Lee Mikell, CFRE
Years ago, I worked at a State Capitol as a legislative assistant and became acquainted with senior administration for a major university. They camped out at the capitol to lobby on issues and said that whenever I wanted to do “honest work,” they would put me to work as a fundraiser. That began my dream profession.
To help nonprofits raise resources and accomplish their mission in a short period of time motivates me to continue in this life-changing career. Working with a wide range of nonprofit organizations is a real joy, and I find that they all have one common ingredient… a passion for improving the lives of people and their community.
I collect quotes. Two, in particular, that put my fundraising heart on fire are:
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
~ Frederick Douglass
Lee works with nonprofit organizations and institutions of all sizes, sectors, and missions. Colleges and universities, hospitals and healthcare operations, and community-based organizations nationwide have benefited from Lee’s expertise in planning and managing capital campaigns.
Past professional experiences in institutional fundraising leadership positions enable him to help clients who might not yet be ready to launch a capital campaign build sustainable fundraising capacity. Lee’s capacity building service expertise includes developing annual, major, and planned giving; organizing overall advancement office operations geared toward efficiency and growth; and engaging and training board members, volunteers, and staff.
Innovation, change, and results are hallmarks of Lee’s work experience. One notable example is his design and guidance for implementing The University System of Georgia Foundation’s “Leadership Mentoring and Professional Development Program.” This program was novel in its approach with a multi-leveled framework that fosters education and mentorship among advancement professionals throughout the system’s 31 colleges and universities. Participants became acquainted with, and developed bonds among, fellow professionals by visiting each other’s Advancement Offices, as well as receiving on-going training and education.
Summary of Experience
- Raised over $500 million in more than 50 capital campaigns and over 40 non-campaign philanthropy building initiatives.
- Acted as lead fundraising counsel for Troy University’s $200 million capital campaign, the largest in school history.
- Held various senior leadership positions on the advancement staffs of two public and two private universities, three national consulting firms, and directed advancement efforts for a healthcare foundation.
- Built his career on the cornerstones of being a value and faith-based professional.
- Former political staffer working on campaigns and policy development for various elected officials ranging from school board to a Presidential candidate.
- Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation.
- BA and MS in Public Administration from Louisiana State University.
Working with Lee was such a pleasure! Not only was he extremely helpful in developing the proper framework for our capital campaign, he fit in well with our community. He was a great teacher, educating our team on the “how-to’s” of fundraising, and he always put both myself and potential funders at ease during our meetings. Our board and staff all felt comforted knowing that he was there to support and guide us throughout our capital campaign.
Mayor Joan Foster, Director of Development
Beacon of Hope, VA