Johnny Burleson Joins Creative Fundraising Advisors as Principal, Mid-Atlantic Region

November 20, 2023

Creative Fundraising Advisors (CFA) is pleased to announce that Johnny Burleson will join the firm as Principal, Mid-Atlantic, where he will oversee projects spanning CFA’s suite of fundraising counsel services. Based in North Carolina, Johnny comes to CFA with over 20 years of nonprofit advancement experience in the arts and cultural, educational, and human services sectors. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Johnny to the CFA consulting team,” said CFA Founder and President Paul Johnson. “He brings extensive experience that has prepared him to serve our nonprofit client partners, with particular expertise in campaign planning, major gifts, corporate and foundation relations, and government relations. Like CFA, he believes in aligning donors’ passions with innovative ideas to inspire philanthropy to achieve the greatest impact. We are very excited about the role Johnny will play in building CFA’s presence on the East Coast and amplifying the missions of our nonprofit client partners.”

“I am excited to join the CFA team for several compelling reasons,” said Johnny. “First and foremost, I am inspired by the opportunity to further CFA’s mission of client-centric impact and its efforts to foster creativity and innovation in the world of fundraising. I believe philanthropy’s fundamental purpose is to enhance people’s lives, making our communities stronger, healthier, and more creative.”

Johnny comes to CFA from North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) in Raleigh, where he served as Chief Advancement Officer. Johnny successfully restructured development and membership operations and transitioned the organization from a transactional approach to an institution-wide culture of philanthropy. Johnny also oversaw the planning of the largest fundraising campaign in the museum’s history.

Prior to his role at NCMA, Johnny held the position of Director of Strategic Partnerships with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, playing a pivotal role in building and stewarding local, state, and national relationships to bring philanthropic and federal resources to North Carolina in support of stronger, healthier communities. Johnny’s extensive career also includes 17 years in higher education philanthropy and advancement. He began at his alma mater, North Carolina State University, where he received a B.S. in Textiles with a focus on the Italian textile industry. Additionally, he held leadership positions at Appalachian State University and the University of North Carolina School of Government in Chapel Hill.

Johnny has volunteered as board member for several North Carolina nonprofits, including Preservation North Carolina, Triangle Land Conservancy, Lost Province Center for the Cultural Arts, Ashe County Chamber of Commerce, and Ashe County Arts Council. Outside of work, Johnny can be found on Old Orchard Creek, his blueberry farm located in Ashe County, NC. His farm is on the National Historic Register and is also protected by a conservation easement, reflecting his personal passion for the mountains, the arts, historic preservation, water, land, trails, local food, and sustainable agriculture.

About Creative Fundraising Advisors (CFA)
CFA is a full-service fundraising consulting firm with more than 200 years of collective experience in philanthropy. As professional fundraisers and consultants, the CFA consulting team has raised or partnered on more than $3 billion in philanthropic investments. Since CFA was founded in 2014, it has grown from a sole practitioner practice to a nationally focused, strategic fundraising firm. While CFA supports a diversity of nonprofit clients, it maintains a focus on work in arts and culture, education, environment, and human services sectors. Highlights of CFA’s client portfolio include: Entertainment Community Fund, Fabric Workshop & Museum, The Garden Conservancy, Lincoln Center Theater, Minneapolis College of Art & Design, McNay Art Museum, Munson, Community School of Naples, Nashville Public Radio, National Black Theatre, North Carolina Museum of Art, Plains Art Museum, Portland Museum of Art, Triangle Land Conservancy, The Music Center of Los Angeles County, University of Northern Iowa Foundation, Wichita Art Museum, and numerous others. For a full list of clients, and to learn more, visit