Philadelphia University

By susanlienau | January 14, 2013 | 

I have known and worked closely with Bob Happy for nearly ten years. That experience has led me to conclude, as have the vast majority of the more than 1,000 clients he’s served, that he is among the fundraising field’s finest professionals. Bob has all the tools that define an elite fundraiser: sophisticated strategic thinking; considerable depth and breadth of technical knowledge; a charismatic yet genuine personality; and, of course, a vast reservoir of experience that few other advancement professionals – and I mean few – can bring to the table.

Having worked successfully with hundreds of the nation’s top philanthropists, volunteers and nonprofit executives, Bob brings to bear a keen understanding not only of what motivates donors, but what inspires them to push a project forward. His style of interpersonal relations is a combination of approachability, intensity and honesty. As a result, interactions with Bob – be they at a board meeting, a seven- or eight-figure solicitation or a one-on-one planning meeting -are productive – things happen when he’s involved.

Most important, I’ve found Bob to be a person of deeply ingrained integrity who prefers to surround himself with colleagues and clients who share a value system that’s focused on doing what’s right. A penchant for transparency and “straight talk” characterizes the way he conducts business, and personal relationships as well. While there’s little he enjoys more than celebrating with his clients when they’ve achieved an important milestone, he’s unafraid to say what needs to be said, even if the message is sobering in its depiction of the challenges a given situation may present. That said, though he will never gloss over potential obstacles, he has a gift for helping an organization’s key stakeholders achieve a realistic grasp of “the possible,”and in the course of so doing, raises the sights of donors, executives, senior staff and, indeed, entire boards of trustees.

Given that the success of ambitious endeavors requires the involvement of trusted, highly skilled and engaged partners, I recommend without qualification that any nonprofit organization seeking to accomplish something great through fundraising speak with Bob and the team at Averill Fundraising Solutions.

Jesse R. Shafer
Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations
Philadelphia University
Philadelphia, PA


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