Jake is a highly experienced fundraising and consulting professional with over 15 years of combined experience in the industry. He began his successful career in major gifts at higher education institutions and has since provided counsel to over 30 clients at CFA, where he currently serves as Head of Consulting and Principal – Midwest.
In his role, Jake manages CFA’s consulting team and leads major projects across the United States, including campaign readiness and feasibility studies, campaign planning and counsel, and development assessments. He takes a holistic approach to fundraising, considering organizational health from all perspectives and applying a mix of soft skills and data-driven decision-making to each unique situation.
Jake’s approach is rooted in one of CFA’s core tenets: providing client-informed feedback and creative, case-by-case solutions. He challenges assumptions and leverages data-driven decisions to provide system-level solutions that drive sustainable change. For Jake, learning from the past is essential to creating a better future, and he encourages nonprofits to take a practical inventory of their history to forecast potential opportunities.
Jake’s success in donor relations stems from recognizing that donors are inspired by big ideas and tangible impact, not desperation. He has a track record of helping organizations achieve their goals and has managed a collective $100 million goal in active campaigns.
Prior to joining CFA, Jake served as a Major Gift Officer at the University of Minnesota, where he led successful fundraising efforts for the Arts Quarter and helped the School of Music achieve two of their largest fundraising years on record. He also launched the first-ever comprehensive campaign for the Marching Band, which included a crowdfunding campaign that enabled the band to make their first regular season road trip in 22 years.
Jake began his major gift experience at the University of Northern Iowa’s College of Business Administration and worked with RuffaloCODY (now Ruffalo Noel Levitz) as a telemarketing consultant and manager. He is a board member for the Association of Fundraising Professionals MN Chapter and is a former President of AFP – Northeast Iowa Chapter.
Outside of work, Jake enjoys spending time outdoors and especially loves being on the lake. He holds a Bachelor of Communication from Concordia College, where he met his wife. They have two sons who keep them on their toes daily.