Chris Hughes

Project Director

My career path to Convergent started in sports marketing and public relations (PR) working for colleges and professional teams for more than a decade. Before that, I worked with regional and national radio and television broadcasts covering many sports. I lost count a long time ago of how many times I’ve been in a press box.

My passion for fundraising started in earnest while coordinating annual scholarship fundraising events for a college on the west coast. Many of those beneficiaries were first-generation college students. I always loved that scholarships generated from these efforts could truly make a difference for those young men and women and their families for generations to come.

I decided to shift my PR and marketing skills to a different focus, and since then I’ve had the incredible opportunity to raise money for charities and organizations of all types and sizes.

What I love the most about fundraising is that I believe every organization truly can make a difference. It doesn’t matter if their “community” has a local, regional, national, or international reach. What matters is their desire to make that community better, and I am excited to play a role at Convergent where we can help make that goal a reality.

Full Bio

Chris brings to Convergent clients nearly a quarter century of fundraising, marketing, publicity, and planning experience, including work with more than 50 organizations of all types and sizes.

Chris surpassed revenue and other priority goals for organizations in every corner of the U.S. His capabilities can analyze an organization’s assets and liabilities to identify opportunities for substantial growth. He cultivated stronger relationships and crafted impactful messages for investors/donors and stakeholders.

His comprehensive, fundamental-based approach yields growth in both fundraising donors and dollars. For example, while a member of the fundraising team at Carnegie Mellon University’s business school, he helped generate increased donors and dollars in four- consecutive years despite an ongoing economic recession.

Chris’ experience also includes a strong understanding of how to develop and execute strategic approaches to ensure success in any project. He not only has created shorter-term fundraising, PR, and marketing plans for schools and nonprofits, but also comprehensive, longer-term strategic plans.

Before his fundraising career start, Chris specialized in sports PR and marketing, primarily in Chicago and Los Angeles. During this time, he worked with some of the nation’s top athletes, coaches, and media outlets.

Summary of Experience

  • Fundraising for organizations with focuses on social and cultural needs, politics, higher education, sports, PBS/NPR television and radio stations, music/fine arts, museums, and support for the hungry and homeless
  • Master of Ceremonies and committee work for banquets, auctions, and special events, including gala events featuring sports legends Billie Jean King and John Wooden
  • Presenting faculty for Ruffalo Noel Levitz fundraising conferences in Chicago and Minneapolis as well as the AFP Western PA chapter’s annual conference. Served as RNL’s Director of Fundraising Strategy from 2013-16.
  • Published four white papers along with case studies and blog posts on various aspects of fundraising
  • Former Academic All-America selection district chair for College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA)
  • PR director for future pro athletes in the NFL, NBA, PGA Tour and minor league baseball
  • B.S. in Communications from Northwestern University
  • MBA from Robert Morris University