Colton C. Strawser, Ph.D.

President & CEO

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Dr. ​​Colton Strawser started his philanthropic journey at the age of 14 when he became director of marketing/fundraising for a nonprofit organization dedicated to youth and computer literacy. He later became the organization’s executive director and, under his leadership, the organization expanded from serving one county in Northeast Indiana to serving seven counties in the region in under four years.

Prior to transitioning to consulting full-time, Dr. Strawser was a professor of philanthropy and an accomplished nonprofit management and philanthropic studies scholar known as one of the world's leading experts in community philanthropy and nonprofit capacity building. He has taught several university-level courses on nonprofit management, philanthropy, fundraising, board governance, community development, and program evaluation. Strawser has published several book chapters, reports, papers, and articles that seek to bridge theory and practice within the context of the nonprofit sector. 

Dr. Strawser has trained over 1,000 organizations, generated over $25 million in government grants, and supported local and national research efforts to understand social issues and community challenges better. His research has been featured in numerous academic journals and practitioner outlets, including The Foundation Review, Journal of Advancement Analytics, Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership, GrantCraft, CFInsights, and Candid.

Dr. Strawser is a Certified Fund Raising (CFRE) Professional and Board Certified Coach (BCC). He has also completed a Certificate of Nonprofit Board Consulting through BoardSource and is a Master Trainer through the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Dr. Strawser holds a B.A. in Philanthropic Studies from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy; M.S. in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in online teaching and program administration, M.S. in Nonprofit Management & Philanthropy, and Graduate Certificate in Strategic Fundraising through Bay Path University. He received his Ph.D. in Leadership Studies (Nonprofit & Philanthropic Leadership) from the University of San Diego where he was a researcher and trainer in The Nonprofit Institute.

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