Board Members and Nonprofit Leaders: It’s Time.

By Molly Hansen, Vice President

As we ask ourselves: Now What? What do we do in this ever-evolving “new normal?” It’s time to take action. Here are the five actions to take today.

As a consultant with The Alford Group and former development professional with more than 30 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector, when my colleagues and I see what is happening all around us, we regularly ask “How might we have the most positive impact with our clients? How can we improve our work so that our clients can better serve their participants, members, families, patients, students, children and youth?” Continue reading “Board Members and Nonprofit Leaders: It’s Time.”

Equity-Centered Philanthropy: Honoring the Past While Celebrating the Future

By Brenda B. Asare, President and CEO, The Alford Group

On the heels of Black History Month and at the beginning of Women’s History Month, it is not lost on me that we need to celebrate diversity now more than ever. And it is important that we do not relegate our recognition of the contribution of Blacks and women to just one month.

sankofa image
Sankofa means “go back and fetch it.” We must look back to the past so that we may understand how we became what we are, and move forward to a better future.

Sankofa is an African word from the Akan tribe in Ghana. The symbol, based on the mythical bird with its feet firmly planted forward with its head turned backwards, serves as a reminder that the past serves as a guide for planning the future. It is the wisdom of looking back to look forward.

Diversity has been a core value of The Alford Group for our 41-year history and we recently renewed our commitment to fostering and creating adaptive cultures that are more inclusive and equitable in our work as a firm, with our clients and in the entire social sector. We are elevating equity-centered philanthropy as intentional action toward changing the structures, roles, processes, representation and practices that perpetuate inequities in how organizations communicate, engage and build relationships to support philanthropic endeavors.

Continue reading “Equity-Centered Philanthropy: Honoring the Past While Celebrating the Future”

Planning for the New Normal in 2021: The 3 Cornerstones to Success

By Karen Rotko-Wynn, CFRE, Chief Business Enterprise Officer, The Alford Group and Immediate Past-Chair of the AFP U.S. Foundation for Philanthropy

As I have stood side-by-side this last year with some of the brightest and most creative fundraisers that I know, I have continued to be amazed and in awe of the strength and utter tenacity of the individuals who lead our sector. It is an understatement to say it was an unusually challenging year. Continue reading “Planning for the New Normal in 2021: The 3 Cornerstones to Success”

Be a SMARTIE: An Equity-Forward Approach to Goal Setting

By Michelle Bibbs, Associate Senior Consultant

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King

The start of a new year usually inspires goal-setting. In the social impact sector, we all strive for more than to just get things done. We aim to drive impact, to change outcomes – sometimes to change entire systems that affect outcomes for people and communities.

The times we are in have made clear that in order to make an impact for more of us, the nonprofit sector – like the public and private sectors – have to center inclusion and equity as core values and lean on those values to guide our work.

If we are not taking an equity-centered approach in our work, then we are only creating impact for some of us, not all.

If you change nothing, nothing changes.  Uncertain times demand that we constantly explore new ways to make change in our workplaces and communities.  In the current “new normal” the question becomes how? Continue reading “Be a SMARTIE: An Equity-Forward Approach to Goal Setting”

Vice President

Full time position | Seattle/Puget Sound Region | Currently virtual environment

The Alford Group is an equity-centered national full-service consulting firm founded over 40 years ago on the principle that our human differences make the nonprofit sector stronger. To make the world a better place for ALL people, The Alford Group brings insight, rigor and innovation to strengthen the social sector and deepen its impact. Our dedicated and experienced professional team delivers customized strategies and guidance to empower organizations to make a difference and change the world.

As a woman and minority-owned and led firm, The Alford Group strengthens the social sector through equity-centered services and practices and values the diversity of the people it hires and serves. Equity, diversity, inclusion, and access at our firm means fostering a workplace in which individual differences are recognized, appreciated, respected, and responded to in ways that fully develop and utilize each person’s talents and strengths.

Job Description

Key to The Alford Group’s and our client’s success, the Vice President works across service lines and leads consulting teams in the full spectrum of client engagements and equity centered strategies, through feasibility studies, campaign design and implementation, development assessments, strategic planning, and data analytics. We are seeking a professional with training and experience in guiding organizations and elevating their work to establish and achieve diversity, equity and inclusion goals.

The Vice President is responsible for developing new business, growing client relationships through impactful partnerships, and playing a major role in managing and mentoring staff as it relates to client engagements. The individual will ideally be based in the Seattle/Puget Sound region.

The Alford Group provides solutions to complex problems and opportunities related to strategy, philanthropy, impact measurement, and organizational development. The Alford Group seeks talented professionals with nonprofit and fundraising experience, as well as those with transferable consulting, communications, marketing, and/or strategic planning experience, to join our dynamic team.

