Colin Hamilton has built a career helping organizations—including those without traditional donor constituencies or high visibility—access the resources they need to grow and better service their communities.
He got his start at a political consulting firm in Northeast Ohio, where his primary focus was helping public agencies – school districts, libraries, mental health, and transit agencies – build public support for tax referendums.
From 2000 to 2007, he served as the Executive Director of the Friends of the Minneapolis Library. He led both a referendum and capital campaign for the Minneapolis Central Library, before helping advance a politically complex merger between the city and county systems. In his last year, The Friends were voted the nation’s most outstanding library support organization, and Colin was named one of the Twin Cities’ “40 under 40.”
Colin then spent ten years leading advancement and planning work at Artspace, a national nonprofit developer working at the intersection of the arts, cultural heritage, and community development. He helped created projects in neighborhoods of Minneapolis, New York, New Orleans, Honolulu, Seattle, and elsewhere, while also collaborating with Kresge, Ford and other foundations and practitioners to shape creative placemaking as it emerged as a more defined national field after the Great Recession.
Following the 2016 election, Colin joined Public Radio International (PRI), which had helped create iconic radio programs like The World, Marketplace, The Takeaway, and Studio 360. He helped complete a capital campaign focused on digital transformation a year and a half ahead of schedule. As PRI merged with PRX, public media’s leading technology and podcast innovator, Colin worked with the new CEO and board to set mission and strategic priorities while restructuring the development program to best suit the new organization’s culture and needs.
Colin launched Hamilton and Associates in 2019 with its first client, the Trinity Park Conservancy, which is creating a 210-acre park in the heart of Dallas while pursuing an ambitious equitable community development agenda in partnership with the adjacent neighborhoods.
On a more personal front, Colin grew up in Iowa City, went to Amherst College, thought he’d become an anthropologist, and then lived in Prague for three years before returning to Iowa for an MFA in creative writing. As a kid he was diagnosed with dyslexia and speech impediments, but now spend most of his time reading, writing, and talking to people. He has published a book of poetry and a novel and is working on a collection of stories. He lives in St. Paul.