Maximizing The Leadership Trio for Fundraising Success (Theresa Lee)  

September 2020

Theresa Lee has enjoyed an exceptional fundraising career, doing some of her best work in the greater Boston area for institutions like MIT, Boston College and Holy Cross.  Her advice on the critical "leadership trio" (the CEO/Executive Director, the Chief Development Officer and the Board Chair) is not only applicable to large institutions, but very relevant to any sized organization trying to maximize its senior staff and board leaders as fundraisers. In episode #60 of the Path Podcast, Theresa shares her insights on each of the three positions, and what they can do to maximize their individual roles as well as better interact with the other two. Lots of good ideas here, as well as bonus content on fundraising in a virtual setting!


"If CEOs and Development Directors can open up, be vulnerable and ask for feedback, they'll get further down the road."


For 25 years as a philanthropy executive at some of the top ranked universities in the country, Theresa has accumulated the skills and expertise that have enabled her to inspire and lead teams to fundraising success. And, now as a consultant and teacher, she provides advancement professionals with the tools they need to learn and grow. She has served as a senior executive in advancement during comprehensive campaigns at MIT, Boston College, Holy Cross, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and UMass Lowell. She has worked in a variety of advancement roles including major gift fundraising, management of annual and major gift fundraising teams, alumni and parent relations, human resources, and budget management. She is a leader in CASE District I, co-chairing the educational program for the annual conference for two years. As an instructor for Boston University's professional fundraising course and a frequent speaker for AFP, CASE, and WID, she has shared strategy and practical solutions with fundraising professionals from across the world in all types of non-profits. Theresa earned an M.A. in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University. As a proud graduate of the University of Maine, she serves as both an admissions ambassador and on the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association.