PODCAST: S2:EP15 Elizabeth Finlayson

Elizabeth Finlayson, Non-Profit Coach, joins our host Roy Kessel on the Sports Phlanthropy Podcast

Join us for S2:EP15 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast as the Non-Profit Coach, Elizabeth Finlayson sits down with our host, Roy Kessel, to talk about how to best raise money in challenging times.

Elizabeth is a strategic fundraising consultant and personal coach.  With 19 years of experience at small and large non-profits, she has a passion for helping organizations hone their programming models and develop new revenue streams to support their life-giving work. Elizabeth has worked in every area of non-profit development and has been a consultant since 2013. She specializes in individual giving and database management and helps organizations with strategic planning and board retreats. Over the course of her career, she has had an 80% funding rate as a grant writer, grown an annual gala’s attendance by 280% over four years including twice significantly exceeding goal, revitalized a direct mail program that brought in $75,000 in the second year, increased the number of major donors of an organization by 78% over four years, and helped a small non-profit bring in $100,000 in a capital campaign above its annual revenue.

Elizabeth Finlayson with Roy Kessel on S2:EP15 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast


  • 00:30 Elizabeth’s background and experience
  • 02:15 Top challenges in communicating during crisis
  • 05:00 Impact on non-profits, building empathy and trust
  • 10:00 Strategies for handling cancellations
  • 13:00 Adapting to world of online and virtual events
  • 16:00 Creating engaging virtual events
  • 21:00 Strengthening systems and improving integrity
  • 22:00 Pyramid of fundraising
  • 23:30 Implementing controls on systems
  • 26:00 Control policies and procedures
  • 28:30 Using crisis as excuse to talk to donors
  • 30:00 How to properly thank donors
  • 34:00 Creating positive dialogue with donors
  • 37:00 Tips for crisis communications
  • 42:00 Elizabeth as Commissioner of MLB

Website & Social Media Links:

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel is the Founder of the Sports Philanthropy Network. Roy has worked in the sports business world for over 20 years including serving as an instructor in Northwestern University's graduate Sports Management Program. Having served as a sports lawyer representing athletes, entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, Roy has extensive experience helping organizations improve their strategy, marketing, communications and leadership development.
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