Penelope Cagney, CFRE, MFA, MA, Principal

Rated among the Top 6 Fundraising Experts in the US by Philanthropy Media, Penelope has more than 30 years helping nonprofits succeed in fundraising, planning and governance. She and her associates have helped clients achieve significant financial and organizational objectives. She has taught graduate level fund development, strategic planning, governance, and communications courses at the School of the Art Institute and Columbia College in Chicago, also advising on student theses; professional development at the Arizona State University Nonprofit Management Institute; and was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at American University in Cairo, Egypt, advising on arts management education. She has been a plenary and keynote speaker and has conducted master classes in fundraising in Korea, China, Japan, Italy, India, Canada and Mexico and across the US.

Penelope is editor of “Global Best Practices for CSO, NGO and Other Nonprofit Boards” (Wiley/BoardSource 2018/Shanghai University of Finance and Economic Press 2020 – Chinese edition). She is the co-editor of the 2015 Skystone Partners Research Prize winner and cause planet.org Best Books of 2015 awardee “Global Fundraising: How the World is Changing the Rules of Philanthropy” (AFP/Wiley 2013/Shanghai University of Finance and Economic Press 2018 – Chinese edition). She is also the author of “Nonprofit Consulting Essentials: What Every Nonprofit and Consultant Needs to Know” (Jossey-Bass/Alliance of Nonprofit Management 2010); editor of “Beyond Profit: Managing the Nonprofit Organization” (Lutterworth Press, UK 1991) and a contributor to “A Dictionary for Artists, Performers and Managers” (Simon and Schuster 1996).

Penelope Cagney has served on the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Global US Foundation for Philanthropy and the AFP Global Association Board. Founded in 1960, AFP advances philanthropy through its 27,000 members in more than 240 chapters throughout the world. AFP has inspired global change and supported efforts that have generated over $1 trillion. AFP’s individual and organizational members raise over $115 billion annually. She has served on the Wish Fund Committee for Make-A-Wish International. Previously she has also served on the boards of the Arizona Costume Institute at Phoenix Art Museum; Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago; Chicago Academy for the Arts; and the New Group at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; as well as the Selection Committee for the Asia Philanthropy Awards.

Penelope is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and a BoardSource Certified Governance Consultant. She holds a BFA magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago and an MA in arts, entertainment and media management from Columbia College Chicago, and received an MFA in Studio Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2021. 

+1 602 366 5080

“Penelope is a brilliant, thoughtful and energetic author and professional who is a get-it-done-well-type personality. A delightful person and winning negotiator, Pen is the best choice for situations that take tact, talent and toughness. She is one of the fifty best people in the world to meet and make your friend.”

Tim Herrlinger

 Director, Department of Community and Economic Development, Northampton County, PA

© 2023 – The Cagney Company