PRG, a Marin County-based consulting group, provides fundraising and development services to Bay Area nonprofits. Our input often means the difference between organizations being able to fund important work or not. The firm was established in 1990, with the goal of managing capital campaigns and teaching local nonprofits “how to fish.”
Prior to founding PRG, Elliot Levin earned his stripes by managing nonprofits in Chicago, L.A. and San Francisco. His last position was CEO of one of the Bay Area’s largest, United Jewish Community Centers.
He has since brought together an experienced team whose members lend their energy, passion and expertise to every project. “We’ve also developed a network of proven specialists who can be called on as needed,” says Elliot. “We know how to get things done.”
PRG experience spans a broad range of sectors — universities and specialty schools, healthcare providers, affordable housing development, community centers, libraries, museums, aquariums, disabled-serving organizations, charitable foundations and hospice programs. See our client list.
Meet our team
Elliot M. Levin, Founder & President
Elliot Levin founded the Partnership Resources Group in 1990 after a career managing nonprofit organizations in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
As former CEO of one of the Bay Area’s largest nonprofits, United Jewish Community Centers, Elliot spent years grappling with the same enormous challenges that face today’s charitable organizations.
Making a difference
When Elliot launched PRG, it was a strategic move to create the broadest impact with his expertise. As a consultant, he gets great satisfaction from sharing his know-how and bringing the transformational power of large-scale fundraising to many organizations. “While there are certain tried-and-true principles to fundraising success,” he says, “every project is a snowflake with its own distinctive potential. We become a catalyst to unleash that potential.”
Elliot believes that leaders are the defining assets in a winning fundraising effort. He dedicates his practice to coaching and supporting management and volunteer leaders as the pathway to success.
A Chicago native, Elliot received his undergraduate degree in education from the University of Illinois and master’s degrees in social work and public administration from the University of Southern California. From 1991 to 2008 he served as Adjunct Faculty at San Francisco State University and University of San Francisco, teaching nonprofit fundraising.
Elliot, a Marin County resident, has been known to sneak away to a nearby golf course when he is not following his three children or his beloved Chicago Cubs. He is a world music fan, Middle East news junkie and enjoys coaching youth sports as well as, “hiking anywhere.”
Andy Eber, Senior Associate
Andrew Eber began raising funds in 1970, so that Los Angeles inner-city kids could participate in Scouting and escape to summer camp.
For 16 years, Andy led a hospital fundraising foundation in Marin County. He also directed several $20 million annual development programs for a leading agency serving the blind, as well as six capital campaigns for the Marin Community Health Foundation.
Andy has served as development counsel to the executive directors and boards of numerous nonprofits seeking charitable investors to support their missions. He considers this his most satisfying role.
The art of fundraising
“Raising money is both an art and a science,” says Andy. “At PRG we thoroughly understand the science element, but our real value is in helping our clients master the art of turning their relationships into revenue.”
Andy Eber holds a master’s in social work from UC Berkeley as well as certification as a Spinning (cycling) instructor. He is also an urban farmer, active volunteer, swimmer, occasional travel photographer and proud grandpa. He and his wife Carol live in Petaluma, which he describes as “one of California’s most charming and, in some ways, dysfunctional towns.”
A consultant since 2005, Janis Johnson specializes in fundraising, marketing, and organizational and executive communications for nonprofits of all sizes.
She previously enjoyed a diverse career as a strategist and practitioner, building and managing communications teams and initiatives in complex nonprofit institutions. At Georgetown University, she oversaw award-winning communications for its first billion dollar comprehensive campaign.
Earlier, Janis was director of communications for the University’s medical center, and at Loyola Marymount University in L.A., built their first comprehensive communications and public affairs office.
Always interested in ferreting out and sharing the truth, Janis was a staff writer for The Washington Post and correspondent for such publications as USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Miami Herald and Boston Globe. Her work garnered several magazine awards.
“I am fascinated by social and political change — and the resulting stories about people and communities,” Janis says. “The transition from journalism into development and marketing writing was an easy one because it’s all about storytelling, either to inform people or persuade them to act for something they believe in.”
