Laura J. MacDonald, CFRE

Principal & Founder

Laura MacDonald, President of Benefactor Group, is a certified fundraising executive with more than 27 years’ experience in nonprofit leadership, fundraising, and philanthropy. She has served as the vice president and creative director of a national fundraising firm, chief development officer in arts and higher education, and as a key volunteer for community organizations.

In 1999, she established a consulting firm to serve the needs of those who serve the common good: nonprofit institutions, donors, and civic leaders. Benefactor Group is currently working with arts, culture, and educational institutions; human service organizations; women’s funds; and others working to improve the quality of life.

In just ten years, the firm she established has grown to a staff of 13 and served more than 200 clients, ranging from big ten universities and global NGOs to start-up community organizations. Laura has helped her clients achieve unprecedented successes: the largest contribution ever to an arts organization in central Ohio; consistent increases in annual fund revenue for a women’s fund; an innovative digital giving strategy for a conservation organization; a reinvigorated board for a literary society.

Prior to establishing Benefactor Group, Laura was chief development officer at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts where she helped the organization secure its largest-ever corporate sponsorship and foundation grant and highest membership. During her tenure, she also served as a senior development officer in the University’s $1.2 billion capital campaign.

Earlier in her career, she worked in corporate communications and television production. An accomplished writer, she has guided the production of award-winning print and video materials and earned recognition from the American Alliance of Museums, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, International Television Association, and others.

She is a frequent speaker at local, regional, and national conferences and has written articles related to advancement and philanthropy. She is active in her community and profession and serves on volunteer boards and committees including the American Alliance of Museums’ national Development and Membership Executive Committee. She is Vice-Chair of the Giving USA Foundation Board. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and was named the Central Ohio chapter’s “Fundraising Professional of the Year” in 2007.