“Michelle isn’t just a consultant, she is partner in the success of the entire organization, whether it’s assisting with the assessment of a fund development department, forging a vision and plan or conducting a search for talent. As a client, you don’t just get the work, you get Michelle; her contacts, her expertise, her candor, her experience, her insight, her energy and her passion.
What I enjoy most about working with Michelle on projects is the mutual exchange of new ideas and the exploration of fresh approaches. She doesn’t come with a ‘template framework’ or ‘process in a box.’ She engages on a very organic level, seeking first to understand before offering ideas for change. She is a trusted colleague and a valued friend of THINK Together and Principals Exchange”
“In both of my professional Development positions in Los Angeles, I have made hiring Michelle Whiting an important part of strengthening my Foundation and Government Grant Departments. Michelle’s thorough knowledge of the philanthropic community, her proposal writing skills and her track record of successful fundraising has served me well in two very different non profit settings, children’s health and the visual arts.”
Ballet West Board Chair
Senior Vice President – Investment Officer, Wells Fargo Advisors
“Michelle went above and beyond in conducting the searches for our Executive Director and our Vice President of Marketing and External Affairs, She looked deeply into our organization, provided our board with invaluable insights, and because of that she was able to help us find the exact right match. Our searches actually moved faster and produced more qualified candidates than we could have come up with on our own, no question. Michelle appreciates that boards are full of busy professionals. Her incisive, no-nonsense approach is worth a million in the time she saves cutting to the chase.
And beyond the searches, Michelle and her team of outstanding consultants have been remarkable fundraising partners to Ballet West. Over the past three years we engaged MW&A for a broad range of services including and assessment on our foundation support and outreach to new funders. On both counts MW&A delivered world class results. Michelle’s on time and on task results driven consultancy is exceptional. ”
Bill H. Lyon
Former Board Chair, Pretend City Children’s Museum
CEO, William Lyon Homes, Inc.
“Pretend City Children’s Museum was referred to Michelle Whiting & Associates to assist in the search for our Executive Director. Our standards were high, and Michelle helped us refine them even further. The results of Michelle’s search were very fruitful with the hiring of a truly “ideal” candidate for Pretend City. What also impressed me though was her creativity as she pushed us to explore the funding and organizational development possibilities of one of our key partnerships. We additionally utilized her Foundation Relations services to bolster our development department. Michelle’s ability to expand our grant opportunities has led to broader appeal among regional foundations, as well as larger strategic opportunities with existing supporters. Michelle has proved a valuable resource to our board, our staff, and the organization at large.”
“Michelle came on board when our years of prior fundraising efforts had been going nowhere. Her significant task was to change who we ask, why we ask, and most importantly how we ask for funding. She came in like a dynamo, and given her tremendous expertise, connections, and personality we eagerly got on board with her strategies and direction. She guided us to improvements in our board policies, committees, and membership. She researched, contacted, and opened the door to several major foundations for us, then she and her team composed compelling LOIs and project proposals that were submitted to those same foundations. The result was much needed high-level exposure for us, a few invitations for consideration, and most significantly, some serious funding from prestigious foundations. She succeeded where others had failed, and she helped teach us how to achieve similar success on our own. Michelle is a remarkable talent, a pure pleasure to work with, and a two-legged gold mine of fundraising prowess. We’d work with her again anytime.”
President and Founder, Caterina’s Club
“Michelle Whiting is responsible for the rapid growth of my young organization, Caterina’s Club. We have had the distinct pleasure of benefiting from her colossal network and expertise in the non-profit world and beyond. Her patience, creativity, professionalism, and expertise in writing grants and building lasting relationships has bridged Caterina’s Club from a small project of mine into an established and developed organization.
What is unique about MW&A is that you can count on Michelle’s attention to quality, and her high standards to be also reflected in the work of her associates. Expect Michelle and her fabulous team to dedicate 120 percent to any project they take on. They take the necessary measures to ensure that your organization is aligned for success, and will simply treat it as if it were their own. One word of advice is to trust her, whatever you do, trust her. Both her knowledge and her network in the non-profit sector are unparalleled, as a true development Guru, MW&A is without an ounce of hesitation, Caterina’s Club’s best investment yet.”
Chairman of the Board, The Terry Lee Wells Foundation
“The Terry Lee Wells Foundation has worked with Michelle Whiting & Associates on two very different but important projects. First, Michelle facilitated our trustee retreat helping us align our grant-making goals for the next five years with the priorities of the Northern Nevada communities.
