About Alex's Consulting Services

Experience You Can Count On

Estate Planning - Contact Alex for assistance with the following:

  **Estate planning documents and needs

  **Charitable gift planning documents and needs

Currently active in New York [inactive in Delaware & Pennsylvania]

Fundraising Consulting - Contact Alex for assistance with the following:

  **Outside assessment of your gift planning/major gift fundraising program 

       including strategic planning

  **Endowment and gift acceptance policies 

  **Training tailored to your staff, board(s), leadership, and advisors

  **Marketing expertise and assistance with materials

  **Drafting of checklists, tips, letters, agreements, and sample language

  **Strategic and Operating Plans

  **Legacy society formation, marketing, events, and stewardship

  **Mentorship program

Book Coaching - Contact Alex for assistance with the following:

  **Discussing concepts

  **Preparing a book proposal

  **Organizing ideas and notes into chapters

  **Editing assistance and revisions


Learn More

If you are interested in a no-obligation quote for services, please contact me. 

Alex's Education and Experience

Alex's Online Resume


The Pennsylvania State University - BA in 1990

  With high distinction; Phil Beta Kappa

  Minor: Legal Environment of Business

Georgetown University Law Center - JD in 1993

  The Tax Lawyer

University of Miami School of Law - LLM in 1995

  Master of Law in Estate Planning


Northwell Health Foundation [2008 - present]

  Senior Director, Gift Planning  ($1 billion campaign)

Stony Brook Foundation [2007-2008]

  Senior Director, Gift Planning ($300 million campaign)

Pace University [2004-2007]

  Senior Director, Planned and Major Gifts  ($100 million campaign)

The Pennsylvania State University [1999-2004]

  Planned Giving Officer   ($1.3 billion campaign)


Zen and the Art of Fundraising: 8 Pillars of Success, Zen and the Art of Fundraising: 8 More Pillars of Success, and Zen and the Art of Fundraising: The Pillars in Practice, published by CharityChannel Press in 2018 and 2019.

In addition to a series of blogs, Alex has been published in Trusts and Estates, The Journal of Gift Planning, Planned Giving Today, and Fundraising Success Advisor.


Since 2008, Alex has presented in 21 states and 44 cities on a variety of legal and fundraising topics. As an active attorney in New York (and inactive in Delaware and Pennsylvania), Alex can present on legal topics relating to charitable giving for CLE credit.


New York State Bar Association

American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA)

National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (NACGP)

Nassau County Estate Planning Council

Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York (PPGGNY)


NACGP Chair of Leadership Institute 2018-2019

NACGP Member, Past Treasurer and Board Member

PPGGNY President Emerita and Mentor

Georgetown University Law Center Alumni Admissions Committee

Penn State Lion Link Volunteer

Coach, Glen Cove Junior Soccer League


Affiliated Professionals

I am proud to associate with the following independent consultants when additional expertise or capacity may be required.  These experts have worked closely with me and provide outstanding service to clients while maintaining my high standards of professionalism, proficiency and work ethic.  Their services can be accessed as part of the scope of work for a project or accessed individually through their own websites. 

Lynn M. Ierardi

Cathy R. Sheffield

Melanie J. Norton


 Gift Planning Advisor, LLC  


  Lynn has been in the estate and gift planning field for nearly 30 years.  She has served as Director of Gift Planning for the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) since 2005 and as an independent gift planning consultant. Prior to joining Penn, she held gift planning positions in health and higher education, served as Vice President with the Merrill Lynch Center for Philanthropy and practiced estate planning and real estate law. 

Lynn is the current Chair of the national board of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (CGP), a member of the CGP Leadership Institute and a regular faculty member for the Planned Giving Course. She has been a member of CGP since 1993. She is a past board member and past President of the New Jersey Council of Charitable Gift Planners and a current board member of the Planned Giving Council of Greater Philadelphia (PGCGP).   As a dynamic and highly rated speaker, Lynn has presented at conferences and meetings throughout the country on a variety of gift planning topics.  Lynn is a graduate of Lycoming College and Fordham University School of Law, and is a Proud Penn Parent - times two!

Melanie J. Norton

Cathy R. Sheffield

Melanie J. Norton


 Norton Philanthropic Counseling

Melanie is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), holding an M.B.A. from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and a B.A. in business from Franklin College.  She is past national chairman of the board for the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners – the premier organization serving the thousands of individuals across the nation whose work involves charitable gift planning – where she led the organization through a hallmark name change and rebranding effort during her year of chairmanship (2016).

Melanie J. Norton is passionate about philanthropy and the success of individuals and organizations that enhance the world in which we live.  As an accomplished professional and leader, Melanie fueled her drive to make a meaningful impact with nonprofits and individuals throughout the nation by founding Norton Philanthropic Counsel (NPC). Her unique and broad-based background blends for-profit and not-for-profit experience in both business and fundraising.  This specialized lens provides for a deep and comprehensive understanding of traditional business practice and allows her a creative, intentional and outcomes-focused perspective. Melanie’s experience helps her provide the highly-customized and relationship-focused strategies needed for client success.  She possesses an unwavering commitment to authenticity and honesty in her work.

Prior to the launch of NPC, Melanie was most recently the vice president for development and alumni engagement at DePauw University where she led the successful $320 million comprehensive campaign, surpassing the original goal of $300 million a full 23 months in advance of the targeted campaign end.  In this role, Melanie oversaw the strategy and fundraising efforts for the University and restructured and managed a staff of nearly 40 full-time development and alumni professionals.

Cathy R. Sheffield

Cathy R. Sheffield

Cathy R. Sheffield




Cathy is the Founder and President of ThinkGiving.  She is a fundraising executive with 25-years experience, specializing in major gifts and gift planning in healthcare and higher education for organizations such as Baylor Scott & White Health, Texas Health Resources, Cook Children’s Health System, and Texas Christian University. She is President of ThinkGiving, a planned giving firm based in Fort Worth, TX. Cathy is also a Vice President with Thompson & Associates, a values-based estate planning firm based in Nashville, TN.

Cathy serves as a member of the board of directors for the American Council on Charitable Gift Annuities, is a past-chair of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (CGP) and served as the 2015 Chair of the National Conference on Philanthropic Planning. Cathy is a member of the “Rollover Rangers” formally named the Charitable IRA Initiative. Cathy is a member of the American Institute for Philanthropic Studies faculty which administers the Certified Specialist in Planned Giving designation program. In 2015, Cathy was honored by the Fort Worth Metro Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals with The Ben Franklin Award for the Outstanding Professional Fundraising Executive.

Cathy received her MBA from Texas Christian University and a Bachelor of Science from North Dakota State University. Cathy is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®), Certified Specialist in Planned Giving (CSPG), and a Fellow in Charitable Estate Planning (FCEP).