USAF, and flew C-141 jet transport aircraft. Flying duties took Tom to Europe, Turkey, Iran, and Africa monthly between 1970 and 1974, and to Vietnam 25 times. While in the Air Force, Tom put together numerous real estate oriented limited partnerships in northern California where a federal dam was planned. Investors were mostly Air Force pilots numbering approximately 275. One property was a 1,726-acre ranch where Tom was living when his house burned to the ground in 1978. He relocated to Reno, Nevada where he had helped establish a fast-food chain and an electronics company. In 1983 the home Tom was building was destroyed in an avalanche-induced mudslide, seventy feet high moving 30 mph containing fifty-four acre-feet of water mixed with decomposed granite, trees rocks and boulders. Five people were in the house, all buried, and a close friend was killed. This prompted a spiritual search for the meaning and purpose of life that continues for Tom to this day. Tom became the Music Director and Family Life Ministries Director at the largest church in Reno, Nevada. In 1985 he relocated to Grass Valley, California to work as an Associate with Western States Fellowship, a non-profit corporation serving as an outreach to middle and upper-level businesspeople in the financial district of San Francisco. This work included being a resource, speaking as well as providing music for men’s conferences all over America. Music was a large part of Tom’s life, actively writing and recording. Tom performed concerts across the country and his music took him to Chile, South America numerous times. In 2000 Tom moved to Santa Barbara to help a friend start a health-conscious restaurant chain. The concept was not launched there, but Tom fell in love with Santa Barbara and chose to stay. He also met his wife, Marcia, who was the Vice President of the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce, and they were married in May 2002. Santa Barbara is home for Tom & Marcia, both of Marcia’s daughters and four grandchildren. When Tom was introduced to Barbara Tellefson at the Unity Shoppe, it was the completion of a life-long search for meaningful employment combined with service to others.
With more than 32 years of experience in nonprofit leadership, John has amassed over eighty local, state, national and international awards for service and advocacy. John is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with an associate in criminal justice and a bachelor’s from Newburgh Theological and Bible Seminary in Christian Education. Following his graduation from the University of Cincinnati, John entered the State of Ohio Police Academy and served in law enforcement for nearly 10 years. During this time, he was highly proficient and connected with the community, hosting a local radio talk show program for fifteen years and became the public image for the departments he served. John found he had a passion for charitable service and a desire to give back. He and his family established a nonprofit foundation called Teen Response in 1993 and through that mission helped provide guidance, leadership, and character building for thousands of youths. John’s reputation gained attention in the world of professional athletes and other celebrities. These influencers began to seek John out for advice on their charitable desires and he would consult and, in some cases, run their charitable organizations helping them to have an established connection with the communities they desired to give back to. In 2013, after selling interest in his professional athlete marketing business, John began to take on roles with nonprofits of various sizes using his ability to cut through problems and find solutions that helped agencies ‘walk on two legs’: financially viable and outcome focused. Through this effort, John has helped to raise millions of contributions for several agencies in Greater Cincinnati and across the country. Today, John has been working to redesign Valley Interfaith Community Resource Center in Lockland, Ohio so that it may meet the challenges of the future and continue to serve the desires of charitable individuals to help better the community.
Cristy is a connector, activator, encourager, and coach, who is passionate about serving leaders and nonprofit organizations in their growth and missions. She loves witnessing generosity connect with nonprofit needs to solve critical problems.
Because she believes that nonprofits make a profoundly positive difference in the world and that the success and scope of a nonprofit's impact are directly influenced by its leadership and fundraising, she has dedicated this season of her life to serving nonprofits through Development Systems International. She finds great joy in assisting nonprofit leaders in their honorable pursuits to improve the lives of their donors and constituents and accomplish their missions. Cristy's extensive experience and success in nonprofit leadership, fundraising, marketing, education, media, ministry, the arts, volunteer and event coordination, and board service and consulting have influenced her strong belief that nonprofit organizations thrive when their God-given passions and purposes are guided and empowered by the collaborative strengths and skills of their teams--leaders, donors, staff, volunteers, and consultants.
