Sara is a solutions-oriented advancement professional with over 25 years’ experience in development and administration in the nonprofit field. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Tampa and an MBA from the University of South Florida. She is a Certified Fundraising Executive and has been named as a Master Trainer by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
She has worked in the nonprofit sector raising funds for healthcare, educational and cultural organizations. She managed development operations including identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors, managing annual giving, major gift cultivation and solicitation, training and management of staff, board and volunteers, foundation and corporate support, sponsorships, annual funds, special events and in-kind support. She is widely considered an expert in crisis fundraising and has guided organizations through capital campaigns – both large and small.
The founding director of the Nonprofit Leadership Center’s Fund Development Academy, Sara launched the Sara Leonard Group in April 2015 to provide consulting, coaching and training to fundraisers, CEO’s and nonprofit board members. She continues to serve as trainer in fund development and volunteer management at NLC.
Sara serves on the board of directors of the Suncoast Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and New Tampa Young Life. She is a former board member of the AFP Florida Caucus. She lives in Tampa with her husband and two children.