Robert (Bob) Kennedy

Project Director

My passion is helping people in need and specifically helping people learn how to help themselves.  This passion came directly from my parents who were always helping neighbors.  I started volunteering and raising money for nonprofits at a very early age.  I spent several years before I was able to drive volunteering with an organization that collected and redistributed clothing and other household items to people in need.

Over time, my passion has focused on preventing homelessness and assisting economic development through education.  I have volunteered for the last four years teaching job search skills to homeless or at risk for homelessness individuals (primarily young mothers) though a joint Christian and Jewish Family Stabilization program.  I have also worked with an organization that sponsored Job Fairs and education for HR managers and recruiters.  My primary passion in the last three years has been raising money for scholarships for first generation students, entrepreneurship programs, and innovation in engineering and applied technology.  I was a first-generation college student myself and know the financial and social challenges of being the first person in a family to attend college.

This has impacted me greatly when I see a homeless single mother getting a job and moving her family into stable housing; or innovative students that would not have been able to attend college graduate and launch their own start up; or students that did not think anyone from their family was ever going to go to college start at a prestigious state university with everything they need to succeed.

Full Bio

Bob is a fundraising and business professional with more than 10 years of experience in higher education and 15 years of entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial business experience. He has founded several companies over the years and initiated innovation within large companies. For the majority of those years he was fundraising, serving on volunteer boards, and working on independent fundraising projects.

Bob is an expert in establishing relationships with a variety of people from diverse backgrounds, building a referral network, and developing mutually profitable and beneficial relationships. This relationship-focused approach has served him well in leading and managing complex for-profit and nonprofit organizations. He has proven skills in business operations, negotiation, recruiting, teaching, training, speaking, and mentoring. He has utilized his communication expertise often through the years with organization and business leaders when discussing business operations and process improvements, as well as outcomes-driven nonprofit investments.

Outside of the fundraising world, Bob loves to travel, hike, paint, cook, and is an avid photographer focusing on travel and nature photography.  He has had drawings and photographs featured in galleries and has won awards including Best in Show for an alumni exhibit.

Summary of Experience

  • Managed major gift operations for Florida Polytechnic University.
  • Led University’s first Feasibility Study and Capital Campaign, including reorganizing with a focus on major gifts, corporate and foundation relations, stewardship, and prospect research.
  • Led team to integrate Salesforce (donor system of record), Qgiv (payment processing), and Workday (accounting system) to automate processes and improve efficiency.
  • Member of the President’s Leadership Team, served on the board for Synapse Florida, Tampa Bay Tech, Central Florida Tech Alliance, and Central Florida Employment Council
  • Bachelor’s degree in Photography from Cornell, Master’s and Education Specialist’s degree in Higher Education Administration from University of Iowa, and completed coursework for PhD in Adult, Higher and Comparative Education at University of Missouri.