Patton is an accomplished nonprofit leader with a 30-year career dedicated to driving success in the sector. With expertise in strategic planning, organizational excellence, and leadership development, Patton has provided coaching and consulting to over 275 nonprofit organizations, spanning healthcare, education, arts & culture, and human services sectors. As a dynamic speaker and workshop facilitator, he has shared his insights with audiences across the country.
Prior to founding PMA Consulting (now PMA Nonprofit Leadership) in 2009, Patton served as Vice President for University Advancement at Queens University of Charlotte. There, he spearheaded all fundraising, communications, and alumni programs, propelling the institution to new heights. Prior to his role at Queens, he was the youngest Vice Chancellor in the UNC system at UNC Wilmington, where he led the university's advancement efforts.
Patton's journey began with career-defining roles at Special Olympics International and North Carolina Special Olympics. A native of Elizabeth City, NC, he earned a bachelor's degree in English Education as a Morehead Scholar at UNC Chapel Hill. He went on to achieve his MBA from the McColl School of Business at Queens and a Doctorate in Education (Organizational Change and Leadership) from the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California.
As a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and a Master Trainer for AFP Global, Patton is at the forefront of industry best practices. His contributions extend beyond his consulting work, as he has served as a board President of AFP Charlotte, represented the chapter on the AFP Global Board, hosts the highly regarded podcast Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, and published his first book, also titled Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, in 2022. Patton currently serves as an Executive in Residence at the Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy at Cornell University.
Lea brings a wealth of expertise to the firm in driving impactful change within nonprofit organizations. With a Ph.D. in Organizational Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Lea's academic foundation fuels her ability to deliver innovative solutions to nonprofit leaders.
Prior to joining PMA, Lea made significant contributions by serving over 15 nonprofits through pro-bono consulting engagements. During her doctoral studies, Lea held key positions in Talent Management & Organizational Development at renowned organizations such as Ingersoll Rand, Duke Energy, TIAA, and Jacobsen, where she honed her skills in meeting effectiveness, leadership development, board and staff training, data analysis, strategic planning, survey design, stakeholder research, and volunteer retention/engagement.
With a profound understanding of research methodologies, Lea excels in gathering input and synthesizing it to facilitate the development of innovative strategies for nonprofit leaders. Her expertise in meeting effectiveness, which formed the basis of her dissertation, empowers organizations to optimize their collaborative efforts and achieve impactful outcomes.
Lea's educational background includes a Master's in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from UNC Charlotte and a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Davidson College. These diverse foundations enable her to apply a holistic approach to organizational challenges, combining empirical research with practical solutions.
With over 15 years in the nonprofit sector leadership, James brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the team. His notable achievements include serving as the Vice President of Advancement for Murphy-Harpst Children's Centers and as the Assistant Director of Development for Youth Villages in Atlanta, Georgia.
In his leadership roles, James successfully led teams responsible for various crucial functions, including donor and volunteer cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. He excelled in driving corporate, foundation, and community engagement, while also overseeing marketing and communications efforts. Moreover, James served as a liaison to fiduciary and advisory boards, demonstrating his adeptness in managing standing and ad hoc committees and fostering board development.
James's expertise extends to foundation relations, where he led successful initiatives involving grant proposal and report writing. He has also played a pivotal role in managing special projects, such as comprehensive organizational strategic plans and the execution of high-profile events like galas and golf tournaments.
Prior to his roles in advancement and development, James coordinated programs and fundraising initiatives for the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and AmeriCorps. He also completed PMA's Mastermind Leadership Development program (Spring 2023 Diamond Group).
James is a proud alumnus of the University of Georgia, where he earned his bachelor's degree in Journalism. His strong background in communication and strategic thinking enriches his approach to nonprofit strategy and development.
With an impressive 16-year tenure in nonprofit association management, including seven years in the C-suite, Donté P. Shannon, FASAE, CAE, brings a wealth of expertise to the realm of nonprofit consulting. His vast experience spans professional and trade nonprofit associations across diverse industries. Having held numerous CEO positions, ranging from state associations to globally impactful national associations, Donté is a recognized influencer in the nonprofit association community.
