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Fundraising Leadership Academy

I am beyond thrilled to have launched the Fundraising Leadership Academy!

The Fundraising Leadership Academy is a six-month program designed to better support individuals in vital fundraising roles at local nonprofit organizations. It is also a space to share best practices, struggles and successes with peers. At the end of the program, participating individuals have additional self-care resources and each nonprofit has a personalized, actionable development toolkit using data and materials from their organization.

It wasn’t long ago that I was in a direct fundraising and I vividly remember the pressures and challenges fundraisers face daily, even when we love our jobs and colleagues. The funds are never enough, there is never enough time in the day, and fundraisers are always “on” and accessible. It’s wonderful supporting the great work being done to shape our community but it can also be exhausting. Given the right tools it can be so much easier!

Some of the things I wish I had when I was in direct fundraising were more time for planning, more time to learn, more time for me, and someone I could call for guidance. Now in a consulting role, I am approached by many who need help but often can’t afford traditional consulting services. Knowing both, it was time to think differently and help bring leaders together to try something new. With the guidance and support of 12 amazing corporate and foundation donors helping to remove this financial barrier, we’ve created an opportunity for fundraisers to build a cohort of peers. Here we do a deep dive into accessible, affordable fundraising training because we know when fundraisers are successful, nonprofits thrive and our community is stronger.

The program is designed for a class of 20 fundraising professionals as part of The Columbus Foundation’s Nonprofit Forum. The consortium of funding companies includes the American Electric Power Foundation, The Cardinal Health Foundation, The Columbus Foundation, Grange Insurance, Honda, Huntington, LBrands Foundation, Nationwide, PNC, and Worthington Industries. Self-care components are generously provided by Debbie Penzone’s team at PENZONE Salon + Spas and LIT Life + Yoga. This collaborative group cares about your mission, work and impact on this community.

Our hope is that this program is a gift to the fundraisers in our community and the many nonprofits they serve.


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How Can I Participate?

Participating nonprofits are selected by the Fundraising Leadership Academy’s Advisory Council, consisting of representatives from funding organizations. If you would like to be considered for participation, please contact Adrienne Selsor and your interest will be shared with the Advisory Council.