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Lee A. Ernst

Experience as a successful major gift officer at a large university has given Lee Ernst a unique understanding of major gift work and donor dynamics. As a consultant at JGA, Lee uses this experience to assist nonprofits in the creation and implementation of development and major gift plans that can help organizations achieve their philanthropic goals. Lee has demonstrated success in a wide range of development situations, and has a proven track record of personal cultivation and solicitation.
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Recent Posts

Crafting a Development Plan to Guide Your Fundraising Activities

May 26, 2022

Do you and your board have a clear sense of your fundraising activities for the next 12 months? Does that plan include clear goals that tie into your organization’s strategic plan? In a perfect world the answer would be yes, of course!

But we all know that when things get busy, the development plan can sometimes be put by the wayside. It’s easy to get distracted when new ideas come along or funding requests change. Sometimes we just dig into the work, without taking the time to thoroughly plan.

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5 Key Steps to Building a Culture of Philanthropy

September 30, 2021

Building a culture of philanthropy: it probably sounds like a dream—but kind of hard to achieve.

We had the opportunity recently to discuss this topic on a webinar with Danielle Shockey, CEO of Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, where she shared insights from her work growing a culture of philanthropy among the staff and volunteers at her organization. I’m excited to share some of the main points from our discussion.

What is a culture of philanthropy? We define it as: “One in which everyone—board, all staff, and the CEO— has a part to play in raising resources for the organization.”

The key driver behind a culture of philanthropy is the relationship—not just money.

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Planning for a Successful Campaign in Today’s Environment

April 29, 2021

Whether you are in a campaign now or considering the next one, it’s essential to reflect on what has changed during the past year and what the best path forward is in the current climate. Here are some tips to help you plan for a campaign in today's environment taken from a recent webinar I conducted with my colleague John Keith.

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Best Feasibility Study Questions to Generate Authentic Donor Feedback

March 02, 2016

A feasibility study, in JGA’s view, is active campaigning and is an integral part of the cultivation and involvement process of major donors and prospects.

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