Donté's impact extends beyond his executive roles, as he has led over 20 association management presentations on topics such as strategic leadership, organization rebranding, and career development. He served as the Chair of the CAE Commission, the governing body responsible for the prestigious global CAE credential, and played a pivotal role in launching the credential in Australasia.
Donté was selected as a 2020 digitalNow Leader of Distinction, a 2020 ASAE Fellow, and was recognized as a Diversity Education Leadership Program (DELP) Scholar from 2011 to 2013. Donté is a passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion and actively seeks to give back to the communities and industries he serves. He also completed PMA's Mastermind Leadership Development program (Fall 2022 Diamond Group).
Donté earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the College of Charleston in 2003 and obtained the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential in 2015.
Adam serves as Chief Advancement Officer at Crisis Assistance Ministry, and understands all phases of a successful philanthropic program and is able to apply that experience to each of PMA's clients with which he is working.
Adam's extensive background encompasses a range of roles. Before assuming his current role at Crisis Assistance Ministry, Adam served as the Executive Director of Carolina Cross Connection, where he fostered a strong board of directors and led recruitment and training efforts for hundreds of seasonal employees and thousands of volunteers. Notably, his strategic leadership was instrumental in establishing the agency's first major gifts program, resulting in a remarkable 110% growth in the number of major donors.
He actively engages with the Association for Fundraising Professionals Charlotte Chapter. Furthermore, he is a graduate of PMA's Mastermind Leadership Development Program (Fall 2022 Gold Group) and a valued member of Leadership Charlotte Class 44.
Adam earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from UNC Chapel Hill, and obtained his Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential in 2020.
CeCe's extensive skill set includes executive coaching and leadership development, empowering leaders to unlock their full potential. She excels in strategic planning, guiding organizations towards their goals and fostering long-term success. With her deep understanding of process design and optimization, CeCe helps streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and drive sustainable growth. Additionally, she possesses a strong acumen for change management, ensuring smooth transitions during transformative periods.
She is a proud member of "Who's Who" and actively engages with her community as a dedicated volunteer. Outside of her professional pursuits, she finds joy in the arts, exploring new destinations through travel, and cherishing precious moments with her husband and two sons.
CeCe earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA. Complementing her academic achievements, she further honed her skills in arts and architecture through studies at Hollins University and the University of London.
Patrick is a dynamic leader currently serving as the Director of Development and Public Relations for I Know I Can, a renowned college access non-profit in Columbus, OH. With an unwavering commitment to empowering students, Patrick oversees and spearheads all fundraising and communication efforts for the organization. Notably, he leads the fundraising initiatives for the Columbus Promise, a groundbreaking collaborative initiative providing tuition-free education at Columbus State Community College for graduates of Columbus City Schools, in partnership with the City of Columbus and Columbus State Community College.
With over 15 years of experience in education-based fundraising, Patrick's expertise lies in driving philanthropic success in the educational sector. During his tenure in Charlotte, he actively contributed to the advancement of the fundraising profession, serving on the board of AFP Charlotte and mentoring aspiring fundraisers through the mentorship program. Additionally, Patrick played a pivotal role in the planning committee for the North Carolina Philanthropy Conference, further showcasing his dedication to professional development.
Prior to his current role at I Know I Can, Patrick made significant contributions to the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University. His visionary approach resulted in the successful launch of innovative engagement strategies, including the Dean's Roadshow, the Bay Area Trek, and Grandparents Day. Under his leadership, annual giving experienced continuous growth, and young alumni giving to the College of Engineering more than doubled through initiatives like Jim and Pat's Triple Match. Notably, Patrick established a highly successful Leadership Annual Giving Program, raising over $400,000 annually.
With an entrepreneurial spirit, Patrick thrives on building and streamlining programs, driving operational efficiency, and fostering a culture of philanthropy. Recognized as an expert in organizational culture, he has been invited to speak on this topic at prestigious CASE conferences. His vast experience encompasses annual giving campaigns, major gifts, strategic engagement, and donor relations and stewardship.
