Access Philanthropy is a national philanthropy research and communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations set and realize their fundraising goals, establish working relationships and partnerships with funders and donors, and fill in where you have staffing gaps.
We have expertise in a variety of vocations. Most of us have been funders. Some of us have been nonprofit leaders. Others have valuable for-profit experience. The one thing we all have in common is a desire to help organizations succeed. Services to recent clients include:
- Strategic development planning
- Funder analysis workshops
- Fundraising analysis and Infrastructure development and support
- Staff and Board & Advisory Committee development, training, mentoring, and support
- Prospect research
- Framing and key messaging, communications audits, case and need statement development
- Proposal development and grant writing
- Capital campaign planning/feasibility studies
Think of our team as your partners, helping you develop proposals, build a fundraising infrastructure, and deepen your understanding of the systems, processes, and resources needed for sustainability.
Steve (he/him) has spent his entire professional career in philanthropy – as a foundation director, fundraiser, trainer, donor consultant, author, researcher, and lobbyist. He knows his stuff. He draws on his diverse experience and extensive network to help nonprofits meet the right people, at the right time, and meet their goals.
- 45+ years of philanthropic experience
Former program officer and foundation advisor
Extensive experience working across the U.S. and internationally
- Author of over two dozen books and directories on foundations and corporate giving programs
- Steve taught philanthropy, fundraising and communications in business and nonprofit undergraduate and graduate degree programs
- Former research director for national and regional philanthropy think tanks
- Steve has a Master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute and a Bachelors’ degree from the University of St. Thomas.
Matt Ladhoff is a lifelong learner who loves connecting with others and applying business acumen toward impact-oriented solutions. He earned his MBA from the University of Minnesota, where he currently serves as an adjunct faculty member. Matt previously has experience leading Career Programs at Wallin Education Partners, a Twin Cities-based education equity nonprofit. Additionally, he worked at 3M for six years, in corporate social responsibility as well as strategic sourcing, while leading 3M’s New Employee Opportunity Network (NEON). Above all, he considers himself an optimist and a life enthusiast. Matt looks forward to working with you!
Gail (she/her) brings more than 30 years of experience building and strengthening community partnerships to her role at Access Philanthropy. With experience in city government, plus staff and policy roles in K-12 education and workforce development, she understands the power of a compelling vision and the need for strategic partnerships. Gail appreciates our community’s vibrant nonprofit sector and enjoys helping organizations raise the money they need to perform their important work.
- Former executive director of a college foundation
- Keeps everyone at Access Philanthropy on task
- Has a “no job too big or too small” attitude
Gail received her Master of Public Affairs degree from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and her Bachelors’ degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse.
Greg Lais is a social entrepreneur who excels at building organizations and generating connections to the philanthropic community. As the Founder and long-time Executive Director of Wilderness Inquiry, Greg pioneered many non-profit systems and practices widely in use today. He received his MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School in 1991 and has brought a business discipline to the non-profit sector ever since. Greg currently serves on the Metropolitan State University Foundation board as well as the Friends of the Falls. At Access Philanthropy he serves as a Senior Advisor helping non-profits of all sizes along the path to sustainability.
Mary Anne manages Access Philanthropy’s database of funder profiles, website and social media content, and assists with funder workshops. She brings 25+ years of experience as a nonprofit professional, collaborating with a variety of large and small nonprofit groups to develop their brand and digital assets. She has consulted on and implemented communications and content strategy, and developed database websites for event registration and membership management. Mary Anne has a passion for mission-centric work and enjoys serving AP’s clients in reaching new funders.
Mary Anne has a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Mike (he/him) is a seasoned professional in the philanthropic arena as a fundraiser, corporate foundation leader and employee engagement professional. Retiring from Traveler’s led the way to consulting for nonprofit organizations. He has experience working in the public, nonprofit and private sectors with state, national and global expertise.
- Experience in grantmaking, volunteer program management and organizational development
- Former vice president of the Traveler’s Foundation
- Held positions at the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Hennepin County Social Services and United Way
- Mike’s calm demeanor marks his roles as trainer and facilitator
- Remains well-connected to the local philanthropic community, especially in the East Metro area
John Munger is a creative problem solver. He is an unabashed generalist with an unparalleled ability to connect a broad array of people and ideas. John is a business leader, a (social) entrepreneur, a teacher, and a former attorney. As a fundraiser; he has led successful capital campaigns, grant funding efforts, and year-to-year general fund drives. As a visionary leader, he has worked with and through private and governmental entities to make the world a better place. John understands public finance concepts and has successfully engineered financing for large-scale developments. He is a strong communicator and community builder. He also has perspective; John has been through the crucible and knows what it is like to lead through challenging times. He holds a master’s degree in teaching and loves helping non-profit leaders, organizations, and their communities develop and articulate their dreams and make them into reality.
After successful careers as a librarian, arts administrator, ESL teacher, and college professor, Jo (she/her) threw herself headlong into the world of nonprofits several years ago and loves its multiple challenges! As a former nonprofit executive director, she has experience with just about every nonprofit function: grant writing, communications, program development, financial management, and more.
Jo enjoys helping nonprofits make their work clearly understandable and fund-able to foundations and donors. She’s tenacious about making sure clients submit only high-quality grant proposals.
Jeanne was E.D. of the Dispute Resolution Center for many years and taught at UMN and St. Thomas. Recently, she started working with our clients: Literacy Minnesota and University Research and Outreach Center.
Kathy is a grants professional with more than 13 years of experience and $9 million in support raised for nonprofits. In addition to exceptional research and writing skills, what sets Kathy apart as a grant writer is a deep affinity for mission-driven nonprofit service that has kept her passionate about her work for more than a decade. Shen is a member of the Grant Professionals Association, Heart of America Chapter, and holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a certificate in Nonprofit Organizations from the University of Georgia’s top-rated program.
Justin views grant writing as a creative process: developing ideas, identifying barriers, and presenting solutions. His experience as a grant writer sprung from the necessity to find funding for creating his own work. Being a professional opera singer often tethers him to auditioning for each scrap of income in his reach. Since his first successful grant in 2016, Justin has restructured his career to blend his performing with grant writing. He leverages his knowledge of creation, process, production, and a healthy dose of patience towards helping artists and arts organizations find funding to realize their goals.
Mary Beth has more than 20 years of fund-raising experience. Her skills include prospect research, strong proposals, demonstrating match to grant priorities, and illustration of program results. Mary Beth strives to communicate compelling stories in a concise, straightforward manner, backed with research on program impact and bolstered by personal stories of impact.
Jodi has extensive experience writing grants for nonprofit organizations. She has developed, secured funding, and implemented a number of programs and services to benefit the lives of youth, families, and communities throughout MN. Her strengths are program assessment and development, grant writing, and working with organizations to reach their development goals. Jodi has worked with organizations from start-up to well-established, and multi-jurisdictional organizations. She has experience with corporations and foundation grants as well as with federal, state, and county grants, to secure funding for a variety of nonprofits, from early childhood programs, domestic violence organizations, to adolescent residential programs and human milk banks.
Serena is a second-generation Hmong-American, who was born in California to refugees of the Secret War in Laos. She is a seasoned community-engaged scholar, who has for the past decade been uplifting the narratives of minoritized voices in the health policy and research arenas. Growing up and listening to her father’s folklores, she is a huge proponent of storytelling – that is, that “good stories always beat good spreadsheets”. Serena advocates for change in communities and organizations by making sure that people’s stories stay true and organic to their original sources.
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