Andy, you’ve spent your career working with nonprofits. Tell us about that.
I enjoy being able to use my 40+ years of experience in youth work, employment training, health care and disability services to help PRG’s clients.
Our team often discovers things about a client that were not apparent at the beginning of the project. It’s not always about fundraising—sometimes we find and address governance or financial issues.
How did you get drawn into the nonprofit world?
When I was an undergrad, I worked in a federal job training program for youth in New York City. It was my first exposure to fundraising.
After college, I moved to LA and went to work for the Boy Scouts. I handled fundraising, managing volunteers and helped modify the traditional Scouting program to engage inner-city youth.
How did you end up in Northern California?
I enrolled in a special master’s program at Cal, earning an MSW with a focus on community organizing and administration. I received a scholarship from United Way that I repaid by later working at United Way Bay Area.
I learned a lot about fundraising, government affairs and agency management during my years with them. Later, after I traveled across South America for nine months, I came back and managed their operation in Marin.
What was your entrée into healthcare?
I was the foundation director for Marin General Hospital. They hired me to resurrect a stalled $6 million capital campaign, which resulted in a new hospital wing and emergency department. Over the years, I directed six or seven capital drives—hospitals have an insatiable appetite for capital.
In ’96, Marin General became part of Sutter Health and we were asked to raise $1 million for a new Novato hospital. No one had ever raised that kind of money in Novato, but with a great chair and committee we raised nearly $3 million.
What was your next stop?
I was hired by Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael to pull reasonably successful but fragmented development activities into a cohesive program. We increased annual giving and planned gifts and created a strong donor data management system. After six years, I felt I had done my job.
What do you do in your spare time?
Our son and his family live in Novato, so we get to spend time with our two granddaughters, Carmela and Lyla.
We have an urban farm that keeps us in fresh veggies and supplies arugula and peppers to local restaurants.
Other healthy pursuits include 25 years as a certified cycling instructor, and I swim and kayak regularly.
My pro bono time goes to projects like the Cinnabar Theater, helping the Small Craft Center build a Floathouse on the Petaluma River and the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation.
What’s the defining factor of PRG?
The key to our success is active listening and customization. We approach every client on their own terms and fit our strategies to their needs.
As a result, we develop enduring, personal relationships with clients, which is nice. Every agency that approaches us with a fundraising dilemma is worthy and our challenge is determining where we can be most effective.
More about the PRG team
Perspectives on the fire from Sonoma EDs