We’re delighted to introduce Amy Fistler, the Collegeville Institute’s first director of development and the most recent addition to our staff. Amy, who began work for the Collegeville Institute in the summer of 2019, is an accomplished development professional with an outstanding record of over 34 years of experience in fundraising, organizational development, strategic planning, and building constituent relations. She has worked in private and public universities, philanthropic foundations, and nonprofit organizations. She is currently a board member of the Bach Society of Minnesota and the Episcopal Homes of Minnesota.
“I’m delighted to be serving the Collegeville Institute by building a strong foundation for philanthropy,” said Amy. “This is an important organization that has deeply impacted the lives of some of my favorite writers and theologians. There are phenomenal people in the Collegeville Institute community, and I am glad to have a role in helping Collegeville Institute invest in the next generation of faith leaders.”
She has hit the ground running. Amy has already begun implementing a comprehensive development plan that will play a key role in fostering private giving. She has also identified several donor constituencies and established strategies, goals, and measurements for solicitating gifts. According to Amy: “People have different reasons and capacities for giving to an organization. You must identify where people fall in the universe of giving, but even more importantly, building and enhancing relationships with donors is vital in development work. Plans give you a guide for the overall program, but the key is developing and sustaining relationships.”
Amy has already begun implementing a comprehensive development plan that will play a key role in fostering private giving.
Amy notes that “in fiscal year 2020, the Collegeville Institute spent close to $1.5 million on programs with previously received funds. While the need for program support never goes away, neither does the need to expand fundraising efforts for necessary general operating revenue.” Amy intends to strengthen such giving by broadening the base of support for the Collegeville Institute and initiating a major gift and a legacy giving program.
“It’s important to note that the past fiscal year was the first year—the first step—of a comprehensive effort to garner gift support for the Collegeville Institute,” she said. “The focus of the effort is to build a pipeline of giving over the long haul. It takes time to initiate a full development effort and requires an upfront investment to build a program.” Amy also added that “it’s exciting to build a new program from the ground up and to educate and inspire our constituents.”
Of all the organizations Amy has worked in, she declares that “the Collegeville Institute is by far the most unique.” She has found the Collegeville Institute’s culture to be collaborative—one that fosters respect and inclusion. “The Collegeville Institute lives its mission to promote the sharing of ideas, writing, and learning from diverse people who share common goals,” Amy observes.
Amy is married to Jack Fistler, himself an accomplished fundraising consultant. They have two daughters and are the proud grandparents of three granddaughters. They reside in St. Paul, MN.