Fundraising Campaign Consultants Serving New York City
Organizational Design, Board Building, and Capital Campaigns
Our mission is to fund yours. We provide management and fundraising counsel to visionary leaders of the nonprofit sector. We enrich New York City charities with vast experience, steady counsel, and innovative thinking around organizational design, board development, and fundraising.
ARTS & CULTURE
Board Building to Capital Campaigns
We build powerful and effective museum boards. We create organizational designs for nonprofit founders. We spearhead winning capital campaigns for iconic New York City buildings. We advise global cultural powerhouses such as The Africa Center, Aperture Foundation, Museum of Arts and Design, National Academy of Design, and Whitney Museum of American Art. We advise the country’s finest performing arts companies, such as American Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music@Lincoln Center, Film@Lincoln Center, Jazz@Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, and New York City Opera. We champion free expression by fundraising for Academy of American Poets, Authors Guild Foundation, PEN, and WNYC Public Radio.
Strategic Plans to Endowments
We empower educators with a wealth of fundraising knowledge. New York City charter schools (K-8), private and public high schools, and research universities reap the benefits of our fundraising counsel. We advise STEM schools for the mathematically gifted, an art center for children with disabilities, and a design center that teaches public school students living in poverty how to improve their environments and their lives. We work with leaders of Catholic education as well as the preeminent university of Jewish values. Our roster includes Brilla College Prep, Bronx Science, Educando, Maria Regina, Neighborhood Studios, Publicolor, Seton Education, and Yeshiva University.
Gala Benefits to Legacy Campaigns
The largest human services organizations in New York State count on our board building and capital campaign services. Catholic Charities, Food Bank for New York City, Graham Windham, and Urban Pathways tackle the toughest and most complex social issues. Their work spans foster care and adoption, elderly care, food insecurity, homelessness, mental health, and immigration. Our fundraising consultants provide them with board training, strategic plans, feasibility studies, fundraising plans, and capital campaign direction. Our dedication to our clients is matched only by their dedication to the New Yorkers they serve with dignity and compassion, day in, day out.
WE ENRICH CHARITIES
Let our planning and development team position your organization for transformational growth. We offer a full suite of institutional development services, from strategic planning and fundraising direction to database analytics and prospect research.
PLANNING AND FUNDRAISING
Your mission is ours to advance. Our planning and development team will help to create a positive and powerful culture of philanthropy that drives your success.
• Fundraising Counsel
• Capital Campaigns
• Strategic Plans
• Feasibility Studies
• Board Building
• Donor Councils
• Major Gift Strategies
• Solicitation Workshops
• Corporate Sponsorship
• Foundation Grants
• Patrons Programs
• Annual Fund
• Special Events
• Interim Direction
Our prospect researchers conduct database wealth scans and create major donor profiles using premium tech resources, including:
• Dun & Bradstreet
• Hoover’s Business
• Marquis Who’s Who
• Reuters Market Guide
• VeriGift by iWave
NYC FUNDRAISING CONSULTANTS
Arts and Culture, Education, and Human Services
In Campaign Fundraising
For New York Nonprofits
OUR CLIENTS LEAD THE WAY
We are grateful for the opportunity to advance the mission of these exceptional nonprofit organizations that improve the world in miraculous ways.
• The Africa Center
• Aid for AIDS International
• American Symphony Orchestra
• Aperture Foundation
• Authors Guild Foundation
• Brilla College Prep
• Bronx High School of Science
• Catholic Charities
• Chamber Music@Lincoln Center
• Educando (World Fund)
• Film@Lincoln Center
• Food Bank for NYC
• Graham Windham
• Jazz@Lincoln Center
• Jazz Foundation of America
• Maria Regina High School
• Museum of Arts and Design
• National Academy of Design
• New York City Opera
• Seton Education Partners
• Symphony Space
• Urban Pathways
• Whitney Museum of American Art
• WNYC Public Radio
• Yeshiva University
Our capital campaign projects to fund the development and revitalization of iconic New York City buildings, include:
• The Africa Center
• Alice Tully Hall
• Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center
• Frederick P. Rose Hall
• Jerome L. Green Performance Space
• Leonard A. Lauder Building
• Symphony Space
HARNESSING THE POWER OF PHILANTHROPY
Tess O’Dwyer is a fundraising consultant and turnaround expert who has transformed countless charities in New York City. She specializes in institutional design, board building, and capital campaigns for art museums, cultural centers, schools, universities, and human services organizations.
Prior to her consultancy, Tess served as Vice President for Cultural Affairs and Development at the Americas Society and Council of the Americas, Director of Development at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Associate Director of Major and Individual Gifts at Lincoln Center. She has produced international cultural festivals, directed successful capital campaigns, and created record-breaking gala benefits. Her fundraising operations ranked Top 10 in a survey of 200+ museums by the Association of American Art Museum Directors. Her events ranked 1st in net revenue and Top 10 in style by Bizbash. She has provided fundraising commentary to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Grant Writing, Bloomberg News, and The New York Times.