She is a Certified Nonprofit Consultant, Certified Development Executive, Certified Nonprofit Executive, and Certified Maxwell Leadership Coach. Since 2015, Cristy has been inspiring and equipping thousands of organizational leaders in the U.S. and abroad through leadership events, personal coaching, and community and country transformation initiatives and is now thrilled to serve you as a Development Systems International Senior Counselor.
She is honored to serve on faith-based nonprofit boards in her local community, working to educate and elevate women and bringing people in churches, local governments, education, nonprofits, and businesses together to transform communities.
Personally, Cristy and husband Ken met while in college in Chattanooga, TN, and have been married 49 years. They love doing life with their 4 married children and 13 grandkids. She believes that God is love and that Love is always the answer.
Russ Wilson grew up in a small town in Northeast Mississippi and starting work at age eleven in a grocery store through Junior College. After school each day, he visited the local Radio Station. While majoring in Business Administration at Northeast Mississippi Community College and later at Ole Miss, Russ started part-time on the air as a DJ, advancing into Sales and then as General Manager when the station upgraded to maximum power and became a regional powerhouse covering a third of the state under his leadership. Russ honed his sales, community relations and marketing skills by selling results!
Radio stations are granted a license to serve in the public interest as a trustee of the airwaves. Community service was always at the heart of local broadcasting with a community assessment and action plan required as part of the licensing approval process. Recognizing his innovative customer-focused sales leadership, a regional newspaper recruited Russ as Advertising Manager.
After 5 years at The NE MS Daily Journal (which is owned by a non-profit community foundation) and with more corporate consolidation of the Radio Industry, Russ was again recruited to lead an 8-station radio group to sales and ratings success with his creative, consultative, customer-focused, community-oriented approach. After 40 years, this station group is still top of the local pack!
Along the way, Russ served twice as President of the World’s Largest Civitan Club in Tupelo, MS (265 members), served for 18 years on the Tupelo Planning Committee, 20 years in various volunteer campaign and board roles with United Way of Northeast Mississippi, all while serving as a certified Lay Speaker in the United Methodist Church and as a delegate to the Mississippi Conference of the UMC.
Most recently, Russ served seven years on staff as Campaign Director with United Way of NEMS helping deliver a 2.2 - 2.6 million dollar annual campaign with 60+ non-profit agencies covering an eight-county service area. Russ attended a Major Gifts Ramp Up Event in Jackson, MS in 2017 and was inspired to sponsor an event the next year for his United Way partner agencies. Next, Russ served as Zoning Administrator for the City of Tupelo, MS for almost three years before joining DSI on a mission to help organizations achieve fundraising success.
Russ believes that the sales process should best be defined as “helping customers make decisions that are in ‘their” best interest”. Substitute “donors” for “customers” and this is a recipe for both relationship and fundraising success. Russ lives by the credo that “our benefits in life will always be in direct proportion to the service we render to others”. Russ is a motivator, storyteller and passionate about service to others. He believes that staff training, research, diagnosis, prescription, and follow up are the path to success in the nonprofit world today. Russ’s wife Annette has spent 30 years helping special needs children make the most of their god-given talents and now mentors children in their church.
