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Laura J. MacDonald, CFRE

Principal & Founder

Laura MacDonald has earned a national reputation for her dedication to the nonprofit sector. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) with decades of experience in nonprofit leadership, fundraising, and philanthropy. In 1999, she established Benefactor Group to serve the needs of those who serve the common good.  

Laura’s work with clients combines her talent for identifying innovative and practical strategies with data-driven decision-making. She has guided clients to 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.   

Laura is constantly curious about trends in fundraising and philanthropy and an astute storyteller. She is a frequent speaker at local, regional, and national conferences (AFP, AAM, AMDA, Fundraising Bootcamp, etc.) and has addressed hundreds of nonprofit boards. Her articles related to advancement and philanthropy have appeared in Advancing Philanthropy, Nonprofit Quarterly, and other professional publications. A past chair of the Giving USA Foundation, she contributes to Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy, the seminal study of the sources and uses of charitable giving in the United States, and is consulted widely by publications such as The New York Times, Ms. Magazine, Penta Barron’s, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and was named her chapter’s “Fundraising Professional of the Year” in 2007.

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