Rick Kiernan


I fell into nonprofit fundraising in the mid-90s by complete chance through a friend of a friend. I had no idea the industry existed, and it’s fascinated me ever since. The work I do truly makes a difference. I can visit client communities across the country and see new YMCAs and animal shelters, affordable housing for those who need it most, economically-thriving communities, and more – all because of the funding I helped raise. It’s difficult to call my work a job; it’s easy to call it my passion.

On a personal level, two nonprofit missions resonate most with me. The first are those organizations that work with low- to moderate-income individuals and families, which include community health centers, affordable housing, shelters, crisis assistance, food pantries, and more. The difference we can make in the lives of our fellow man is truly significant, and I’ve witnessed this firsthand across the country. The second mission that resonates with me are animal shelters. My wife and I don’t have children, but we adopted two dogs who changed our lives forever. We’ve since fostered and adopted again, and we plan to continue doing so for as long as we can.

This work humbled me. Nonprofits help others. You can plan on conquering the world… until you see someone in need. Then nothing else really matters. Since joining the fundraising industry in 1996, Rick has provided counsel in dozens of nonprofits in communities throughout the nation. His expertise has resulted in raising more than $200 million for nonprofits including economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, promise programs, affordable housing organizations, community development organizations, charter schools, YMCAs, humane societies, and the Boy Scouts of America. This diverse assortment of fundraising experience provides Rick with a rare, well-rounded understanding of all aspects of community fundraising – both economic and community development.


Rick previously served as the founder and President of Integrity Fundraising, a boutique firm that worked with just a few clients every year. His intimate and extensive involvement in every project led to a long list of happy clients and references, and he brings this focus on quality to Convergent.

Although Rick has clients across the country, he spends the majority of his time working with clients in the Carolinas and attending SCEDA and NCEDA meetings and events.

Summary of Experience

  • Led feasibility studies and/or capital campaigns in 15 different states throughout the country, from South Carolina to Massachusetts to California.
  • Graduated from numerous leadership and training initiatives, including:
    • US Chamber’s Institute for Organizational Management (2014).
    • South Carolina’s Economic Development Institute (2014).
    • Boston Chamber’s Future Leaders (2007).
    • Leadership MetroWest (2006).
    • Leadership Raleigh (2001).
  • Serves on many nonprofit boards, including:
    • North Carolina Economic Developers Association (2014-2017).
    • Boston Minuteman Council, Boy Scouts of America (2009-present).
    • Natick (MA) Economic Development Council (2010-2012).
    • Natick (MA) Affordable Housing Trust (2009-2011).
  • Executive MBA from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and BA in Business Management from North Carolina State University.