Client Services: Fundraising for Arts, Culture, & Social Justice

Fundraising Strategist Tess O’Dwyer brings to her clients a wealth of tactical and technical expertise in all facets of philanthropic management.  Whether the project is to build a dynamic and effective board of directors, structure a development department to maximize its results, or design a winning capital and endowment campaign, she empowers nonprofit leaders to achieve their immediate fundraising objectives while positioning the institution for long-term sustainable growth.  The overarching goal of her client services is to deliver the organization’s mission through more deliberate, impactful ways and to fund the organization in healthier measure to its promise and aspirations.



  • Comprehensive Capital and Endowment Campaign Planning
  • Board Development, Recruitment, & Training
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Development Department Audits
  • Donor base Analytics, Wealth Scanning, & Prospect Research
  • Strategic Business and Fundraising Plans
  • Major Donor Mapping
  • Special Event Strategies
  • Case for Support
  • Crisis Management (during high profile staff vacancies)
  • Staff Recruitment and Intensive Onsite Training

Tess O’Dwyer’s clients include forward-thinking art museums, film societies, symphony orchestras, performing arts centers, public broadcasting companies, and innovators in public education.

To learn more, please email or call 917-399-4956.



The Africa Center


Museum of Arts and Design

Symphony Space


WNYC Public Radio



To learn more, please email or call 917-399-4956.

About Tess O’Dwyer

Tess O’Dwyer provides strategic planning and fundraising counsel to art and cultural leaders of the nonprofit sector. Her client roster includes the premier visual arts organizations of New York, such as Aperture Foundation, Museum of Arts and Design, National Academy Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art–as well as many of the city’s finest performing arts organizations, including Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York City Opera, American Symphony Orchestra, and Symphony Space.  Her fundraising expertise is also tapped by a wide range of social justice, public education, and civic leaders spanning Catholic Charities, Bronx Science, Publicolor, Worldfund, and WNYC Public Radio. Prior to launching her boutique consultancy, she served as Director of Development at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Associate Director of Individual Giving at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., and Vice President for Cultural Affairs at the Americas Society and Council of the Americas.  She has also provided fundraising commentary for The New York Times and Bloomberg Financial News. Her fundraising operations were ranked Top 10 by the Association of Art Museum Directors in a survey of 200+ museums nationwide. Of special note, her record-breaking galas ranked 1st place in net revenue and Top 10 in style by Bizbash Magazine.

With a Master’s in Literature from Rutgers University, Tess O’Dwyer is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Sigma Iota, Red Pine Honor Society, and Salmagundi Club. Winner of the Columbia University Translation Center Award, she has edited and translated literary works from the Spanish, including the contemporary Caribbean classics EMPIRE OF DREAMS  (Yale University Press) and YO-YO BOING!(AmazonCrossing) by Giannina Braschi and the 19th century Social Realist novel MARTIN RIVAS by Alberto Blest Gana (Oxford University Press). She is proud to serve as a Board member of Harvard University’s Cultural Agents Initiative, Evergreen Review, and PEN American Center.

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New York City Gala Benefit: Photo Album

Tess O’Dwyer provides creative fundraising strategies for top-tier gala benefits throughout New York City.  Here is a look at some of these charity events that have raised millions of dollars in critical support for cutting-edge arts, education, and social justice organizations.

The Whitney Museum of American Art

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center


Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York


Jazz at Lincoln Center


Aperture Foundation

PEN American Center 






Symphony Space 


Bronx Science 75th Anniversary Gala

gala-0350.JPG gala-1033.JPG

For more information, contact Tess O’Dwyer at