"Working with you as a Coach has been a huge help to me. With many changes in my life at just this time, including a new position as Executive Director, knowing that I was able to speak with you weekly was so beneficial. I have greatly valued your experience related to my work and your guidance as a coach." Eve Mills

"Among the many things you taught us, one has stood out for me: 'Offer a deeply meaningful opportunity to a potential donor and know that donors make gifts on their own time-frame.' I have now seen this play out time and again. I used to be nervous about asking people for money, but your teaching has helped me tremendously. I have seen the wisdom of your model--consider a donor's needs first, be authentic in your offering, and be patient. I have watched our endowment grow steadily with your help and I feel confident that our donors feel great about their philanthropic commitments." Jill Goodman, lay board president

“Wow. A second gift of $300,000. A SECOND GIFT IN A SINGLE CHECK. UNSOLICITED. If this isn’t proof that your methodology works, I don’t know what is. How can I ever thank you.” Client in third contract, 2019

“Our weekly coaching sessions are my sanity. Not only do I feel supported by you-you get my struggles-but also the support and guidance you give me about my board has been a GAMECHANGER. Your stragegy sessions? Priceless.” NP Executive Director in second contract, 2019

“Before I met you, I hated asking people for money. I was terrified of it and just didn’t do it. Since I learned your Confident Fundraising Methodology and Mindset, I see for myself how fun it is and how easy it is to offer people meaningful opportunities to make the philanthropic impact THEY WANT to make….you can’t shut me up now!” 2018 Satisfied Client

FROM LAST CLIENT OF 2018: "You're like the Emergency Room for college presidents, always available when we get into a scrape in fundraising." …same happy client one week prior: "You are a savant! Thank you so much for your time and the call. I will follow-up as suggested with the senator tomorrow with a lead in to a conversation next week."

"Having recently moved countries to establish our not-for-profit organization, Susan has guided us through the foreign landscape of strategic planning, business development and fundraising - and gently encouraged us to soul-search in order to answer the crucial questions that lay the groundwork for great vision and successful planning. What we expected to be a rocky journey has become a deeply rewarding experience within which Susan is teaching us to embrace the learning process that lies ahead. We are so grateful to Susan for her ongoing guidance which is both tangible, brilliant and practical - an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to create impact effectively."  Rivka Leah Popack


Young Professionals Mentoring Program: "The group sessions are helpful while the personal calls are motivating. Odds are you won't leave a conversation with Susan NOT ready to take on the day. I've never left a personal phone call NOT feeling motivated."   Tommy Breymeier, Director of Marketing & Development, Boys & Girls Clubs of Albany


From Susan: I am proud of the following testimonial because of the extraordinary service by this worthy organization; providing quality healthcare in a rural, medically under-served region ensures a better future for all. About participating in a free Planned Giving Mentoring program:

“What we accomplished was above and beyond what I had anticipated. Susan worked with me via bi-weekly phone calls to effectively organize and launch my organization’s legacy society. Susan provided guidance and assistance every step of the way including prospecting, marketing and strategy. Thanks to her expert coaching, I had the confidence and skills to implement our planned giving program. We announced our new Legacy Society last month and started receiving membership inquiries and planned giving notifications right away. I am incredibly grateful to Susan who took our time together very seriously and, as a result, helped our organization achieve far more than I had expected.”
— Jessica Rubin, Executive Director, Hudson Headwaters Health Foundation, Inc.

"You told me it would happen, that people would 'thank us for the opportunity' to make such large gifts. I didn't believe it. I still wouldn't believe it if I didn't hear it with my own ears from a donor! Working with you as a Fundraising Coach has shown me how different it feels to offer meaningful giving opportunities once you've created an authentic relationship with a donor. Before, I always felt badly about continually asking for money. I did it because it was my job and I knew the mission was important. But, I'm more productive now because I DO actually FEEL CONFIDENT. By the time I'm talking to a donor about doing something so important to them, and that will make such a big impact on our mission, I know I'm going to hear those magic words eventually. Knowing I can call you any time to discuss strategy has given me the exact support I need to know that I'm moving in the right direction. And, as you say, 'That's all there is.' Thank you!"

