Bob Carter Honored for Lifetime Service to the Profession

(Arlington, Va.) Robert (Bob) Carter, CFRE, one of the world’s most respected and recognized voices in fundraising and philanthropy, is the recipient of the Chair’s Award for Outstanding Service presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

The Chair’s Award is given to individuals for exceptional service to AFP, the fundraising profession and the philanthropic community. Carter is the 18th recipient of the honor since its creation in 1982, and will receive the award on March 29, during the Opening General Session of AFP’s ICON 2020, the largest gathering of fundraising professionals in the world, in Baltimore, Md.

Carter has over four decades of experience in fundraising and philanthropy. He established his own fundraising firm, Bob Carter Companies, in 2011, which is now doing business as CARTER, and serves as chair of the firm. His clients, past and present, are a who’s who of global charities, including World Vision organizations in the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Germany, France, and Canada; EAA Doha, Qatar; the Academy of Motion Pictures Foundation; Flight 93 National Memorial; The Globe Theater in London; the National Geographic Society, Plan International, USA; and the Smithsonian Institutions in Washington, D.C.

Carter’s previous experience includes a 26-year career with Ketchum (at the time one of the largest firms in the fundraising field), including 15 years as president, and serving as senior advisor to Changing Our World and Omnicom Nonprofit Group. Prior to joining Ketchum in 1981, he served in a variety of fundraising and leadership positions for The Catholic University of America, The Johns Hopkins University and the Gilman School in Baltimore. After graduating from The Boys’ Latin School in Baltimore, he taught there and was the school’s first development director.

“This is an extraordinary honor for me to join others who have received this award,” said Carter. “It is humbling and compels me to recall all of those whom I worked along side over these years. It was my mentors and colleagues who gave me encouragement, counsel and confidence to take on the challenges of business and gathering support for some of the world’s most important causes. I am grateful to so many of them, and to AFP for convening all of us to share our values and successful way forward.”

Carter served as chair of AFP in 2013 and 2014 and encouraged AFP to expand its efforts outward beyond the fundraising profession. A strong proponent of government relations and public policy, Carter pushed for more AFP advocacy and grassroots lobbying on giving and fundraising issues. In addition, giving to the AFP Political Action Committee grew substantially under his leadership.

During his tenure, Carter also oversaw the implementation of important programs and initiatives such as the Growth in Giving Initiative, the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, and the first-ever Diversity and Inclusion Summit in Fundraising. AFP also dramatically expanded its online educational programs and launched its 2014 – 2016 Strategic Plan that included four key goals that are still priorities today, including Inclusion and Influence; Advocacy, Policy and Ethics; Relevant Quality Education; and Capacity to Invest in Opportunity.

“Bob is one of the most respected fundraisers in the world,” said Martha Schumacher, CFRE, ACFRE, MInstF, chair of AFP. “His strategic approach and visionary thinking are incredibly impressive, and his dedication to AFP and the social sector has been an inspiration to thousands of fundraisers for decades. It’s an honor to be able to recognize Bob’s many important contributions to civil society with this award.”

A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Carter has published numerous articles in professional journals and has served as a lecturer and presenter for Columbia University’s Masters in Philanthropy Management program, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP).

Carter was appointed in 2019 by the World Health Organization (WHO) to serve on the board of directors of the new formed WHO Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland. He is past chair of the National Aquarium and the Boys’ Latin School in Baltimore and currently serves as chair-emeritus of both the Boys’ Latin School and The Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Fla.

Carter and his wife, Carol, live in Anna Maria, Fla. His sons, Travis and Trent, and their families live in Naples, Fla.

Carter Consultant Inspires Next Generation of Fundraisers

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Toohey uses a winding career path to inspire the next generation of fundraisers

Eileen Toohey headshotFrom software and mainframe sales to major gift fundraising to international consultanting… that seems to be a completely linear career path, doesn’t it?