Patrick's innovative strategies have garnered attention in the fundraising community, earning him appearances on podcasts, articles highlighting his efforts, and speaking engagements at numerous CASE conferences. His educational background includes an MBA from the McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte and a BS in Marketing from Miami University. Patrick also completed PMA's Mastermind Leadership Program (Spring 2021 Cohort).
Having worked with community-based groups as well as national non-profits, Robin focuses on data management, annual fundraising, and donor stewardship. Robin has led the successful implementation of annual fundraising plans and developed and executed robust stewardship programs. Her expertise extends to donor databases, leveraging technology to drive increases in revenue and donor retention. Robin has played a key role in the implementation of databases at numerous organizations and delivers training for front-line fundraisers as well as gift processors and data managers.
Robin is known for her attention to detail without losing sight of the larger picture, knowledge of key IRS regulations related to 501(c)3 charities, and ability to build relationships between fundraising, financial, and programmatic staff.
Robin is a graduate of Northland College (BA) and American University (MA). In addition to her non-profit experience, she has taught youth gymnastics for 20 years and served as a research assistant at the National Security Archive. Robin currently leads children and family programs at Woodlawn Community Fellowship United Methodist Church.
Jean is a distinguished writer, fundraiser, and community leader who enriches the team with her extensive experience in philanthropy and community engagement. With a remarkable career spanning over 20 years, she excels in leadership, fundraising, relationship-building, volunteer engagement, and fostering collaborative community efforts.
Jean has played instrumental roles in planning and coordinating events with numerous local nonprofits, effectively leveraging her expertise to drive their missions forward. Her commitment to making a difference extends beyond event management, as she has served on multiple boards across various sectors, contributing her strategic insights to advance community causes, including her service on the board of the Cain Center of the Arts as incoming Chair Elect.
In addition to her impactful work in the nonprofit sector, Jean is a skilled writer and editor and has been an integral part of the firm's thought leadership and Patton's debut book Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, ensuring the clarity and resonance of its message. Jean is instrumental in the design of PMA podcast episodes, vetting outstanding guest candidates from around the world whose diverse experiences and insights into the nonprofit sector offer tremendous value to podcast listeners.
Jean is a graduate of St. John's University in Queens, NY.
Lauren infuses her passion for transforming ideas into captivating narratives through various media. With a unique blend of design expertise, writing skills, mastery of the Adobe Creative Suite, and a deep appreciation for photography and visual culture in the nonprofit sector, Lauren brings a dynamic skill set to the team.
In her role as Content Manager, Lauren spearheads content marketing initiatives across multiple platforms and formats, skillfully crafting engaging narratives that captivate audiences. She serves as the Executive Producer of the firm's acclaimed weekly podcast "Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership," orchestrating guest research, program design, and audio production/publication across all podcast platforms.
Lauren's creativity extends beyond audio content, as she also designs, maintains, and updates the firm's social media profile. With her flair for writing, she expertly crafts compelling blog articles, produces visually stunning content, and ensures consistent brand identity throughout all channels.
A proud graduate of the University of Southern California, Lauren holds a BA in Narrative Studies from the Department of English. Complementing her narrative expertise, she also obtained a Minor in Digital Studio Art from the Roski School of Art and Design, as well as a Minor in Classical Perspectives from the Department of Classics.
Parker focus is to enhance the firm's digital presence. With a keen eye for media trends, he plays a pivotal role in developing engaging content for PMA's vibrant nonprofit leadership community and ensures its dissemination across various media platforms.
Parker manages the Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership podcast YouTube channel, curating captivating visuals and compelling stories. Leveraging his proficiency in data analysis, he optimizes the PMA website by studying relevant metrics from Google Analytics, ensuring its effectiveness and reach. Recognizing the power of repurposing content, Parker taps into PMA's vast library of blog posts, podcast episodes, and presentation materials and skillfully transforms them into diverse digital, audio, and video formats to expand PMA's impact.