I truly enjoyed our time together, your insights and more than anything, your friendship. Having someone you can trust to listen to your challenges and help you brainstorm solutions I found invaluable at a pivotal time here at the agency. Thank you for all you did for me and the others you work with.
— Bill Moon, CEO Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Southern Adirondacks
Wow! I can’t believe you contacted me about a discounted session. I never thought I could afford to work with you, but I’m IN on this offer. When I heard you speak at the presentation, you taught fundraising strategy in a way I had never heard. I can’t wait to get started!
— July, 2016 new coaching client
I wish I had met you years ago when I started my nonprofit. I spent years in worry and in this first coaching conversation I feel so lighthearted knowing that my deep passion for the mission is all I need to focus on when speaking with the ‘right’ potential donors. I still don’t believe that people will actually ‘thank me’ for the opportunity to make a gift, but I’m looking forward to it! Can’t wait until our next session.
— August, 2016 Coaching Session
Being early in my fundraising career, Susan’s four-month Confident Fundraising Mentoring Program is an incredible learning experience about becoming a more effective and efficient fundraising professional. Not only is her framework simple, but it can be used in almost any setting where raising any amount of money is the goal. She is direct and to the point about her practices, and is completely honest in her [constructive] assessment of how one can improve.

The personal calls with Susan were the biggest help for me. I regard Susan as a ‘career-therapist’ in her assessment of personality, traits and habits that highlight a person’s opportunities for bettering oneself both personally and professionally. The time spent on these conversations was deeply self-reflective and a great catalyst for personal growth.
— Ben Van Wert, Confident Fundraising Mentoring Program-1, 2016

"Wow!! I received your Confident Fundraising Tools and they are amazing! Clear and simple, I can't wait to start working with them. Working with you as a Fundraising Coach has changed the way I think about, well, everything. I had no idea how I was coming across to donors 'I WANT MONEY!' I'm so glad you helped me understand that when you think about 'donors' as people, and think about their needs first, it's a natural progression to offering them an opportunity to meet their needs! All this in just two Coaching sessions, can't wait until our next call!" {July, 2016 coaching client]

Susan’s positivity is contagious and inspires our organization to think big and understand how we can achieve our goals. she encourages us to visualize our dreams and take action in a practical way. Her intuitive ability to create effective prospect strategies is remarkable; her support and wise advice results in the unimaginable.

Susan, everything has changed in the 18 months that we’ve been working together. I know, now, what I have to focus my time and energy on—staying in touch with my donors and keeping them connected to the purpose. I couldn’t believe it when we realized that we raise $90,000 in donations, and we got a gift of $25,000, a gift commitment of $54,000 and several gifts of $2,000 to $10,000. I want to stop doing all my programs and just be in touch with my donors, that’s the most fun!
— Nechama Laber, Owner, Jewish Girls Retreat
How could you know that from this short conversation? The insightful questions you asked in these few minutes have helped me to consider this new nonprofit CEO position in a new way. I will be thinking about it differently as I go into the interview, thank you!
— Spontaneous conversation with nonprofit CEO applicant
I am happy to recommend Susan as the brilliant Advisor in Philanthropy that she is. When I first became an Executive Director, Susan generously offered to provide some guidance in helping me devise a development plan for my organization. The first and most valuable lesson she taught me was to get over my fear of fundraising. Next, she broke it down into manageable steps and gave me invaluable advice on engaging my Board and creating a plan for donor solicitation. Her advice was spot on which helped me achieve some early wins and gave me the confidence to forge ahead. Her approach to philanthropy is both straightforward and creative. She truly understands the heart and mind of a philanthropist because she lives it. I can’t thank her enough for taking me under her wing when I first started out. In fact, to this day, whenever I find myself in a fundraising quandry, I often ask myself, “WWSD - What would Susan do?”
— Susan Malinowski, Executive Director, Captain Youth and Family Services
Before I met you fundraising was a jumble of just knowing I had to get money. Now, after just 3 meetings with you, I have your tape in my head: ‘Start with passion, break it down, and offer authentic connection for a meaningful giving experience.’ When I think about fundraising now, it feels easy and fun!
— Heard in a Coaching Session with a College Dean
Before I share my thoughts and feelings about Coach Susan Axelrod, I would like to mention that our organization is one of the many start-ups which have brilliant ideas but cannot break a circle of uncertainty and hesitation. To help such organizations, it is not enough to be a dedicated fundraising professional, You have to be an intelligent person, you have to know human psychology and you have to have a lot of extra energy.