Performance Objectives

Client Relationship and Service Management

  • Cultivate and maintain close relationships with clients, prospective clients, and the broader philanthropic, civic, and corporate community.
  • Work closely with collegial and highly professional consulting teams to fulfill a wide variety of client assignments, serving as the project lead and delivering service through a multi-level team approach and contribute to service innovation.
  • Work with other professionals in the firm to ensure that The Alford Group’s vision, mission, and values are at the forefront of everything it does. Work together to improve equity, diversity and inclusion across the sector.

Sales, Marketing and Business Development

  • Serve as a representative of The Alford Group and market the firm’s expertise in all service lines and sectors.
  • Maximize relationships, networking and speaking opportunities to identify, generate, and pursue leads for new business/revenue expansion. Each position in the firm has specific revenue and sales goals.
  • Develop and manage a portfolio of sales opportunities; create a sales pipeline; take the lead in discovery and proposal conceptualization; assist in developing presentation materials; present to potential clients; and negotiate contract terms.
  • Speak and conduct presentations in client, sales, and business development venues.

External Relations and Professional Visibility

  • Be a recognized leader and respected contributor to the nonprofit sector and offer the firm expertise in an area of specialty that can be well positioned in the field.
  • Participate in professional associations and workshops as a member of The Alford Group team.

Position Specifications

  • Full time position
  • Reports to Chief Client Experience Officer


  • Ten to fifteen years of progressive, relevant, professional work experience(s) in the nonprofit sector or as a consultant to the sector, with at least seven years of management experience.
  • Experience working with boards to increase their effectiveness as leaders, connectors, fundraisers and strategic partners and volunteer experience with other nonprofit volunteer organizations.
  • Self-disciplined, self-starter with a strong work ethic; ability to work and think independently, evaluating and offering fresh thinking and breakthrough ideas where appropriate; ability to self-motivate and work without close supervision.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop new programs/initiatives and expand revenue streams, preferably in a professional services firm.
  • Ability to both think strategically and critically as well as synthesize complex information in order to provide client solutions.
  • Strong project management skills, with the ability to engage productive participation from other project team members as well ability to be flexible and delegate appropriately when working under pressure with competing deadlines.
  • Consultative, strategic, and successful selling approach; ability to develop and grow professional relationships, and ability to think entrepreneurially about building a sales network.
  • Exceptional communications skills: ability to establish professional rapport with all people and support the firm’s commitment to commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Outstanding listening skills: ability to listen carefully and to be able to actively advance understanding and communication.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; the ability to write relevant reports and recommendations, tailored to each client’s unique challenges and opportunities.
  • A history of success in achieving or exceeding financial goals including managing projects within budget.
  • Ability to exemplify Alford Group values – Equity, Creativity, Diversity, Excellence, Integrity, Joyfulness, Leadership and Respect.
  • Strong and confident public speaker and facilitator.
  • Proficiency and self-sufficiency with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook.
  • Proficiency and self-sufficiency with project management and customer relationship management (CRM) software.
  • Flexible to work occasional early mornings, evenings and weekends as required by client and firm engagements.
  • Must be able to travel frequently and independently both locally and nationally.

Desired attributes

  • Significant experience in raising funds to benefit nonprofit organizations in the Pacific Northwest/Puget Sound region.
  • Specialized experience and/or advocacy in developing tools and resources to guide organizations and elevate their work to establish and achieve diversity, equity and inclusion goals.
  • An advanced degree or equivalent, and/or CFRE or equivalent relevant certification.
  • A history of community service, with experience serving on a nonprofit board strongly preferred.

Position details

Compensation – Base and variable pay between $100,000 and $135,000 plus bonus

Confidential Data- Our team members have access to sensitive, confidential information and are trusted to maintain these files and documents properly.

Physical Demands – The position requires sitting and working on a computer for long periods of time as well as occasional lifting and carrying of presentation materials and supplies. Consultants must be able to interact seamlessly with clients through visual, aural, physical and written communications.

Work Environment – Inside average office environment. Average office noise levels. No personal protective equipment required. Currently, working in a virtual environment due to the Coronavirus pandemic.


To apply:  Please submit a cover letter indicating salary expectations, resume and two relevant writing samples (e.g. reports, plans or proposals that demonstrate fundraising expertise and DEI organizational work, etc.) and three to five references.


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    Tomorrow’s New Normal: 4 elements of an action-forward approach to planning


    • Alexis Cooke, Senior Consultant, The Alford Group
    • Jamie Phillippe, CFRE, Vice President, The Alford Group


    • Felicia Davis, President and CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women
    • Darrin Goss, President and CEO, Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina
    • Rachel Krinsky, Executive Director, LifeWire
    • Michele Stauff, Executive Director, Million Dollar Round Table Foundation

    Slide Deck: Planning Webinar Presentation_The Alford Group

    Tomorrow’s New Normal: 4 elements of an action-forward approach to planning

    Thursday, October 22, 2020


    The world has transformed in the last 6 months. A global pandemic, national social movements to create a just and fair society, environmental crisis after crisis – the list goes on. How do you plan for the future? What do you prioritize and what do you set aside? How do you anticipate what things will be like in the coming year? These are all good questions that no one has the exact answers to – but there is a lot we DO know. In this webinar, we will share with you 4 elements that every organization can use to strengthen its planning. A panel of experts discussed how they are using these 4 elements in leading their organizations through crisis response, scenario and/or strategic planning.



