Our Counsel: Architects of High Performing Philanthropy Programs

Vision Philanthropy Group is a comprehensive philanthropic consulting firm.  We are a highly specialized firm, focusing on health care, biomedical sciences and health-related organizations, and education.     

Elevating and innovating philanthropy is what we do everyday.  We’ve been where you are now. We understand the unique challenges you face, internally and externally, in generating support for capital and comprehensive campaigns, as well endowment, strategic initiatives and underfunded programs.

VPG’s team has partnered with organizations to raise over $1 billion over three decades as staff and as counsel.  We have worked in and advised philanthropy programs in complex academic centers,  health sciences institutions and medical schools, community and specialty hospitals, children's hospitals, comprehensive and freestanding cancer centers and other disease-specific teaching hospitals.

Our full-service fundraising and development communications team has led, advised and helped to create high performing philanthropy teams.  We have decades of hands-on experience working with influential philanthropists, boards, innovative leaders, physicians and faculty, and advancement staffs in small and large fundraising shops. 

We specialize in:

• Campaigns for health care and educational institutions: assessing, planning and managing campaigns, including:

o Working with and guiding campaign committees and boards
o Engaging executives and physicians in the campaign
o Coaching boards and executive staff in campaign best practices, donor cultivation and solicitation

• Board, CEO, physician and development staff training through our unique Bold Asking™ program
• Philanthropic strategic planning
• Executive leadership coaching
• Board engagement for philanthropy, including Board retreats
• Grateful patient fundraising
• Major and mega-gift development to support complex health care, education, capital, endowment and research initiatives
• Major gift pipeline development and donor analytics
• Creating infrastructure, best practices and policies to support health care fundraising programs
• Managing annual funds for health care institutions
• Strategic fundraising communications and campaign collaterals, including case statements, multi-media, and fundraising videos

Over many decades, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t; where to invest resources and how to build an engaged and effective team. We share all this with our clients in leading, managing and advising high-performing philanthropy programs – tailoring each to meet your specific requirements and your unique culture.

The art of Bold Asking™

Our unique program, the art of Bold Asking™, is a series of seminars and coaching designed to build hospital teams’ confidence, passion and effectiveness in major gift fundraising.  The seminars present the most effective practices of volunteers, leaders and development professionals across the country. We share the secrets of high-performing philanthropy organizations, coaching your team in how they can achieve similar dramatic results.  The program begins with an assessment, followed by seminar(s) designed for your unique circumstances, and, if requested, ends with an analysis of your volunteer structures and practical ways to maximize their effectiveness.

“Susan’s art of Bold Asking was the focus of a wonderful retreat with our board and development leadership attending. The presentations and interactive discussions gave us confidence in understanding how and when to effectively share our story with community leaders who could support our capital campaign. It was a game-changer to learn how to build relationships that could lead to transformational giving versus transactional giving. With her guidance, we have already experienced record philanthropic investments from both current and new donors. Susan’s counsel is an investment worth making. ”

— Randy Elliott, Director of Advancement, Brightstone


Our Commitment To You

VPG is committed to developing strategic solutions and providing expert counsel in high impact philanthropy for nonprofit organizations. A full-service boutique fundraising consulting firm, VPG believes in building collaborative partnerships for the long-term benefit and success of its clients. We will be there with you every step of the way, assessing and guiding your fundraising program, planning and executing a campaign or developing strategic communications.

We will give you the personalized attention you need. We will listen and help solve problems to ensure success.  And, we subscribe to the highest code of ethics and best practices.

The research at Mass. Eye and Ear is a game changer in finding future cures for blindness and deafness. We needed to accelerate our fundraising program to make sure our world-class scientists have the philanthropic resources required to continue their discoveries. Susan has provided the counsel our entire team, and I, needed to create a high performing fundraising program. With her guidance, we have set audacious goals and are achieving fantastic results that exceed our expectations.
— Wyc Grousbeck, Chairman of the Board, Mass. Eye and Ear and Managing Partner, Governor and CEO of the Boston Celtics
Susan worked closely with me as we built our first philanthropy program for the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Her trusted counsel to me as a leader and physician-scientist was invaluable as I was learning my way around the fundraising world. With her support, I was able to become comfortable and effective in telling our stories to donors and raising the private resources needed to help make our programs preeminent.
— Harold L. Moses, M.D., Emeritus Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, Director Emeritus, Vanderbilt-Ingram Comprehensive Cancer Center
Susan’s expertise in knowing how to tell a cause’s story and understanding what makes donors tick helped us create the partnerships with donors we needed at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center to transform cancer research and care. Her insight and work with our Board of Overseers was critical to not only reaching but exceeding our campaign goals.
— Orrin Ingram, CEO, Ingram Industries and Chairman, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Board of Overseers
We have recently made our first foray into the world of a capital campaign to raise funds for a major multimillion dollar building project. I cannot imagine embarking on this project without the guidance of Vision Philanthropy Group. We have thrown things at Susan and Jane, such as an accelerated timetable, and they have not flinched. They adapted to our schedule and moved full speed ahead. Also, being inexperienced fundraisers we asked for coaching in the ‘Art of Bold Asking.’ With that coaching they have given us the tools and the language we need to craft successful conversations with our prospects and donors. I now have the confidence I need to be a comfortable and effective ‘asker’ for our historic campaign.
— Starling C. Evins, MD, FACS Chief Medical Officer, Williamson Medical Center