A recent graduate of the Bob Schieffer School of Communications at Texas Christian University, Parker earned a degree in Communications with a specialization in Film, Television & Digital Media. This comprehensive education equips him with a strong foundation in crafting captivating narratives and leveraging the latest digital tools. Parker's innovative approach to digital marketing and his commitment to staying ahead of industry trends make him an invaluable asset to the PMA team. With his creative vision and technical expertise, he propels the firm's digital initiatives to new heights.
We Help Nonprofit Leaders
As a firm, we are constantly developing content and programs to help you in three distinct ways. The first is to help you become a thought leader in the nonprofit sector by providing weekly content through our blog, email newsletter and Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership podcast. The second is helping you through individual coaching, training and our unique Mastermind Nonprofit Leadership program. The third way is to help your nonprofit organization through support of its strategic planning, board & staff development, and fundraising. Through our exclusive partnership with the Institute for Philanthropic Leadership, we also guide aspiring nonprofit leaders through the virtual New Development Professionals cohort training program, as well as the annual Leadership Gift School, now entering its 11th cohort season. Let us know how we can help you! Join our community by signing up for our free resources here, and schedule a call if you'd like to learn more about ways we can help you on your journey to nonprofit leadership.
Our team is proud to be affiliated with these professional organizations:
Cynthia Simms, J.D.
Director of Development & Marketing
"Patton is a thorough, thoughtful and dynamic consultant who helped put in place core fundraising practices for our nonprofit that took our development initiatives to the next level. His instruction during Leadership Gift School allowed us to continue to learn from his expertise in areas including strategic planning, board development, campaigns, major gifts, grant research and prospect development. PMA inspires and challenges agencies to go to a whole new level!"
Rev. Chris Jenkins
Hope Restorations Inc.
"Our board of directors and I knew we had a wonderful idea that helps our entire community, but none of us had much experience or formal training in non-profit management. Patton and his team have been a Godsend, helping us with everything from strategic planning, board and staff development & succession planning, and fundraising."
Director of Development
The Ohio State University College of Public Health
"I was hungry to advance my career but struggled to find direction. Patton's coaching helped me identify areas for growth in my current position while illuminating the path forward. This strategic focus led me from a small nonprofit to The Ohio State University and has continued to pay dividends as I was recently promoted to lead the fundraising efforts for the College of Public Health."
Associate Development Officer
The Ability Experience
"Thankful to have been part of a great New Development Directors Program with Patton and his team! I thoroughly enjoyed learning from industry leaders and getting to know the Charlotte nonprofit landscape."
Chief Executive Officer
Anuvia Prevention & Recovery Center
Director of Development
"Thanks to Patton and his team for putting on an awesome Institute for Philanthropic Leadership program. The course was 4 separate 3-hour sessions and I'd recommend it for anyone seeking the best professional development opportunities in the nonprofit sector."
California-Nevada United Methodist Foundation
"The PMA platform shares professional nonprofit and fundraising knowledge that can be helpful to someone who is just starting out, looking to keep pace, or wants to be inspired to reach higher levels in their professional lives. Your willingness to share your knowledge and your encouragement have made a real difference for me."
President, Charlotte Campus
Johnson & Wales University
"For over a decade, I've had the great fortune to work with very talented people at PMA who have assisted several different nonprofits. Whether it's been developing a strategic plan, building staff and board knowledge in fundraising, or assisting with long-range visioning and organizational capacity building, the team at PMA has never fallen short on delivering quality outcomes."
Cain Center for the Arts
"Patton and the team at PMA are at the top of their game! They have perfected the process of listening, adapting, and responding to the needs of their clients and the communities that they serve. Along with this, they bring a true relationship-led practice - the relationship that you build with them will last long after your engagement has ended."