With more than 40 years’ experience in nonprofit fundraising in Phoenix, Ariona, Sue is a senior-level resource development professional who has served as both employee and consultant to nonprofits with a servant-leadership style and focus. Her progressive experience in all facets of strategic fundraising, including thought discussion, department assessment and/or implementation assistance for annual, renewal, major and legacy giving programs has produced exemplary change and growth. She is recognized as a donor-centered change agent dedicated to partnering for organizational and supporter win-win solutions which leads to deeper relationships and the joy of philanthropy for supporters, as well as beneficial long-term financial results. She is a collaborative facilitator who has unwavering judgment and integrity and enthusiastically motivates with the focus on growth through developmental change while leading in the art of “listening the gift”. Her service in numerous fundraising roles over 16.5 years with the Phoenix Rescue Mission helped create and change the face of the Mission and its growth from $3,000,000 annually to more than $20 million annually (2004-2021). Particularly effective in problem solving, creating and/or enhancing development programs through strategic initiatives, orchestrating fundraising training for staff, board members and volunteers; focusing on excellence in performance and managing for long-term results, not merely quick-fix, transactional production. Experienced with incorporating new ideas into existing functions to build momentum and broader opportunities for involvement creates the motivation for others to do more than they ever thought possible. Combined skills, experience, knowledge and strengths include: Initiating/Teaching/Orchestrating the science and art of fundraising for a particular non-profit. Providing Servant Leadership as the model. Building Relational Fundraising Programs for the Long Term. Unique Strategic Donor-Centered Cultivation, Solicitation, Recognition and Stewardship. Capital Campaign Assessment, Pre-planning, Recommendations and Campaign Direction. Establishing and/or Streamlining Current Annual Fund Programs. Corporate and Foundation Relations Program Initiation/Enhancement. Working closely with the Board of Directors, collectively and individually. Developing and Utilizing the Case Statement Process Effectively. Establishing Donor Cultivation and Recognition Programs. Utilization of Fundraising Methodologies for Maximum Impact. Fundraising Inspiration/Education and Training for Board, Staff and Other Volunteer Leadership. Sue is fond of saying, “Philanthropic dollars are not free. They must be earned –with excellence and performance, with patience and long-suffering.”
Heather utilizes her 30+ years of nonprofit management and 45+ years of life experience to help organizations and individuals with their current needs. She meets them where they are and helps them implement solutions to evolve. Heather currently works as the Director of Donor Relations and Annual Programs at St. John's United Foundation. During her fundraising career, total funds raised exceeds $100 million; major gift fundraising, social impact investing, endowment and capital campaigns included. In her current position she’s increased the annual fund by 37% in less than two years and increased gifts over $1000 by 65%.
Previous organizations where served include, Surf & Turf, Chinook Horses, West End Exchange Club, Billings Chamber of Commerce, Orange County Community Foundation, Stand UP To Trash, Hispanic Scholarship Foundation, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs, Zappos, and NASCAR. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she majored in Communications and Public Relations, then went on to Pepperdine for a Masters in Psychology and is currently working on a Masters in Public Relations.
Heather recently founded a podcast called Worthy Rants - Conversations Worth Having - Revolved Around the Self -Worth of All Humans, where she talks to diverse people about their inspiring journey of self-worth and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. Guests include philanthropists, activist, celebrities, authors, film makers, and of course hard working people that are worth hearing from like YOU. She is a natural connector and advocate for all humans creating a welcoming space for souls to authentically be themselves.
Heather speaks and coaches professionally on the topics of fundraising, diversity, building community, human trafficking, career development, healing trauma, core values, self-worth, along with other lived experienced topics. She’s conducted over 100 retreats, workshops, and virtual trainings on fundraising, board development, speaking, self-worth, confidence, financial planning, volunteerism, abuse, parenting, and body image. She takes audiences on a captivating and authentic journey whether talking about any of the above, or just shooting the breeze. Her no-BS style makes audiences, laugh, question, ponder and take action in their lives and organizations.
From a warrior’s perspective, as a descendant of Pancho Villa and Geronimo, she entertains, guides and inspires through storytelling, including tales of wounds to wisdom.
In addition, Heather is the founder and author of The Worthiness Formula, Worthy YOUniversity, and The Worthy Ranch. She is a mother of five and the oldest of 11 children on a mission to cure the "unworthiness" disease by providing all with a dose of "good enough." She shares globally the proven formula to help people tap into the innate worth we all possess. Her formula teaches the value of identifying core values to become confident decision-makers and the importance of creating a supportive community for the journey. Her audiences include professionals, organizations, and individuals. Her passion is helping survivors of human trafficking and abuse at The Worthy Ranch in Montana, where she combines her love for horses and The Worthiness Formula coaching to help them take the next step in their life. www.theworthyranch.com
Chris Burgin is the founder and CEO of Allies in Youth Development, a nonprofit organization based out of Mansfield, Texas that serves orphans and vulnerable children in more than 60 countries on five continents around the world.
