Passion Statement

I believe in the power of nonprofit organizations and their leaders to improve our world. I focus my work on guiding nonprofit leaders to become natural and confident fundraisers. I work with causes I care about, when and where I can make a meaningful difference. I believe that fundraising is about sharing passion and making change, and that asking and giving can and should be a transformational experience for both the donor and the recipient of the gifts. In my work I strive to be honest, open and helpful. I am a philanthropist, a wife, a mother, a strategist, a coach and a change-maker. 

Susan Axelrod

Contact:; 518.495.4573

Susan has 34 years of experience as a fundraising executive, consultant and coach for worthy organizations, nonprofit leaders and emerging development professionals. She has helped dozens of organizations raise tens of millions of dollars over her career. She specializes in strategic thinking and helps nonprofit CEOs get Confident with personal solicitation and create lasting connections with their donors to facilitate meaningful relationships and purposeful gifts. She is a natural coach teaching, encouraging and helping clients shift and grow outcomes greater than they had previously imagined. Her goal for every healthy nonprofit organization is to create and have a life-long loyal donor corps. Susan has been a Certified Fund Raising Executive [CFRE] since 1992 -find information about fundraising certification here. She is registered in New York State as Fund Raising Counsel [FRC] and a Professional Fund Raiser [PFR]. She follows the industry Code of Ethical Standards, and she is a go-to community resource on questions of ethics in fundraising.

Committed to the future of the profession, and to the health and welfare of the nonprofit sector, Susan developed and offers a FREE MENTORING PROGRAM FOR EMERGING DEVELOPMENT PROFESSIONALS UNDER AGE 30: Confident Fundraising Mentoring Program. This is a three-month long program with full curriculum, group teaching calls and personal coaching calls.

Susan is also a Philanthropy Advisor and motivational speaker, she inspires people to understand their life’s experience and purpose and helps them transform that purpose into a philanthropic passion and plan. Susan works with financial and legal advisors to help them find their own philanthropic passion and then to enrich client relationships. She is brought in for customer appreciation sessions and to engage individual clients to help 'bring meaning to money.'Contact her for advising and speaking engagements at HERE

Listening to Susan speak is fun, motivating and energizing...every time! Whether it’s during our individual coaching calls or to my team or board, she nails it. When I hired her as a coach, I didn’t realize I was also getting an extraordinary speaker!
— 2016-2017 client

To give back to the profession that has served her entire career, Susan offers a four-month Mentoring program for young professionals. This is a free part-professional, part-personal program that teaches self-confidence and Confident Fundraising to those willing to participate actively in the program. Please feel free to forward this information to anyone you know, particularly people from diverse backgrounds. Susan is personally interested and committed to promoting diversity in fundraising. Organizational leadership and staff must represent the communities they serve.

Being a donor and volunteer herself has provided total alignment through personal perspective and insight for her work with individuals and charitable organizations. She is a strategic advisor and has helped to conceptualize Jewish Girls Unite, an organization that meets her deep and abiding philanthropic passion: turning our Jewish daughters into Jewish 'mothers' [defined as learned Jewish adults who can nurture others in a loving way that will bring peace to our world].

Susan is amazed and thrilled to be married to her college sweetheart and is in awe of her daughters Rebecca and Sarah, now independent women, whom she adores and of whom she is extraordinarily proud. She is a proud alumna of Mount Holyoke College and lives in Rexford, NY.


I offer highly personalized and specialized coaching for nonprofit leaders who are ready to make deeper connections with donors and raise more money. Helping nonprofit leaders transform their consciousness from Money to Meaning by moving FROM a Fundraising Culture of Asking for Money TO a Philanthropy Culture of Offering Meaningful Impact is the core of my work. Strengthening the nonprofit sector one organization at a time is the Impact. 

Confident Fundraisign strategies produce every time…Individualized Coaching for high-level personal solicitations. For individual nonprofit leaders in a customized coaching program, to national organizations with multiple chapters, or small groups of people who come together through innovative connections, I offer intensive programs to provide training and guidance to both emerging and established nonprofit leaders. 

Whatever your personal fundraising coaching need is, please look through the site and contact me directly if you do not see a program that works for you. I never pressure or engage in hard-sell tactics. Get Confident! Call for a free no-strings session and then you can decide if it works for you.

Through Confident Fundraising, my intention is to offer fundraising relief to the executive leaders of nonprofits throughout the United States who are lovingly and expertly caring for the fabric of our society. I am here to support you in a safe environment with your most private concerns about your own ability to raise money for your organization. You must succeed, for the strong future of the nonprofit sector, and our world. Blessings to each and every one of you for the work you do every day, Susan

Marcy Stengel

Marcy helped create and found Confident Fundraising. She works with nonprofit organizations that are ready to move to a next level of expertise and productivity in fundraising. Her ability to listen, assess, process, articulate and plan resoundingly supports development professionals and nonprofit leaders in their daily work and in their long-term plans.

Marcy has been a professional fundraiser for more than 10 years, working for progressive causes and organizations to create and refine fundraising systems, improve donor stewardship and ensure positive change. Her love of fundraising began in high school, where she served as the treasurer for her school's environmental organization and got her first taste of organizing fundraising events. Since then she's never stopped believing in the power of people to change the world and she has worked in fundraising for higher education, public radio and environmental advocacy .

She is Vice President of Capital Region Sponsor a Scholar, currently sits on the board of the Capital District Childcare Coordinating Council and does pro-bono work for Docs for Tots, a national advocacy organization for pediatricians.

Marcy lives in Upstate New York with her husband, young son and rescue dog.