    Alexis Cooke, Senior Consultant, The Alford Group




    Jamie Phillippe, Vice President, The Alford Group






    Felicia S. Davis, President and CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women




    Darrin Goss, President and CEO, Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina




    Rachel Krinsky, Executive Director, LifeWire





    Michele Stauff, CFRE, Executive Director, Million Dollar Round Table Foundation



    Giving USA and the New Age of Philanthropy in the Pacific Northwest

    By Mariah Fosnight, Senior Client Service Associate, The Alford Group

    Recently, The Alford Group and Columbia Bank co-hosted the presentation of the 2019 Giving USA data and hosted a panel of Pacific Northwest funders and philanthropists to discuss the findings and relate them to the current realities of giving in the region. The full recorded webinar, including 2019 data and panel discussion, may be found here.

    Giving USA, published by the Giving USA Foundation, is part of the Giving Institute which is comprised of leading consulting firms including The Alford Group. Celebrating 65 years, this report is the longest running and most comprehensive and authoritative report on charitable giving in the United States.

    Continue reading “Giving USA and the New Age of Philanthropy in the Pacific Northwest”

    Giving USA and the New Age of Philanthropy in the Northeast

    Elizabeth Rowley, CFRE, President and CEO, Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan

    Amy Hines, Senior Vice President, The Alford Group

    Sally Cross, President and CEO, Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley

    Walter J. Dillingham, Jr., CFA, Managing Director, Wilmington Trust

    Celebrating Black Philanthropy

    By Brenda B. Asare, President and CEO, The Alford Group


    Liz Thompson, President and Office Director, Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education (The CAFE)

    Don Thompson, CEO and Founder, Cleveland Avenue, LLC


    With the current events of the past five months, the world is learning how to overcome the discomfort of talking about race and are having some real courageous conversations on how we can move forward together to create lasting change for people of color. This change will create a ripple effect where others who have been marginalized will benefit and increase their ability to thrive as well – no one is left behind.

    Continue reading “Celebrating Black Philanthropy”

    Creating a Culture of Equity: Putting the Elephant on the Board Table

    AFP Summer Session | August 6, 2020 | 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.ET

    Presented by Carmen Marshall, Christi Green, Steve Ziger, FAIA, Amy T. Seto, CPA and Mary Warren

    Sponsored by The Alford Group

    Effective nonprofit organizations and boards are built and developed on equitable practices, continuous self-evaluation and intentionality that align organizational values with what organizations value. A panel of philanthropic leaders will have a courageous discussion about helping your organization create a more equitable culture in these changing times.


    Diversity in Fundraising: Making a Long-Term Commitment


    By JoAnn Yoshimoto, CFRE, Senior Consultant

    Growing up in Kentucky during segregation, Jimmie Alford – The Alford Group’s founder – attended an all-white school, and didn’t experience racial diversity until the age of nine when his parents moved to Chicago. The move, due to the closing of coal mines, placed Jimmie’s family in a small apartment in the Englewood community. Jimmie was one of three white students in his third grade class of 40 students.

    Along with his classmates, he understood economic diversity and its impact on themselves, their families and their community while living in extreme poverty within a predominantly affluent nation. He also directly and personally saw and felt the impact of discrimination. He decided at a young age that the injustice of discrimination was something he would never allow to penetrate his life and that he would work his entire life to eradicate it in all forms. Like many who grow up marginalized in one way or another, Jimmie vowed to lift himself out of his circumstances, make a better life and never forget the important life lessons learned along the way. His commitment to this goal was unwavering and steadfast.

    While Jimmie passed away suddenly in 2012, his spirit and leadership remain with us as the nation and world grapple with the opportunity afforded by the Black Lives Matter movement and a renewed call for equity and social justice. We share his unwavering optimism that better days lie ahead when we all work together.


    Diversity is one of seven core values of The Alford Group, and one of Jimmie’s enduring “fingerprints” on the consulting firm he founded in 1979. One manifestation of this commitment is our 20+-year sponsorship of the Diversity Workshop and Diversity Art Showcase at the annual AFP International Conference. While our dedication to diversity and inclusiveness has remained resolute over the decades, the demographics of America – and thus the universe of donors and prospective donors – have changed dramatically. Lessons learned from diverse communities, and the shared values of diversity, equity and inclusiveness (DEI), are more relevant and more essential today than ever before. Continue reading “Diversity in Fundraising: Making a Long-Term Commitment”