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PETER J. HELLER - PRINCIPAL
With over 27 years in the nonprofit world, Peter Heller has raised millions of dollars for many organizations while also strengthening their strategic and financial assets. His firm’s current consulting success is bolstered by the team of hands-on professionals he brings to the table, his extensive experience as a development staff member prior to launching his own firm, and his deep experience working on cultivating individual donors. He understands the client’s needs not only from the outside looking in, but vice versa.
Since 2004 Peter has been offering fundraising and strategic consulting services to a diverse group of nonprofit clients. He taught Major Gifts Fundraising in Columbia’s Fundraising Management Graduate Program, has trained fundraisers at The Foundation Center, is Co-Chair of Gotham Networking's "Make a Difference" group, and a member of the Nonprofit Resource Group.
For the 10 years before beginning his consulting business (1994-2004) Peter raised major support as a fundraiser and administrator for Columbia University, becoming the Director of Development for Columbia’s Engineering School. In securing support for University funding priorities, he worked closely with the Engineering School’s Dean and other University administrators raising significant dollars through his personal efforts and dramatically moving the School’s organizational strength forward. He also traveled extensively in the US and Asia to meet donors and raise funds.
Prior to his years at Columbia, Peter held development positions at several world-class universities during their campaigns including UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco (Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations) and the American Friends of Tel Aviv University (Director of Corporations and Foundations). He started his career with a brief stint at his alma mater, College of the Atlantic (ME).
Peter attended Wesleyan University (CT) and College of the Atlantic, receiving a B.A. in Human Ecology from the latter in 1985. Before his nonprofit career, Peter ran his own vegetarian cooking and catering business in New York.
Peter is currently on the advisory board of the Inner Strength Foundation (PA) and has been providing pro-bono strategic advice to Earthdance (MA) for over 10 years.
BETSY STEWARD - SENIOR CONSULTANT
Betsy is a fundraising professional who brings a variety of experience and enthusiasm to her role as consultant.
She served as Director of Development for Westchester Children’s Association (WCA) for over ten years. During that time, she led WCA’s five-year Centennial Campaign, completed in April 2016, that raised $6.6M, exceeding the goal for this ambitious project, and virtually doubling the organization’s operating budget. She oversaw all campaign major gift in-person solicitations, conducting face-to-face solicitations and securing gifts ranging from $1K to $1.5M. Betsy’s responsibilities included oversight of WCA’s annual benefit, whose net earnings increased, over the course of her tenure, by 730% (from $25,595 to $212,345). She added more formal structure to WCA’s fundraising efforts, instituted more effective development procedures that contributed significantly to the growth of the organization, and established deep, long-term relationships with board members. Her experience at WCA provided Betsy with a strong knowledge of Westchester County and its philanthropic community. She was named the 2017 Fundraiser of the Year by the Hudson Valley Association of Development Officers.
Prior to her work with WCA, Betsy served as president of the Foundation for Public Education in White Plains, where donations increased during her term by 89%. Before entering the world of development, Betsy founded and managed a successful software training business.
Andrea Kihlstedt - Advisor / Nonprofit Thought Leader
Andrea and Peter have collaborated to help several nonprofits with feasibility studies and capital campaigns. Andrea has been an indispensable mentor and colleague since the early days of Peter J. Heller Consulting. In fact, we refer to her as our firm's "fairy godmother" due both to her wisdom and to the number of clients she has sent our way.
Andrea is one of the fundraising thought leaders in capital campaign fundraising and coaching. She cofounded Asking Matters and is now collaborating with Gail Perry to bring affordable pre-campaign training resources to people through mentoring programs and on-line training programs. Her book, Capital Campaigns: Strategies that Work, now in its 4th edition, is one of the standard texts in the field. Find out more about Andrea here capitalcampaignmasters.com and AndreaKihlstedt.com
Emma Camp - Office Manager and Production Coordinator
Emma is a recent graduate of New York University Tisch School of the Arts New Studio on Broadway where she gained a BFA in drama with a concentration in musical theater and a minor in producing.
In addition to her career as an actor, Emma has previously worked as a literary intern for The Atlantic Theater Company, a casting intern at Ulrich/Dawson/Kritzer Casting, and as a production/teaching assistant at California's premiere arts boarding school Idyllwild Arts Academy.
Eric Sweeney - Project Manager
Eric has been working with Peter since January 2016 supporting all of our direct client work as the Project Manager. He skillfully manages everything from supporting our capital campaign clients to our proposals and contracts and other client logistics.
In addition to his work with the Heller Fundraising Group Eric continues to build a LA-based, multi-platform lifestyle company, initially focusing on high-end women’s fashion and now with a strong focus on home furnishing.
Eric received a B.S. in Economics from Binghamton University.
Boots Garrett – PROJECT ASSISTANT
Boots and Peter have been fast friends for upwards of 25 years. When Boots transitioned into semi-retirement and Peter invited her to join his team as Finance Coordinator, she jumped at the chance.
Boots has worked in nonprofit agencies all of her career, serving her local community at a domestic violence project as a direct service court advocate and as the agency's volunteer coordinator, and most recently at a homeless shelter for youth as a street outreach worker.
She is pleased to now be working from home (Maine) as part of a team that helps to build the vital financial supports of valuable, interesting, and community minded agencies.