Carolyn’s Professional Work and Volunteering

You have reached the section of my blog focused specifically on my work in the nonprofit sector in fundraising and communications. I have for many years maintained a separate website for this purpose, but I am in the process of merging the two. Thanks for visiting and send me an email if you have questions (secure contact form available on this website).

My mission is to help communities, nonprofit organizations, donors and volunteers attain their fundraising, communications and public relations goals in the most efficient, thoughtful, and high quality manner possible.

With rare exception, I do most all campaign design and implementation myself. The same is true for digital communications. I am an independent, seasoned by many years of hands-on experience.

Ethical Development

The most successful and ethical “development” program involves building relationships that last for the long term. I prefer to involve myself with organizations that share that mindset. It takes time – often six months to a year or more – to identify, properly research, cultivate, approach, solicit and secure donations, particularly substantial gifts. Patience and diligence are just what nonprofit organizations need to consider when aiming for major gift giving.

Inc. FB Promo Edit


I have experience work across Texas and beyond, having lived and worked in Greater Houston, Greater Austin (two different times, and it is my current home), San Antonio (two separate times), Dallas and Corpus Christi. I have traveled across Texas from north to south and east to west visiting with donors, helping nonprofits large and small, and giving public presentations. Today, I also advise nonprofits across the world via social media, email conversation and video conferencing.

Sunset Clouds
I do most of my own photography, using an iPhone. Shown is a view of clouds at sunset in Bee Cave, Texas, with wording courtesy of the Over app.

How I Do It

I have learned to “do more with less” by:

  • Thinking “smart,” reviewing resources you have on hand, and pondering how those might be enhanced or refined in order to move your project forward;
  • Using new technologies when and where appropriate. I am tech savvy and adopt new technologies fairly quickly.
  • Staffing donors, volunteers and executives thoughtfully and fully to enable significant donations to be secured from their colleagues (as they are most comfortable); and by
  • Making use of your existing resources wisely.

While many believe major gift campaigns require an army of staff, the truth is, they do not. Large financial goals do not also mean large numbers of people on staff, nor large numbers of donors. Most successful campaigns on which I have worked attain their goals through the thoughtful, highly-tailored cultivation and solicitation of a relatively modest number of carefully identified, committed donors capable of making major gift donations.


Tackling Challenges

I have become known for being able to clean-up “challenged” fundraising projects where quite a bit was spent on large, supposedly full-service consulting firms that were ultimately unsuccessful. I have seen nonprofits spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on them. I have been a “turnaround” fundraiser on more than one occasion. And, I have been asked to work with – or without – staff. I have learned over the years to be self-reliant.

Success depends upon careful evaluation, rolling-up one’s sleeves to do real work, courage and a “can do” mindset, believing in a good cause, and in not employing a “preset” consultant’s format. Each nonprofit is unique! One can learn from prior campaigns, of course, but major gift and special project efforts succeed best when the plan of action and its implementation are tailored specifically to the nonprofit and its constituents.

Some have asked if all one reads on this website is true. Yes! In fact, I have under-reported many of my accomplishments.

I believe in diversity!

I work with people of all political viewpoints, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and people of all ages regardless of sexual orientation or economic status. Some of my greatest achievements have been with small startups with almost no capital, and nonprofits with only a few donors. And, I am a “straight” person who is a #StraightAlly.

If you have questions of any kind, use the contact form. It reaches me quickly and will keep you out of the “spam” folder.