Some of our valued partners
Arts & Culture
- Actor's Theatre of Charlotte
- Arts and Science Council
- Arts of the Albemarle - Elizabeth City, NC
- Arts Plus
- Cain Center for the Arts - Cornelius, NC
- Carolina Actors Studio Theatre
- Charlotte Folk Society
- Charlotte Museum of History
- Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
- Community School of the Arts
- Discovery Place
- Friends of Music at Queens University
- Harvey B. Gantt Center
- Jazz Arts Initiative
- Lakewood Trolley
- One Voice Chorus
- The Symphony Guild of Charlotte
- Brad Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation - Statesville, NC
- David Belk Cannon Foundation - Gastonia, NC
- Foundation For The Carolinas
- Material Handling Education Foundation
- NC Textile Foundation
- NC Veterinary Medical Foundation
- Steve Smith Family Foundation
- BFB Foundation
Children & Youth
- A Child's Place
- Cabarrus Partnership for Children -Concord, NC
- Children's Home Society - Greensboro, NC
- Council for Children's Rights
- Girl Scouts, Hornets' Nest Council
- Girls on the Run International
- Hope Haven of the Lowcountry - Beaufort, SC
- Jubilee Family Development Center
- Kids First Surgical Team
- Kids Voting Mecklenburg
- Lakewood Preschool Cooperative
- Project One Scholarship Fund
- Safe Kids Midlands - Columbia, SC
- Smart Start of Mecklenburg County
- Time Out Youth
- Youth Villages
- Bennett College - Greensboro, NC
- Davidson College - Davidson, NC
- Elizabeth City State University - Elizabeth City, NC
- Greensboro College - Greensboro, NC
- Guilford Technical Community College -Jamestown, NC
- Johnson & Wales University
- NCSU College of Education - Raleigh, NC
- NCSU University Libraries - Raleigh, NC
- UNC Charlotte
- Wilberforce University
- Wingate University
Education Primary and Secondary
- The Cannon School - Concord, NC
- Charlotte Catholic High School Foundation
- Charlotte Latin School
- Charlotte Preparatory School
- Community Charter School
- KIPP Charlotte
- Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools Education Foundation
- Palisades Episcopal School
- Scholars Academy
- Westchester Country Day School - High Point, NC
- Carolina Raptor Center
- Catawba Lands Conservancy
- Catawba Science Center
- Doe River Gorge Ministries
- First Presbyterian Church - Greer, SC
- Littlejohn United Methodist Church -Lenoir, NC
- Myers Park Presbyterian Church
- North Carolina Central University Wesley Foundation - Durham, NC
- Sandy Plains United Methodist Church
- Solid Rock United Methodist Church -Cameron, NC
Health & Human Services
- Alzheimer's Association
- American Red Cross, Greater Carolinas
- Augustine Literacy Project
- Care Ring
- The CFIDS Association of America
- Charlotte Rescue Mission
- Charlotte Speech & Hearing Center
- Classroom Central
- Crisis Assistance Ministry
- CrossRoads Corporation
- Dilworth Center
- Fellowship Hall - Greensboro, NC
- Foothills Area Family YMCA - Seneca, SC
- HealthReach Community Clinic - Mooresville, NC
- Holy Angels - Belmont, NC
- Hope Restorations - Kinston, NC
- Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region
- The Ivey
- Latin American Coalition
- Loaves & Fishes
- Make-a-Wish Foundation USA - Phoenix, AZ
- NC Dental Society Foundation
- NC MedAssist
- New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundation - Wilmington, NC
- Novant Health Foundations
- Partners in Ministry - Laurinburg, NC
- Pat's Place
- Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation
- Project Life Movement
- Rowan Helping Ministries - Salisbury, NC
- Safe Alliance
- Seed Programs International
- Susan G. Komen for the Cure Charlotte
- Wheels for Hope - Raleigh, NC
Leadership, Volunteer, and Community Development
- Charlotte Chamber of Commerce
- Downtown Raleigh Alliance - Raleigh, NC
- Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce - Raleigh, NC
- Institute for Philanthropic Leadership
- Lakewood Community Development Corporation
- Wildacres Leadership Initiative