Author and blogger
Originally from the Midwest, Janis is the author of The Artist’s Eye: Vernon P. Johnson’s Watercolors of 1950s Small Town America, a book chronicling the work of her father, a visual storyteller. She writes The Artist’s Eye blog and the Womantraveler blog.
A graduate of Duke University, Janis is an avid reader of history and contemporary culture, and when not collecting writing material in the Bay Area or beyond, makes a play at golf.
Cindy Morton has over 15 years of fundraising experience — building major donor programs, planning capital campaigns and managing successful fundraising events.
Since 2008, Cindy has shared her passions and support by consulting with nonprofits in education, parks and the environment, social services and the arts. She helps develop creative and sound fundraising strategies to advance organizational goals. “I love building connections between the public and private sector,” she says, ‘’bringing much needed resources to high-impact projects.”
She gave her heart to San Francisco
Prior to consulting, she led major donor fundraising at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, helped raise $34.5 million for the restoration of Crissy Field, and built a robust major gifts program for the parks. She was also the Director of Special Events at the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, developing sustainable contributed income for the library system.
Her early marketing experience in the interior design industry established strong communication skills, along with a high standard of aesthetics.
From East to West
Born and raised in Manhattan and now living in Marin County, Cindy has a bachelor’s degree in art history from Boston University. She loves to read fiction, take long hikes and is trying to become fluent in Italian or French, whichever comes first.
Cindy is on the board of directors of Creativity Explored, a nonprofit art center in San Francisco’s Mission District serving adult artists with developmental disabilities. She also volunteers for Reading Partners where she tutors young learners.
Mike Howe has worked in the social sector for almost 50 years, doing everything from leading community foundations to teaching and building grassroots social change initiatives. It has always been important to him to be able to engage with colleagues who share his values and desire to work with others in achieving lasting positive change.
Currently Mike consults with foundations, corporations and nonprofits domestically and internationally, specializing in philanthropy, strategy, organizational change management, leadership and governance, and fund development.
A national and local leader
Mike served as the Chair of the National Task Force on Community Leadership at Stanford University from 2006 to 2012. From 1993 until 2006 he was President of the East Bay Community Foundation and led them through a period of unprecedented growth.
His formative work in philanthropy was developed as a seeker of funds, as a professor of sociology, and later the founding dean of the College of Professional Studies at the University of San Francisco. Following his work at University of San Francisco from 1986 to 1993 were leadership roles at the Marin Community Foundation.
Family plus community
Mike enjoys serving as a volunteer on boards and committees in the U.S. and Asia, applying his skills in developing, reviewing and/or revising organizational visions, missions and goals. He is blessed to be married to his dear wife for 50 years. They have two grown children, three beautiful and successful grandchildren and one very young and exciting great-grandson. And, of course, he cherishes his many dear friends and close colleagues, all of whom he relies upon for sustenance each and every day.
Melissa A. Irish, Senior Associate
Melissa is a seasoned fundraising professional with 20 years of experience raising private sector funds for nonprofits with budgets of $250,000 to $10 million. Melissa spent a decade as a senior fund development staffer in health and human services, workforce development and environmental organizations before completing her MBA.
Following that, she established a consulting practice to serve nonprofits, from strategic planning, campaign counsel and development audits and plans to feasibility studies for capital campaigns.
Innovative strategies for growth
Melissa specializes in creating impactful individual giving programs. She particularly excels in helping organizations build the capacity to raise major gifts through annual, capital and planned giving campaigns. She applies innovative strategies from the for-profit arena to enhance the performance of nonprofit organizations. Her unique perspective and blend of experience enables Melissa to understand the motives and priorities of diverse stakeholders and help them connect with the organization’s mission and goals.
She makes it a point to engage all members of the leadership team including board of directors, senior management, development and program staff, as well as fundraising volunteers. Melissa believes “fun” belongs in fundraising and she strives to create opportunities for people to connect with and invest in their values through philanthropy.
Inspiration in Nicaragua
First inspired to join the nonprofit fundraising world in 2005 after living in Nicaragua, Melissa spent her time there working with impoverished communities and writing grants for school gardening and education projects for those most in need.