About Our Nonprofit Practice
We provide management and fundraising counsel to visionary leaders of the nonprofit sector. We specialize in Arts and Culture, Education, and Human Services. We design and direct strategic plans and transformational fundraising initiatives, from Board Development and Capital Campaigns to Foundation and Corporate Support. We enrich our clients with our cutting-edge research, vast expertise, and a passion for each project.
Arts and Culture
We create and direct bold, new fundraising plans for world-class art museums and global cultural powerhouses, such as The Africa Center, Aperture Foundation, Museum of Arts and Design, National Academy of Design, and Whitney Museum of American Art. We also represent the finest performing arts companies in the country, such as American Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz @ Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, and New York City Opera. We champion free expression in all its forms by fundraising for WNYC Public Radio, Authors Guild Foundation, PEN World Voices Festival, and Academy of American Poets. And, we plan Capital Campaigns for the construction and restoration of iconic New York City buildings, such as Alice Tully Hull, The Africa Center, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, The Green Space, Leonard A. Lauder Building, and Symphony Space.
We empower educators with a wealth of fundraising knowledge. New York City charter schools (K-8), private and public high schools, and major research universities reap the benefits of our strategic planning and fundraising expertise. As an indication of range, we advise specialized STEM schools for the mathematically gifted, an art empowerment center for children with disabilities, and a design center that teaches public school students living in poverty how to improve their environments and their lives. We advise leaders of Catholic Education as well as the preeminent University of Jewish Values and Thought. Our roster includes Brilla College Prep, Bronx Science, Educando, Maria Regina High School, Neighborhood Studios, Publicolor, Seton Education Partners, and Yeshiva University.
The largest human services organizations in New York State count on our nonprofit management and campaign counsel. Catholic Charities, Food Bank for New York City, Graham Windham, and Urban Pathways tackle the toughest and most complex social justice issues today. Their work spans foster care and adoption, elderly care, food insecurity, homelessness, mental health, and immigration. We empower their life-transforming programs by delivering a full suite of fundraising services: Strategic Plans, Feasibility Studies, Board Development, Capital Campaigns, Foundation and Corporate Partnerships, Gala Benefits, and Annual Appeals. Our dedication to our clients is matched only by their dedication to the people they serve with dignity and compassion, day in, day out.
About Our Founder + Principal
Tess O’Dwyer is a dynamic fundraising consultant and turnaround expert who has transformed countless charities in her 20+ years of experience. She specializes in Arts and Culture, Education, and Human Services. Her areas of passion and expertise include Strategic Planning, Best Practices in Nonprofit Management, Board Development, Capital and Endowment Campaigns, and Comprehensive Funding Plans.
Prior to launching her consultancy, Tess served as Vice President for Cultural Affairs and Development at the Americas Society and Council of the Americas, Director of Development at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Associate Director of Individual Giving at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. Her fundraising operations were ranked Top 10 by the Association of American Art Museum Directors in a survey of 200+ museums. Her gala benefits ranked 1st in net revenue and Top 10 in style by Bizbash Magazine. She has provided fundraising commentary to The New York Times and Bloomberg, and served as a technical reviewer of industry publications, such as The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Grant Writing.
On a personal note, Tess is an advocate for the arts and a champion of free expression. With a Masters in English from Rutgers University, she was co-editor of Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas and winner of the Columbia University Translation Center Award. She has translated literary classics from the Spanish, including Empire of Dreams (Yale University Press) and Yo-Yo Boing! (AmazonCrossing) by Giannina Braschi and Martin Rivas by Alberto Blest Gana (Oxford University Press). She is proud of her board service to Harvard University’s Cultural Agents Initiative, The Evergreen Review, Ars Interpres Stockholm, PEN American Center, and Academy of American Poets.