Bonnie Clendenning

Consulting on fundraising and board governance

Ms. Clendenning has almost 50 years of experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, and external relations. She has spent much of her career helping nonprofits plan, organize, and direct fundraising initiatives including major gifts programs, annual funds, planned giving and capital campaigns. 

Apart from fundraising, Bonnie has extensive experience in board governance. She has played a key role in onboarding new consultants and facilitating the board governance training. She provides guidance on board recruitment, and board policies. As the chair of ESC’s board of directors, she has vast knowledge of the rules to run a committee and the legal responsibilities of board members. 

Bonnie was formerly President and Trustee of the School for Field Studies, an organization that provides accredited environmental studies programs around the world. She previously served as Executive Director and Trustee of the Archaeological Institute of America and as Vice President of The Education Alliance. Bonnie’s fundraising experience includes serving as the Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Tufts University’s School of Medicine and at its Fletcher School; Vice President of University Hospital (now Boston Medical Center); and Dean for External Relations at Radcliffe College (now the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University). At Radcliffe she conducted the then largest fundraising campaign ($101 M) in the institution’s history. 

At ESC, Bonnie has provided consulting services to nonprofit organizations including Emmanuel Music, First Literacy, Crossroads, and the Worcester Art Museum, among others. At Crossroads, a youth development nonprofit, she conducted a fundraising feasibility studyinterviewing 40 people who might have the ability and interest to donateAs a result, the organization was able to raise $11 million dollars for Crossroads to build new facilities. 

Bonnie is a graduate of Smith College, holds a Master’s degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a J.D. from New England Law/Boston. 

Bonnie says, “I have to say that because we consultants don’t get paid in cash, wwork very hard to do a good job because that’s how we are paid – gaining satisfaction from the work. Many organizations are helping their clients succeed but not many are working as sincerely as ESC does.” 

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See our complete list of consultants here.