The founder of our consulting firm, John Brown, had an enormous impact on the profession of development by educating several thousand development officers, donors and volunteers in his seminars as well as working with more than 500 non-profits as his clients in his 33 years at the helm of JBL. John died in 2011 and we and his many clients continue to miss him.
John has left us a remarkable legacy that demystifies philanthropy and that draws us in the world of creatively matching donors' interests with our organizations' goals and priorities. He loved every day of his consulting work and his seminars. We will continue to look for opportunities to promote that legacy.
John founded John Brown Limited in 1978 on the philosophy that development professionals are most effective when their strategies include respect for donors' interests; relationship building; rehearsed, but comfortable solicitation; and planned giving integrated into all major gift endeavors. The hallmark of John's counsel was to motivate organizational leaders in building ownership among their constituents, and consistently achieving a greater level of success in fundraising.
Under John's leadership, JBL has served thousands of clients. By fostering donor ownership and respect, his clients have run capital and endowment campaigns, effective major/planned gift programs and, most importantly, long-term financial and membership growth.
Prior to opening his own firm, John served in several major gifts and planned giving positions at Syracuse University. He later created and directed the planned giving program at Harvard University, and was a founding member of the Planned Giving Group of New England. John volunteered his time lecturing at professional nonprofit conferences each year, including CASE and AFP.
John was posthumously awarded the 2011 Planned Giving Group of New England's David M. Donaldson Distinguished Service Award at their annual meeting in May of 2012.
As John wanted, we continue the firm under the direction of our President, Susan Feagin. Susan was happily married to John for over twenty years and shared professionally with him the joy of helping many organizations raise money as well as helping many donors make generous gifts.