top of page
Do you aspire to:
  • Reach high-impact fundraising targets?

  • Build a better-equipped development team?

  • Improve your strategic development plan?

  • Develop a stronger major donor program?

  • Establish better stewardship practices?

  • Strengthen your Board’s fundraising ability?

In over 25 years of fundraising — serving over 50 organizations — I have taught clients to double their revenue, secure 6- and 7-figure gifts, and create high-performing fundraising boards.

I can take your fundraising team to where it wants to go.


Smart fundraising

Solutions that work

Anchor 1

Strong fundraising is a critical ingredient for an organization to achieve its mission. I have taught dozens of nonprofits how to make their development programs thrive. 

How It Works

Increased annual fund retention by 25%

Engaged inactive Board members in 100% giving campaigns

Secured dozens of new 6- and 7-figure gift

How It Works

If your organization wants to build a stronger philanthropy program that can raise more money, I can help you get there. I work collaboratively with you, assessing your organization’s fundraising systems, development goals, and culture of philanthropy. I then design a comprehensive plan to help you achieve the results you are seeking. My engagements average 6 to 18 months, during which time I teach your team the skills needed to execute effective fundraising and development practices.

Impactful Strategies

 In reviewing annual funds with significant lapsed donors, I developed several reactivation plans that increased my client’s yields by at least 20% and surfaced several new major donors.

For clients seeking to sharpen strategic fundraising abilities, I work with you, looking at the big picture of your organization and designing practical, data-driven fundraising objectives. I help create new approaches that yield improved and sustained fundraising results. 

Smart Stewardship

Ongoing engagement is essential to donor retention. I teach my clients to inform, involve, and interact with donors — because successful development is rarely transactional.

To bring stewardship into one client’s strategy, I created a national webinar and luncheon series that continually engages over 20% of their donor list.

Solicitation Skills

I coached a client to take a $50,000 donor and turn them into a $500,000 donor through direct solicitation. We are now discussing a multi-year 7-figure gift with the family. 

I guide my clients through the solicitation process, from strategy to execution. I write their scripts, I help them practice the “ask,” and I teach them how to structure the deal. When the time comes to solicit an individual, my clients are confident and ready.

Customized Solutions

When one client’s needs called for out-of-the-box thinking, I created a philanthropy advisory council that engaged 5 top donors in hosting cultivation events at their homes and offices. 

What underused assets, if applied differently, could create greater value? I comb through every aspect of an organization to combine old resources in new ways that compel donors to give more.

Hands-On Coaching

I helped transform a non-giving Board into one that gives 5-figure gifts and secures a new 5-figure firm each year.

By providing individualized support, I enable development leaders to create their own signature fundraising toolkits. From board members to development directors, I work as a guide and a thought partner for my clients. 

Research and Analysis

For one of my clients, I provided a landscape analysis of peer organizations that identified 25 “good fit” foundations that give 6-figure gifts.

The foundation for successful fundraising is understanding donor potential. I wealth-screen and conduct meticulous research. Then I teach my clients to use this information to improve their bottom line.

Do you aspire to:


What My Clients Say

I help nonprofit leaders develop their strategic thinking and tactical fundraising skills so they can more effectively achieve their goals.


"Carolyn Bess has an unparalleled understanding of the nonprofit/donor relationship. She put together a plan for having regular contact with our donors in a way that keeps them on board and brings out their potential. Our donor retention has vastly improved, and our entire mindset around philanthropy has been changed — for the better."

Rich Leimsider

Executive Director

Safe Passage Project


“I highly recommend Carolyn. She worked with our team to pull out our potential, positioning us to find new success. She designed and executed an event that engaged our Board and their colleagues in new ways. We discovered untapped fundraising opportunities that we mined well after her time with us. If you get the opportunity to work with Carolyn Bess — work with Carolyn Bess.”

Molly Baldwin

Founder and CEO



"Carolyn is very experienced, knowledgeable, hard-working, and creative. She was able to adapt to the needs of MAC, and was very skilled in her ability to help us nurture and solidify relationships with individual funders, which was critical to our ability to meet our development goals."

Julia Landau

Senior Project Director

Mass. Advocates for Children


Contact Me

  • LinkedIn

Ask me for an estimate. Tell me about a fundraising challenge you are facing. I will personally respond!

Looking forward to talking with you!

Subscribe to my
monthly newsletter

Thanks for subscribing!

bottom of page