Tess is the Board Chair of the Academy of American Poets. She has served on the boards of the Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard University, Evergreen Review, Garden State Film Festival, and PEN America. With a Masters in English from Rutgers University, she won the Columbia University Translation Center Award. Her books in translation include the social realist novel Martin Rivas (Oxford) by Alberto Blest Gana and the postmodern classics Empire of Dreams (Yale) and Yo-Yo Boing! (AmazonCrossing) by Giannina Braschi. Tess co-edited Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas (Routledge) and Poets, Philosophers, Lovers: On the Writings of Giannina Braschi (Pittsburgh). She is an avid collector of contemporary art and design.
Tess O’Dwyer has comprehensive knowledge of the field of fundraising and is a brilliant strategist. She rather quickly grasps the power structure inherent in any funding challenge and starts creating a roadmap to its solution. She is the essence of “high energy”, and is capable of considering several levels of information at once to tailor-make actionable steps forward. (I suspect she has never heard of a cookie cutter!) This sophistication makes her particularly valuable to those in high-visibility leadership positions. She is also a trustworthy confidant. Her qualifications could rightfully make her intimidating, but instead she brings great wit, kindness, and human understanding to all aspects of her work. In working with her on several projects, I found that with Tess O’Dwyer as a partner, no undertaking felt too daunting.
Norma Hurlburt, Former Director, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Tess is the best. Her knowledge, research, customized approach, and responsiveness have resulted in a highly successful campaign to date. She is an absolute pleasure to learn from and work with. She has gone above and beyond. Every facet of our experience has been top-notch.
Jess Dannhauser, CEO, Graham Windham
Tess O’Dwyer is a leading mind in this field and a consummate professional. Her years of experience, steady counsel, and innovative thinking around fundraising, organizational design, board building and management have been transformative for The Africa Center during a crucial stage of our transition.”
Uzodinma Iweala, CEO, The Africa Center
I’ve known Tess for over 15 years, ever since seeking her out to institutionalize and develop the board of an international NGO I founded. She truly is one of the most strategic and insightful people I know. Tess is the smartest person in most rooms she enters, but instead of lording it over you, she’s someone who takes your hand and kindly leads you to where her creative mind goes. And where it goes has proven, time and time again, to be a practical, yet audacious, plan that supports the flourishing of an organization.
Luanne Zurlo, Board Chair, Educando
Tess O’Dwyer is a top-notch nonprofit management and fundraising expert. She is an outstanding communicator and strategic thinker. Tess can effectively manage all aspects of project whether it be a campaign, gala benefit, or building a new board of trustees. I highly recommend her for your non-profit management needs
Nadine Slowik, Development, National Academy of Design
Tess is an exceptional fundraiser, mentor, and person. I’ve had the pleasure to work with her on a number of projects for close to ten years. Her professionalism and knowledge would benefit any nonprofit.
Norma Stafford, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York
Tess O’Dwyer is a consummate professional who knows how to steer a fundraising operation. She is results oriented and strategically aligned with an organization’s mission and priorities. I recommend her services highly.
Terri Coppersmith, VP Advancement, Cooper Union
Tess O’Dwyer is a passionate fundraiser, exceptional mentor, and thoughtful colleague. I highly recommend working with her — it is a true joy.
Owen Duffy, Ph.D., St. John’s University
Tess O’Dwyer is an incredibly smart strategist. She is an invaluable asset to any organization that engages her.
Cathy McNamara, Principal, CMI Events, Inc.
Tess O’Dwyer is simply a brilliant fundraiser and strategist.
Emily Mead, Development, Food Bank for New York City
Tess O’Dwyer is a genius at fundraising! Professional and has a wealth of information to help you achieve your goals.
R. Wessin, Development, Museum of Arts and Design
I have been working with Tess O’Dwyer on and off for two decades, during which time we worked on transformational art museums and performing arts centers that brought in millions of dollars and otherwise made significant progress in proving the resources necessary for advancing the missions of multiple nonprofits. I count Tess as one the best in capital campaign fundraising and nonprofit management.
Kit Baker, Grant Advisor
Tess O’Dwyer has the gift to listen first and completely digest what the client is looking for in their fundraising needs. She doesn’t hold back from telling the truth. In these very uncertain times she is the rock that a non-profit needs to figure out what is reasonable and obtainable from all fundraising sources as well as using her entrepreneurial brain to think of other potential revenue sources. She helped so many clients through 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis. She is someone to rely on.
Gavin Berger, Performing Arts Consultant
Incredibly experienced in a breadth of fundraising, board, and development areas. Tess is smart and very savvy about people and a pleasure to work with.
Jenny Hourihan, CFO + COO, The Africa Center
I have been working with (and sometimes for) Tess O’Dwyer for over 20 years. Her strategic and creative fundraising firm is a huge benefit for NYC nonprofits. Her depth of knowledge and experience in campaign fundraising makes her an incredibly valuable partner.
Anna Sheehan, Prospect Researcher
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