Jeffrey Woolverton to lead INN Major Gifts initiative

Jeffrey Woolverton headshotJeffrey Woolverton has joined the Institute for Nonprofit News as Network Philanthropy Director, a new position.

Woolverton will lead INN’s Major Gifts initiative to transform fundraising capacity and increase  major gifts across the INN network of more than 250 nonprofit news organizations. He will create shared resources, built on industry best practices, for INN member newsrooms to increase their skills for major gift fundraising, including identifying and developing relationships with individual donors.

“This is an exciting time for nonprofit news organizations in the INN network. I hope to highlight the impact INN members have in our communities and inspire donors to give generously to support our missions,” he said. “My goal is to make this work more efficient and effective for our member organizations. I look forward to working with members, so they know that they do not have to do it alone — I will be there to walk with them on this journey.”

Woolverton brings nearly 20 years of experience in fundraising and nonprofit management to INN. With a degree in sociology, he worked as program director and was the first development director of Life House Inc. in Duluth, MN, a program for homeless youth. From there, he moved to senior roles at Boys & Girls Clubs of America, where he grew new revenue across a national network of more than 600 nonprofit organizations.

At Boys & Girls Clubs, Woolverton led a team that doubled major gift contributions over two years by raising more than $214 million in 2019. To do that, he created fundraising services and resources, including a library of templates, toolkits, and training modules based on industry best practices.

“Securing funding is the fundamental challenge of the emerging nonprofit news field. The nonprofit news sector needs to develop the philanthropic backbone to grow and sustain news, so creating Jeffrey’s position as  network philanthropy director is central to INN’s work to meet this need,’’ said Fran Scarlett, INN’s chief knowledge officer. “Jeffrey brings impressive experience building libraries of resources and training nonprofit leaders in fundraising, so we’re looking forward to having him help members turbocharge their efforts.”

INN piloted a program last year to test whether the rate of major donor giving could be meaningfully improved with coaching and tools. The results were so encouraging that INN is expanding its work in this area.

Woolverton’s position is funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

In addition to his work with Boys & Girls Clubs, Woolverton’s media involvement includes publishing and consulting nonprofit arts organizations in his hometown of Duluth. Woolverton has published books on art, poetry, and literary essays.

Woolverton is based in Atlanta and can be reached at