For Eileen Toohey, it was a professional journey that leveraged her talents and interests at every stage of her life. Eileen shared her story last month at the CASE Regional Advancement Professionals Roundtable in Baltimore, Maryland.

Now a managing director with Carter, a global nonprofit and fundraising consulting firm, Eileen is best known for an amazing 25-year career at a prominent independent school where she excelled at engaging and inspiring alumni to partner with their alma mater through transformational philanthropic gifts.

Despite her success, Eileen is the first to admit, she could not have predicted her future would be in philanthropy.

“Not many of us set out to work in the development field,” Eileen said, “I don’t feel like I chose the profession, but rather I am grateful it chose me.”

Eileen’s best advice for newcomers fundraising is if an opportunity doesn’t scare you, it probably isn’t worth doing. Sage wisdom she began to understand when making the jump from alumni relations to annual fund giving.

“An annual giving position is where you learn all about development.”

Eileen credits her experience in annual giving with allowing her to sharpen her skills and get a deeper understanding of fundraising mechanics.

“Recruit from within and not just in your own department.”

Drawing on her own experience, Eileen was smart enough to recognize most of us don’t start out in development. She recruited three secretaries to join her fund development team with tremendous success.

“Love what you do.”

Eileen said it is an honor to help people and organizations invest in what they believe in.
“You’ll never get what you don’t ask for.”

Eileen didn’t ask for this career but given the crowd’s response in Baltimore that afternoon, there are professionals, colleagues, donors, and organizations who are grateful development chose Eileen Toohey.

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Carter Represented at 2018 Planet Philanthropy

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Local Carter Partners Present at Statewide Philanthropy Conference

Sarasota, Fla – July 13, 2018 – Burnham “Turk” Lewis, Managing Director at Carter, was invited to speak June 18 at the annual Planet Philanthropy conference in Fort Lauderdale Beach. Brynne Anne Besio, Chief Executive Officer at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, a Carter partner, joined Lewis in presenting an education session focused on “Making Your Organization’s Strategic Plan Key to Fundraising Success”.“As a fundraising professional, I am committed to helping others inspire volunteers and philanthropists to support causes they care about,” said Lewis. “I’ve found Planet Philanthropy to be one of the best opportunities in the southeast for fundraisers who want to learn more, expand their skills and grow professionally.”

Hosted by the Florida Caucus of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, this year’s Planet Philanthropy attracted over 300 fundraising professionals. This was the second time Lewis and Besio teamed up to present on this topic. They also shared a podium at last year’s Florida Association of Museums conference.

“Strategic planning must drive and support an organization’s fundraising efforts,” Lewis said. “Often a Board of Directors will see a decline in fundraising and fail to recognize it as a systemic problem rooted in an outdated or poorly developed vision or structure.”

Besio experienced this firsthand in her leadership role with the South Florida Museum. Carter has supported the organization through significant transition over the past four years including a multi-million-dollar capital campaign, a new board governance strategy and a strengthened professional staff structure. Burnham “Turk” Lewis, Carter Managing Director; Bynne Anne Besio, Chief Executive Officer of South Florida Museum; and, Steve Higgins, Carter President at the 2018 Planet Philanthropy Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

“Four years ago, our Board set a bold vision to grow the South Florida Museum’s impact in the region. We want to inspire learners of all ages to explore the connection between natural history, science and human life,” Besio said. “Carter has been with us every step of the way. We’ve both learned from our work together and I think it’s important to share this experience with other nonprofit organizations. A more effective nonprofit sector will result in a stronger, better Florida for all of us.”

The 2019 Planet Philanthropy conference will be held at the World Golf Village Renaissance in St. Augustine June 16-18.

The South Florida Museum is the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast. It is also home to the Bishop Planetarium and Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Aquarium. Information on its current exhibits and programs can be found at

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 25 consultants living throughout North America and Mexico. To contact Carter, call 941-388-3414

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