Ahern, Tom

Tom Ahern is often described as “one of the world’s leading authorities” on how to speak properly — and profitably — to donors.

He has authored four well-received how-to books on donor communications, with a fifth on the way. Each year, he delivers dozens of workshops internationally on the techniques of (and psychology behind) successful fundraising communications. In 2011, he spoke in Belgium, Italy, and Australia, with a heavy schedule of appearances in North America. His training clients that year included Princeton University, Catholic Relief Services, the University of Calgary, Boy Scouts of America, New York Community Trust, Save the Children, and the Maryland Humanities Council.

He writes fundraising materials for some of America’s leading nonprofits. His specialties include donor newsletters, direct mail, and case statements (the combined campaign goals total in the billions; “I write 6-8 cases a year”).

Recent and current clients include: Save the Children; the National Parks Conservation Association, with 350,000 members; Sharp, a major hospital system in San Diego; the Houston Grand Opera; the New York Community Trust (NYC’s own community foundation); Crisis Assistance Ministry (NC); Alaska Conservation Foundation; and Volunteers of America, one of America’s 10 largest charities.

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