Deep Roots In Philanthropy

Bob Carter outside

Philanthropy is so deeply rooted for Bob Carter that his volunteerism and career have melded into a life devoted to helping charitable organizations worldwide. While his classmates at Johns Hopkins University were electing careers in medicine and on Wall Street. Carter began teaching British and American literature. He was drawn into fundraising-eventually for his alma mater and then for Ketchum where he spent 15 years as President and CEO of its fundraising arm. Carter’s “retirement” lasted less than three months, and he founded his namesake firm, Carter, in 2011.

The company has grown to 30 professionals, each with less than 15 years’ experience, who work locally, nationally, and internationally, helping nonprofits with fundraising, governance, and strategic planning. Carter has aided West Coast Black Theatre Troupe’s capital campaign, Sarasota Ballet, Boys and Girls Clubs Manatee County, and is working with the Van Wezel Foundation’s performing arts center bayside. Carter has chaired seven nonprofit boards, including Mote Marine Laboratory’s board on which he still serves. He currently is volunteering with a committee to establish a foundation that will allow the World Health Organization to receive funding through private donations for the first time. Another project involves raising funds for a new university in Switzerland alongside a Russian entrepreneur.

Carter has received many awards throughout his career, inducing being named a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow. A gifted athlete who helped take Johns Hopkins’ lacrosse team to two Division I championships, Carter was a three-sport athlete at The Boys Latin School, which honored him as an Outstanding Alumnus. He and his wife, Carol, past Vice-Chancellor at the University of Pittsburgh, are both active in international and local philanthropy, and she now serves as an Anna Maria Island commissioner.

– used with permission from SARASOTA SCENE magazine

Nonprofit Expert Bob Carter Shares His Tips For Choosing a Charity


Beyond its award-winning beaches and abundant cultural attractions, Sarasota County has one more claim to fame. It’s overflowing with nonprofit organizations—2,154 of them, according to the Florida Nonprofit Alliance—making it among the top two or three counties in the entire U.S. for the number of nonprofits per capita.

Bob CarterThat’s from Bob Carter, chairman of Sarasota-based Carter, whose 30-member team of consultants advises some four dozen nonprofits each year around the world on strategic planning, governance and fund-raising campaigns—everything from the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s recent $8 million Heart & Soul campaign to World Vision U.S.’s current $1 billion Every Last One campaign to eradicate extreme poverty across the globe.

That Sarasota ranks so high is a dubious honor, he points out, because there’s so much duplication of missions and programs here, and such heavy competition for philanthropic dollars.

So, with more than 2,100 choices—not to mention the 1,368 nonprofits in neighboring Manatee County—what’s a newcomer to our area, or a recent retiree with time on his hands, or a professional who wants to burnish her C.V. to do when they want to apply their knowledge, skills and dollars to help a local nonprofit?

“Giving is 90 percent emotional and 10 percent rational,” says Carter, who is chair-emeritus of the Association of Fund-Raising Professionals international board of directors. But there are measurements to guide you.

Read moreNonprofit Expert Bob Carter Shares His Tips For Choosing a Charity

There’s lots of chatter about fundraising in 2019:

get out and fundraise

I can’t resist putting my take on it. It’s a result of weathering 5 recessions etc. etc! Here goes:

The best fundraisers will be successful if:
They will use the tools available in technology with applied analytics and continue to develop strong relationships with top prospects for major and mega gifts.
They will not spend time talking about the tax laws but will recognize that cases for support have always overcome tax changes.
They will treat all gifts as noble and donors as having the potential to grow their gifts if given opportunities that excite them to do so.
They will make sure their cases are relevant, urgent and emotional, remembering that giving is 90% emotional and 10% rational.

It’s all about human behavior. We should all remember that the appreciation in the USA equities market is extremely significant as it sat at 6500 in March of 2009 and now we worry about a 100-200 slide from 25,000 -23,000 or more. Most major donor prospects today have been investing and captured that growth for the last decade. fundraising drivers: equities and employment In other words, 2019 will be what you make it. Pick up your phone, Get out from behind the desk and remember that no fundraising happens at your desk!

Bob at Carter

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Twelve Days of Holiday Giving Ideas

holliday lights

Twelve Days of Holiday Giving Ideas
Bob Carter, CFRE, Chairman

There is almost no excuse today for people to not give in some way to help an important cause unless they are truly a Scrooge. Use these last days in 2019 wisely and you will truly know the joy of giving to others – making the lives of friends and family and people you may never meet, more joyful!!

(1) Make a direct gift by Cash or Check
(2) Contribute Appreciated Securities
(3) Donate your Real Estate
(4) Transfer ownership or add a beneficiary interest to a Life Insurance Policy
(5) Establish a Life Income Instrument
(6) Make a gift up to $15,000 in 2018 to a Family Member
(7) Designate your IRA Charitable Rollover
(8) Donate Food
(9) Give away Books or Computer Software
(10) Contribute Stock of an S Corporation
(11) Establish a Conservation Easement
(12) Volunteer Your Time and Talents!

Carter provides counsel to nonprofit organizations all over the world in the areas of fundraising, governance and organization planning. The company has offices in Sarasota and Vero Beach, along with 27 consultants living throughout North America and Mexico. Contact Carter

“Beyond the Ask: A Fundraiser’s Rise to the Pinnacle of His Profession”


By Holly Hall

Reaching the top of the fundraising profession involves so much more than perfecting one’s solicitation skills. Just ask Bob Carter.

Now chairman of Carter, his simply named consulting firm also known as Carter Global, this consummate fundraiser has climbed the ranks of the fundraising profession, raising money worldwide for more than a decade. He has also led difficult efforts to reorganize failing fundraising companies and nonprofit organizations—work that most development professionals are only too happy to avoid. His career offers several fundraising lessons, especially for those interested in consulting work or the financial rigors of running successful nonprofit organizations.

Carter’s experience reflects not only the high points possible with an international fundraising career—global travel, frequent flyer miles, well-placed clients, and lucrative pay—but also downsides like family disruptions from the constant travel. (Carter and his first wife, the mother of his two grown sons, are divorced. His second wife, Carol Armacost Carter, a seasoned fundraiser in her own right, is a managing director at his company. This year marks their 35th anniversary.)

Carter’s fundraising career started out of necessity: After completing a four-year degree at Johns Hopkins University, he found that he couldn’t make ends meet with his first job out of college: teaching English.

Read more“Beyond the Ask: A Fundraiser’s Rise to the Pinnacle of His Profession”