Valerie M. Jones, CFRE

Board Guru, Major Gifts & Plans

Val brings her intelligence, determination and spirit to the nonprofit world.   Drawing on more than 25 years’ experience, she counsels clients on board development, strategic planning, grantswriting, prospect research, development audits and plans, and major gifts.  Ms. Jones, creator of her signature Nonprofit Hero asking method, has taught thousands of volunteers and professionals to ask for gifts in ways that are authentic, inspired and successful.

Nonprofits ~ Jones has raised more than $175 million for arts, cultural and environmental organizations. She helped one client win federal funding at five times the rate of peer applicants. She secured a breakthrough sponsorship for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and brought the Scott Arboretum through its first ever capital campaign. Long-time clients applaud her skill, experience, creativity and the confidence she inspires in their boards.

Corporations ~ VMJA corporate clients include a major theme park, movie studio and an insurance company. She designs systems that generate significant philanthropy at little cost to the bottom line; one such system has generated more than $11 million for wildlife conservation.

Experience ~ Prior to founding her own firm, Jones led programs that increased giving 50%-100% for her employers: Freedom Theatre, The Philadelphia Zoo, People’s Light & Theatre Company, the Chester County Historical Society and Swarthmore College.

Speaking ~ Jones’ dynamic appearances have benefitted groups from Baltimore to Beijing, including China’s New Museum Technologies Conference, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and many, many Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) international and regional conferences.

Leadership ~ Favorite volunteer positions include serving as Chair of the Friends of the American Philosophical Society, President of the Energy Cooperative Association of Pennsylvania, Trinity Episcopal Church Swarthmore Vestrywoman, and Hamilton College Regional GOLD Chair.

Credentials ~ Jones is one of fewer than 10,000 CFREs worldwide. As a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) she is held to a rigorous standard which must be earned anew every three years. She is a LEADERSHIP Fellow and an alumnus of the American Express Leadership Academy.

Academics ~ She was a U.S. finalist for the Rhodes’ Scholarship when women were first allowed to compete. Jones earned her B.A. in Anthropology and Art from Hamilton College.

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