Senior Project Director
My career in nonprofit started in the early 1990’s, shortly after college. Like many just out of school, I really did not have a clear vision of what I wanted to do with my life. As I wandered from job to job in my first year after graduating, I felt ever so driven to find what inspires me and how to make a difference. One day, while cruising the classifieds in the paper, I came across an opening for a Development Director at my local Boys & Girls Club. I didn’t know what the position entailed but I went to a Boys & Girls Club as a kid and figured it might give me a leg up in the interview. Despite having no experience, the Executive I interviewed with hired me after the first interview.
Three months into my new position, the Executive Director retired, and my department was given the directive to help oversee a $3 million capital campaign. I was terrified, to say the least. The Executive Director gave me some great advice that stands the test 25 years later. He said, “all you need is a good agency and their reputation, a solid plan of action, and the right community volunteers leading the charge. If you do that, you can’t help but be successful.” From that day, I was off to the races!
What I realized then is that one person can make a difference with those three key ingredients to a successful capital campaign. (By the way, we ended up raising $3.2 million.) Knowing that the resources we are raising for any community will have a sustainable and long-term impact is what truly motivates me. When we finish a project, there is a great sense of accomplishment knowing that I’m leaving a community/agency better off than when I arrived.
While I could go on and on, I’ll simply end with something my Club director told me as a kid. “Attitudes are contagious, is yours worth catching?” Working in this business, you can’t help but see and feel the attitudes of our clients to make a difference each and every day. I’m glad I have caught their positive “can do” attitudes.
Tom’s professional experience spans over twenty years of consulting on capital campaign operations. His multi-faceted background includes: strategic planning, fundraising, leadership development, organizational operations, and management.
Prior to joining Convergent, Tom spent fifteen years with two other national capital campaign consulting firms. His earliest fundraising efforts included national staff positions with two globally recognized nonprofits. Responsibilities included a variety of consulting activities in project management, leadership development, coordination and administrative efforts that supported campaign operations, and strategy for resource development staff and volunteers.
He has conducted numerous feasibility studies and directed successful capital campaigns across the country, raising in excess of $125 million for Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development Organizations, as well as Community Youth Development and health organizations. It is this foundation that provides him the know-how to help clients achieve their goals, particularly in multi-faceted campaigns.
Tom’s ability to build team consensus quickly, to help enlist the right campaign cabinet, and to deliver campaign results on-time, under budget, and at-goal has resulted in satisfied clients, volunteers, and campaign investors.
Summary of Experience
- Created and drove capital campaigns on brick and mortar building funds for four entrepreneurial and small business start-up centers and incubators across the country.
- Significant campaign successes include:
- $16 million for Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce (SD).
- $11 million for Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce (AL).
- $10 million for Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce (NC).
- $5 million for Asheville Chamber / Buncombe County EDC (NC).
- $5 million for Local Initiatives Support Coalition (VA).
- $4 million for North Carolina’s Eastern Alliance (NC).
- $4 million for Lexington Chamber of Commerce (KY).
- $4 million for Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce (SC).
- Attended St. Bonaventure University and Hamilton College, earning degrees in Theology and Economics.