My Personal Pathway to Passionate Philanthropy

At the beginning

After working briefly as an attorney, and then in legal publishing, I decided a better way (for me) to help people was through philanthropy. Philanthropy facilitation, to be precise.

I took my wide-eyed idealism to change the world and brought it with me to the social benefit sector. I knew I could put together a persuasive argument and instinctively felt that could be the basis for a fulfilling career. I got lucky!

Claire_Axelrad_112_250x412Midway down the path…

What followed was a 30-year career as a frontline leader overseeing staff of 20+ professionals for such organizations as San Francisco Food Bank, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Jewish Community Center, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and California School of Professional Psychology. Together, we raised millions of dollars.

I led the creation and implementation of strategic marketing, business and fundraising plans, helped launch earned revenue businesses, and developed volunteer programs, committees and boards. The culmination of this in-the-trenches phase of my career was being honored as “Outstanding Fundraising Professional of the Year” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Where I am today…

In 2011 I decided to found my own fundraising training and coaching business to serve as a resource on philanthropy for a broader spectrum of organizations, and to mentor wannabe and current development staff, executive directors and boards. Clairification is my own mini online fundraising “school.” It’s just the type of school I’d want to attend, and I hope you will too.

Every week I offer helpful, in-depth articles – theory, practice, tools and tips. Each one’s content is the equivalent of an online webinar or conference course. But it won’t take up an hour of your time and you can access the material at your convenience. Plus, “tuition” is almost free. Your annual $50 subscription fee covers a full year of “school.” If that’s too steep, you can still get my bimonthly “Clairity Click-it” curated resources delivered direct to your inbox for free.

I also offer collaborative coaching and mentoring, online courses, webinars, e-courses, podcasts and a variety of helpful resources, including sample templates and scripts. I’m available for on-site speeches, workshops and board retreats as well.

I continue to teach the CFRE course that certifies professional fundraisers, and contribute regularly to online publishers NonprofitPro, Guidestar and Maximize Social Business. I am a featured expert for Bloomerang, 4GOOD Nonprofit Webinars, Network for Good and TopNonprofits/ThirdSectorToday, among others.

My blog was named “Top Fundraising Blog” by Fundraising Success. I am a member of the California State Bar, an alumna of The Fundraising School, the Conrad Teitell Intensive Planned Giving Program and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Executive Leadership Institute, and a graduate with honors from Princeton University. I currently reside in San Francisco, California.

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