The journey to start Allies began when Chris visited a Russian orphanage with his church on a short-term mission trip. Learning about the plight of orphans in Russia broke his heart and birthed a determination to save the lives of those children. Chris and Director of International Operations Dr. Tatiana Baeva created the Allies Mentoring Program to save the lives of children from becoming a statistic when they age out of orphanages. Allies trains area leaders who organize groups of in-country volunteers to visit orphanages on a regular basis to provide orphans with life skills, humanitarian aid, educational, emotional, and spiritual support.
Chris started collecting in-kind donations for orphans in his garage in 2011 to ship to orphanages. Currently, Allies continues expanding warehouse and office space in Texas and shipped over 400 boxes last year and more than 20,000 pounds of aid overseas from the United States.
Chris holds a B.A. from Mississippi State University and a Master’s of Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Ten years as a small business owner and 15 years on staff at a local church provided him with the leadership skills and know-how to successfully create an organization that will influence generations across the globe.
Lauren Wilkie is a Licensed Independent and Clinical Social Worker uniquely qualified with Advanced Licensure in both advanced nonprofit business practice and clinical practice. She has been a key player directing and developing programs in nonprofits for over two decades. Lauren uses data analytics for program evaluation to grow agencies in ways that are both innovative and better serve the community. She specializes in community and organizational change through program revitalization maximizing their growth potential. Lauren is a visionary with the ability to get others on board. A local leader says Lauren approaches life and work with drive and consistent good humor.
A former mentor said, Lauren is a practical optimist who understands hard work and perseverance to get things done right. Lauren has worked in various roles and settings directing and developing programs with different size nonprofit and government agencies. She has helped hundreds of staff and student interns join the field of social work from her over twenty-two years overseeing student interns at her nonprofits, including eight years as an adjunct instructor with the University of South Carolina and A former supervisor said, Lauren is a visionary with the ability to get buy-in from others. She has created dozens of programs including a workforce development and an adult daycare within the largest homeless shelter in SC.
Safelight has served Henderson County since 1984 by Creating hope, healing lives, and changing community for survivors of violence, abuse, and exploitation. Lauren has been serving as the Executive Director of Safelight in Hendersonville, NC since August 2021. In her three-year tenure she has helped diversify and double Safelight’s annual operating budget to over 3.2 million. In her tenure she has renovated everything for more efficient and effective services for survivors and staff. She ensured the purchase, renovation, and move into a new facility housing four of Safelight’s six programs in nine months. Safelight’s programs are now all within walking distance for safer, faster services for survivors. Lauren helped increase and diversify programs and staff to better serve survivors including adding a formal outreach program, lethality assessment program, and onsite kennels for survivors' pets in shelter. She is currently building with her team a community-based option for adult survivors for forensic exams and interviews and a summer camp for child survivors. Her staff nicknamed her “the bulldog”.
Lauren has received recognition by University of South Carolina as a field instructor of the year awardee, an inaugural top ten Capital Young Leaders in Columbia, SC, a Live United Award recipient through United Way and has received the Paul Harris Fellow Award from Rotary International. In 2020, she was recognized by National Association of Social Workers (SC) as the social worker of the year. She was recognized with a scholarship in her name by Women United of the Midlands in Columbia, SC for her over ten years of service on their executive committee, as their chair for two years she helped quadruple membership and triple giving.
Lauren currently serves on diverse boards in our community to include NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, AdventHealth Foundation, Henderson County Partnership for Health, Rotary International and Chairs the International Committee, Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) Board, Women United Vice Chair with United Way of Henderson County, and member of the Legue of Women Voters for Henderson County.