Joan Grathwol OlsonVice President
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

Albert Einstein

Joan is a senior consultant with CFA who oversees a portfolio of clients providing consulting services toward ongoing growth in advancement and development programs. Joan is a dynamic nonprofit leader with key strengths in advancement strategy, implementation, and engagement of staff, board and volunteers toward an aspirational goal. Her strengths include mentoring volunteers, executives and development staff in major gifts planning and planned giving programs.

Her professional background spans 30+ years in the Twin Cities nonprofit development arena, including running her own fundraising consulting business from 2014-2017. Joan led Minnesota’s largest arts fundraising campaign – the $103 million campaign for the Minneapolis Institute of Art (2003-2006) – and launched the first-ever capital campaign by the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (2009-2014). Joan’s philanthropic and business experience also includes work with WomenVenture, Twin Cities Public Television and Minnesota Public Radio.

Joan attended St. Catherine University in St. Paul and earned a Baccalaureate degree as an exchange student at Lycée d’Etat de Pont-à-Mousson in France. She and her husband have five adult children. In addition to being with family, Joan enjoys traveling internationally. Other personal interests include sailing and knitting, depending on the season.