Susan is a unique person [and this is not just a mere statement]. She has this exceptional combination of professional and human qualities described above which enable her to instill a new vision in her clients, first, and only then, to guide them in their fundraising and development activities. For start-up organizations, which are at the very beginning of their activities, this kind of help is incomparable. For me, it is very close to a miracle.
— Vlad Golen, Executive Director New Culture Outreach Academy
My colleague and I spoke to Susan for the first time last night. She offered very constructive criticism which opened our eyes to a number of issues within our organization. Her passion for her work is undeniable and her vast experience is evident in her ability to quickly analyze situations and articulate the steps necessary to obtain success. This was one of the most productive encounters we have had thus far in the nonprofit realm.
— Ryan Sanborn, nonprofit co-founder
What an abundant day ~ Thank you to Susan Axelrod who came to Peaceful Acres Horses today to do a workshop with yours truly. I attend many workshops for NPO business executives and development directors. Keeping myself up to date and productive is vital to the heartbeat of Peaceful Acres Horses.

Susan’s workshop was the best!

Please reach out to Susan if you are looking to transition from an ordinary business life to an extraordinary business life (and a personal life of joy, too)!
~ Thank you my friend! I look forward to your next workshop at Peaceful Acres Horses! You have to admit the space is perfect (space provided by a grant from the Charles R. Wood Foundation).
— Nancy Beyerl, Founder Peaceful Acres Horses
Susan remains a reliable resource for the development community in countless ways. Her years of experience and strategic thought process bring wisdom to her tireless work in the world of philanthropy.
— Margot Anderson, Director of Philanthropy, Make a Wish Foundation of Northeastern New York-now retired
I was in agony. I knew it was going all wrong. In one call you’ve clarified how I can easily turn it around and I can’t wait to do more strategies with you to offer our donors meaningful connection to us and great giving opportunities.
— ...heard during a Coaching Session
I really appreciate your willingness, your generosity and I’m excited to learn about this new area for me. For the first time I feel lighter about this aspect of my job!”
— ...heard from a college Dean during a Coaching Discovery Call
Susan is a leader and role model in the field of fundraising. Her insightful ethical approach takes the organizations she works with an a forward direction. Not only is Susan successful helping the organizations she works with raise funds, she creates a learning environment that fosters growth for boards of directors.
— Eileen Handelman, Principal Capital Affairs, LLC
90% of what I learned in fundraising, I learned from you. I quote you all the time and when I finally implemented what you taught me, I started seeing results immediately. Thank you for helping me feel more confident when I became a new CEO!
— pro bono client, 2015
Not only has Susan been strategic and creative in fundraising technique and resources, she has been an incredible mentor. As a result of working with her, not only did I come up with better strategies, I was also able to rethink and refine the message and the values of my project. Her expertise and her passion make her great to work with and a wonderful friend and mentor.
— Zilin Cui
Susan is an exuberant fund-raiser and wonderful catalyst to motivate and energize others. She brings a perceptive focus to the process of strategizing on solicitation approaches, and can cut through the chaff to get to the heart of what will energize a successful fundraising campaign. I have always found her to be helpful and insightful with any challenge posed.
— Mark Koblenz, Chief Executive Officer, Daughters of Sarah Senior Community
Thank you for the feedback on the piece I wrote to share with my potential donors, but I need to thank YOU! It is 100% due to working with you this summer that I was able to integrate and synthesize my mission in such a powerful way. I finally GET the idea of sharing the PASSION by offering a meaningful giving opportunity to the right person rather than just ASKING FOR MONEY from anyone I think ‘should’ give.
— heard during Coaching session, August, 2016