professional consultants to nonprofits

Our Consultants

Jim Bennett

Planned Giving/Endowment, Direct Mail, Board Retreats
Monterey, CA

Jim has over 25 years in the non-profit Development field: Managing director, California Repertory Theatre; development director, The SPCA for Monterey County; development director, Hospice of the Central Coast and Hospice Foundation; development director, The Frohman Academy; development director, American Theater Arts, Hollywood, CA. Currently director, Capital Initiative, Pacific Repertory Theatre. A member of The Rotary Club of Monterey Pacific and past president of DEN, Monterey (Development Executives Network) and AFP, Monterey Chapter (Association of Fund Raising Professionals).

M. Susan Breen

A consummate professional in marketing, public relations, Board development, Internet consulting and coaching. Experience in corporate and nonprofit organizations.

Susan enjoys providing public relations, marketing and business development expertise to a variety of clients. She served as director of visitor bureaus in three Pennsylvania counties, coordinating legislative affairs, providing hospitality services and producing material for broadcast and printed media. She has directed chambers of commerce as an executive and board member, and has expertise in written and verbal communications with extensive radio/television exposure. Susan has a proven facility for working with public officials at all echelons of government and is capable of serving as a team member, facilitator or leader.

Karen Csejtey*

Board/Staff Training, Board Retreats, Strategic Planning, Executive Director/CEO Coaching
Monterey, CA

Karen (Chaytay) has over 30 years experience in the nonprofit sector and small business enterprises. After 15 years, she retired last year from Leadership Monterey Peninsula, a nonprofit leadership training organization. She has facilitated many nonprofit boards in strategic planning efforts including Dorothy's Place, Monterey County Free Libraries Foundation, Orchestra in the Schools and the Nonprofit Alliance of Monterey County. She has facilitated the Executive Directors' Learning Community for the last five years and is the Co-Founder of Community Builders for Monterey County, connecting volunteers to build a better community.

Ken Goldstein MPPA

Strategic Planning, Interim ED, Mergers & Transitions, Fund Development Training & Meeting Facilitation
Los Gatos, CA

Ken has been working in nonprofits and local government agencies since 1989. He has served the nonprofit community as a staff member, executive director, board member, volunteer, and, since 2003, as an independent consultant. He has served many nonprofits as an Interim Executive Director, leading through transitions, mergers, and turn-arounds. He has also facilitated planning retreats, taught workshops in fundraising, management, and social media, written several million dollars in funded grant proposals, and performed other contract consulting work for local nonprofit agencies. Ken holds a Master of Public Policy and Administration from CSU Sacramento and a BA in Politics from UC Santa Cruz.

Mary Jacobi

Branding, media relations, business/nonprofit interface, special events, strategic planning and budgeting
831.679.2610 or 831.809.6353

Mary is a development professional of thirty years with experience spanning the public and private sectors. She has held executive management and advisory positions in biotech, retail, service companies and nonprofit organizations. Mary has shown consistent success as a fundraiser and motivator for community organizations developing grant proposals, producing special events and creating unique customized activities for local business and nonprofit organizations including Santa Clara County's Community Health Awareness Council, Red Cross, MDA and Los Gatos Music and Arts along with Monterey County's Spreckels Union Education Foundation, MCAET Foundation, Central Coast Veterans Cemetery Foundation and 4-H. Among her specialties are marketing, accounting, cost analysis, budget and resource development and "problem-solving" in general.

Donna Kneeland*

Organizational Development, Grant Writing, Planned Giving, Special Events, Capital Campaigns
Carmel Valley, CA
831.625.0929 or 831.601.2136

Over 25 years as development director in the non-profit sector, primarily in the field of arts and education. Associate director of Patrons, Principia College; development director for the Monterey County Symphony and the Monterey Museum of Art. Consultant to non-profits. Experience in all aspects of fundraising, with an emphasis on organizational development, grant writing, capital campaigns, planned giving and special events. Past president of AFP, Monterey Chapter (Association of Fundraising Professionals). Donna served as consultant on two historic preservation capital campaigns for the Carmel Valley Historical Society and the Carmel Mission Foundation where she assisted the foundation in reaching their goal of over $5 million for Phase I of their historic preservation campaign.

John Light*

Arts Management-Production, Ticketing, Grant Writing-Reporting, Campaign Readiness, Graphics, Web, PR & Branding
PO Box 4547, Carmel, CA 93921-4547

A classically trained stage actor and director, John has worked backstage in positions of stage and executive management, public relations, marketing and development with regional theatres including ACT San Francisco and San Diego's Old Globe. He has also worked on Broadway and Hollywood stages, and in film and television as an actor and producer. John produced for several years for the City of Carmel at Sunset Center with the Festival of Firsts and three different children’s educational theatre programs as well as benefits at Sunset including the Monterey County Aids Project. He has completed the Grantsmanship Center's Long Range Strategic Planning Intensive. He worked with The Western Stage for 20 years, advancing first to the position of marketing and development director in 1992 and finally to managing director in 2002.

Mike Mahan

Capital campaigns; non-profit staffing and leadership; board/staff selection & training; development organization
Salinas, CA

With more than 20 years as a development professional, Mike has worked in all sizes of development shops with staffs ranging from 4 to over 40 individuals. Mike began his fund raising career at the US Military Academy at West Point where he worked for 16 years, the last 12 as the Senior Vice President, Development. While at West Point, Mike designed and ran two campaigns at the: one for $10M and a second for $218M. Mike did not just sit behind a desk at West Point; he solicited gifts of all sizes including seven multi-million dollar gifts and the largest ever for the Academy of $15M. Mike moved to the Monterey Peninsula and worked at California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) as Executive Director of Development and the Vice President for Advancement (VPA). At CSUMB, Mike created the Foundation for CSUMB as a legal entity and served as its first Executive Director. Mike worked at the Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare system serving as the Executive Director of the SVMH Foundation. Mike also spent 25 years as an intercollegiate coach and continues to coach charities in the aspects of fund raising.

Marli Melton

Organizational Development, Fundraising Planning, Grant Writing, Program Evaluation and Reporting, Capital Campaigns, Endowments Budgeting, Functional Expense Analysis

Marli has more than 28 years’ nonprofit experience on the Central Coast. She worked at the Community Foundation for Monterey County for 15 years, retiring as VP of Programs. She also assisted the Harden Foundation in its grant making and was Director of Institutional Advancement at Chartwell School, leading their successful $14 million new, green-campus campaign. Marli has consulted on capital campaigns with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and has taught Nonprofit Financial Management at California State University Monterey Bay. Her competencies include budgeting/financial management, planning/policies, endowments, financial and donor software, grant proposal writing, evaluation and reporting, special events, publications and communications, and working with volunteers.

Other associate members with a broad range of expertise are also available as needed.
*notes Principals