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Lee Ernst Begins as CEO at JGA

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Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates (JGA), a leading national consulting practice in fundraising and predictive analytics welcomes its new CEO effective July 1st. Lee Ernst, a seasoned advancement professional with over a decade of service at JGA, assumes the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as the firm celebrates is thirtieth anniversary.

“Lee’s emphasis on industry trends, new data-driven product development, and enhanced industry partnerships, combined with the talented team at JGA, provide a seamless blend of experience and fresh perspectives to address the emerging needs of nonprofits,” commented Ted Grossnickle, Senior Consultant and Founder.

In addition to providing counsel to a wide range of nonprofit clients in education, social services, and the arts, she has led JGA’s new product development and fosters strategic industry partnerships. Through these initiatives, she spearheaded continued innovation and growth of services to position JGA to meet the emerging needs of nonprofits, such as Acuity®, a prospect prioritization tool developed with DonorSearch, and Acuity Darts, a prospect prioritization and donor persona tool developed with Carnegie.

Leadership Transition Positions JGA for Philanthropic Innovation

Throughout her time at JGA, Ernst has demonstrated a keen understanding of the philanthropic landscape and actively contributed to the firm’s growth and success.

“I’m honored to step into this role as JGA accelerates our focus on finding innovative approaches to help nonprofits find success with donor engagement in today’s changing philanthropic environment,” says Ernst. “Leaders must adapt to the ever-changing needs of donors and this includes the use of data to target their efforts and personalize the donor experience. Ultimately, the heart of fundraising now and in the future must stay grounded in relationships built on trust; this will allow for the growth in generosity that we seek in our communities and nation.”

“Lee’s strategic guidance in our collaboration with JGA at Luther College has been invaluable,” adds Mary Duvall, Vice President for Development at Luther College. “Her expertise extends beyond understanding best practices to skillfully applying them to our unique situation. She very quickly establishes herself as a trusted partner, with support, personalization, and accountability at the core of the relationship.”

“Lee’s strategic guidance in our collaboration with JGA at Luther College has been invaluable.”

– Mary Duvall, Vice President for Development at Luther College

“In the dynamic landscape of advancement, innovation isn’t just a choice; it’s the critical mandate of our time,” explains Scott Ochander, Partner and Chief Leadership Strategist at Carnegie. “Lee understands the fundamental shifts in fundraising strategy and is just the right leader to help nonprofits embrace fresh ideas and new strategies to better connect with a new generation of supporters. Her experience and passion has already helped position JGA at the forefront of new initiatives that embrace actionable data through transformative strategies that challenge traditional paradigms and deliver more positive outcomes.”

Angela White, JGA’s outgoing CEO, will embark on a new leadership role as Executive Vice President at the Eskenazi Health Foundation, with whom JGA has a long history of partnership.

Ted Grossnickle will remain an integral part of the leadership team. He continues as Chairman of the Board of Directors, serves as counsel to many clients, and maintains extensive involvement in volunteer causes.

JGA will host a series of events in July through October regarding key changes, trends and innovation in American generosity. The first in this series is on July 11 with Fundraising.AI, the innovative collaborative helping prepare fundraisers for the artificial intelligence revolution. Find out more at