Mary Kaiser 

President & Founder

Mary Kaiser lives her belief that a strong base – of both donors and practices – is the core of every successful development program.  She combines counsel with actually getting the job done, especially in those crucial components of the base: annual giving, membership, and development program infrastructure.

Like many of us…

I fell into fundraising accidentally.  For me, it was my work-study job at Bradley University, where I earned my Bachelors degree in marketing.  Today my specialty is strengthening the base of lower-level donors and members, those not in the major gifts pool, and building solid development office infrastructure.  With my help, small start-up organizations get new fundraising programs off the ground, and large established organizations re-organize their programs for maximum impact.  Several of our clients return to Kaiser Group again and again and refer us to other organizations, and I’m proud of that.

I am a fundraising generalist.  Over my 20-odd year career, at Illinois Institute of Technology, Art Institute of Chicago, direct marketing firm MSGi, and Kaiser Group, I have worked in almost every development specialization, from prospect research to membership and annual fund to development systems and infrastructure and more.  The Art Institute reached record-breaking membership levels when I headed its membership promotion in the 1990’s.  And since I opened Kaiser Group in 1999, we have helped more than 50 organizations solve problems, big and small.

What is fun for me – and for my clients – is figuring out together the underlying problem or goal and then inventing strategies to go after it.  In the process, we develop a relationship that becomes the bedrock for great work together.  Because I’ve worked on both of sides of the desk, I serve as your colleague and sounding board, adding my depth and breadth of expertise to that of your staff. 

Every client, every challenge, every solution, is different.  And I feel like I make the world a better place, by helping you raise more money so your nonprofit gets stronger.  This is why I like to go to work everyday.

While today, I work primarily with World Wildlife Fund in development, planning and operations, I’m still available for ad hoc projects helping organizations to plan their giving programs.