Michelle and her team then embarked on a comprehensive assessment of our largest grantee—really a head to toe exam of the organization. The findings and recommendations have helped change the face of this organization, and have greatly assisted myself and the other trustees of the Foundation in mapping out how best to financially support them in the future.
On a personal note, Michelle is a dream to work with—fastidious but charming, and always willing to go the extra mile in providing support, new ideas and creative solutions. The Terry Lee Wells Foundation looks forward to working with her for years to come!”
“Michelle’s expertise and her understanding of the non-profit and philanthropic communities have been invaluable to Project Hope Alliance in a time of rapid expansion and change. She and her team at MW&A have provided us with a thorough development assessment that gives PHA a solid blueprint for our future fundraising and staffing needs. Michelle is a joy to work with and an essential strategic partner in our continued success.”
Enlisted MW&A for: Development Assessment & Planning
CEO, Cosmopolite Consulting
(Former Executive Director, Craft and Folk Art Museum)
“Michelle Whiting & Associates (MWA) delivers results that exceed other consulting firms. Michelle personally possesses a rare blend of big picture thinking and the ability to execute on detail. Michelle was initially referred to me by a Chicago colleague, and we hired MWA as the Museum was preparing for a change in executive leadership. Michelle conducted a top to bottom assessment of current development activities, noted areas of strengths and weakness and developed a highly actionable month by month Fund Development plan to guide the new Executive Director for the first 18 months. Michelle identified additional sources of income and recommended appropriate levels of funding. Her practical approach built confidence among both the Board and Staff during a time of change. Michelle Whiting is a rainmaker in my view!”
Enlisted MW&A for: Development Assessment & Planning
“Michelle Whiting is a trailblazer in the Non-Profit Industry. Over my seven years leading the Joffrey Ballet, her tenacity and expertise in the field helped secure funds the company may not have been able to obtain on its own. When beginning my new position back in Southern California, my first call was to Michelle to have her fully assess the operations, staffing and reach of the grants program. Her recommendations for short and long term growth have had an immediate positive impact on our foundation grants funding. She is by far the best foundation consultant I have encountered in the United States or United Kingdom.”
Chief Executive Officer
Girls Incorporated of Orange County
“We hired Michelle Whiting to conduct an audit of our current fund development strategies. What we received was a comprehensive report outlining our areas of strength as well as areas where there was real opportunity to make chnages and refocus on key strategies that are mission-aligned, and that will provide real results. Within two months, we had implemented several of the recommendations in her report.
We are also implementing the 18-month development plan Michelle presented us with as part of our 2nd phase of the project. Michelle has a wealth of experience that has provided invaluable knowledge, expertise, advice and an insight into the philanthropic community that we truly appreciate. She is high energy, passionate and delivers a high level of quality work.”
Enlisted MW&A for: Development Assessment & Planning
Chief Executive Officer, Project Tomorrow
“When we first contracted with Michelle Whiting to help us with the identification of new funders, I did not realize all of the other capabilities, talents and experiences that she would bring to the relationship, and how much we would benefit from her services. While some fundraising consultants might focus on the narrow grants process, Michelle approached our organization holistically and helped us with strategic planning for program expansion, board development, staffing and networking within the community. In particular, Michelle facilitated several new relationships for us that enabled us to expand our program into Los Angeles two years ahead of schedule.
Her astute insights into the philanthropic community and her advice on planning for strategic growth have dramatically changed our organization’s outlook and sustainability for the next three years. More importantly, since Michelle brings to the table a wealth of experiences, we have been able to leapfrog some typical hurdles and focus our limited internal efforts on opportunities and efforts with high yield potential. Bottom line: a relationship with Michelle Whiting produces a very strong return on investment—with both immediate and sustainable payback.”
Associate Director of Institutional Giving
Girls Incorporated National
“There are few people with as comprehensive and astute understanding of the nonprofit organization as Michelle Whiting. Although her primary expertise is financial development, her approach to ensuring structural stability for every organization integrates a wide knowledge of programming, a keen eye for capacity enhancement and extensive experience with human resource development, both staff and volunteer.”
Linda Novick Okeefe
Chief Executive Officer , Common Threads
“Michelle Whiting understands nonprofits. She is not only well respected in the Los Angeles foundation and nonprofit arena, but also her natural instincts for quickly understanding an organization, allow one to set a record breaking pace for moving forward with fundraising strategies. Her high energy, no-nonsense, efficient approach was a breath of fresh air; she quickly became a valued teammate for me and a fast friend.”