Langley Innovations offers a full-service team of coaches and proven leaders in philanthropy and data. Regardless of the challenge you or your institution is facing, we can and will help.
James M. Langley, President of Langley Innovations, has pioneered a number of practices that have been emulated by hundreds of institutions of higher learning. The knowledge he acquired from conceiving and conducting three path-breaking campaigns at three major institutions and the insight he gleaned from decades of research on donor behavior has been shared in five books, dozens of articles, hundreds of blog posts and scores of seminars, workshops and speeches. As a result, his expertise and insight, particularly on how institutions can adapt best to changing and unchanging philanthropic realities, is highly sought after by Canadian and U.S. institutions and professional advancement organizations.
His most recent book, The Future of Fundraising: Adapting to New Philanthropic Realities, was published by Academic Impressions in 2020. It builds on the vast experience and extensive research imparted in his four previous books, Comprehensive Campaigns: A Guide for Presidents and Boards, Fundraising for Boards: A Guide, Fundraising for Deans: A Guide, and Fundraising for Presidents: A Guide and Fundraising for Presidents: A Guide. He has also written chapters in Advancing Higher Education: New Strategies for Fundraising, Philanthropy and Engagement and How to Recruit and Retain Good Staff and published numerous articles including his most recent, “Cultivating a Culture of Philanthropy” in Trusteeship, the magazine produced by the Association of Governing Boards. After 30 years in higher education, he founded Langley Innovations. In its first eleven years, Langley Innovations has served over 130 clients, providing a wide variety of strategic services.
As Vice President for Advancement at Georgetown University (2005 to 2010), Langley imagined and led a massive “Discovery Initiative,” employing current students to conduct face-to-face interviews of alumni around the world. The purpose of the interviews was to discover what Langley calls the “animating passions” of the alumni, then link those passions with the University’s programmatic initiatives to establish Georgetown as the place that alumni “not only give to but through to realize their larger societal ideals.” Over 6,000 alumni in 42 states and 17 countries were interviewed. Giving by those interviewed rose 43 percent in the year after the visit with 20 percent giving their largest gift ever. In addition, the interviews yielded 1,000 new career mentors, 500 new alumni admission interviewers, 200 regional club and class committee volunteers, and 570 new major gift prospects, 63 percent of whom had a capacity of over $100,000. Langley also launched the quiet phase of a campaign that secured over $558 million, including a record $189 million in 2009 despite the worst economy since the Great Depression.
At the University of California, San Diego (1997-2005), Langley served at Vice Chancellor for External Relations and President of the UCSD Foundation. He forged a public-private coalition and secured support from both sides of the political aisle to establish a model school for economically disadvantaged youngsters. After only four years, the graduates of this model school were being admitted to the nation’s most competitive colleges and universities. Langley also led efforts to secure $100 million from the State to create an advanced information technology center then matched that grant with $140 million in support from business and industry, which he secured within five months. Though advised by fund raising experts that the University did not have sufficient alumni support, Langley led the school into a $1 billion campaign, the largest campaign ever attempted at the time by a school established in the post World War II period. That campaign put forward a series of bold concepts, which attracted one nine-figure gift, and 7 eight-figure gifts, all of which were greater the largest gifts previously raised --- and all from non-alumni donors.
When he left that University, Langley was cited by the Chancellor as “a pivotal force behind the campus’ ascension as a world class institution.” The citation, in part, reads, “He engineered a meteoric rise in the philanthropic giving …and his vigorous launch of the landmark “Imagine What’s Next” campaign ensured its extraordinary early success. Jim’s unique vision …energized such key constituent groups as alumni, federal, and state officials, and community leaders. His blueprint for successful strategic communications had dramatically raised UCSD’s public profile, and his dynamic participation in higher education advancement circles won UCSD national renown for innovative stewardship.”
At Georgia Tech, where Langley served as Vice President of External Affairs (1989-1997), he led an initiative to increase that university’s market share of the most qualified students in the face of demographic decline. Using innovative market research and targeted communications, Langley increased the University’s average SAT score from 1187 to 1234 in two years. He also was instrumental in the Georgia Tech being selected as the Olympic Village for the 1996 Summer Games and converting that platform into an international news bonanza for the University. Under Langley’s direction, fund raising receipts tripled and his operations won numerous awards in virtually every area of advancement.
Renowned for his public speaking, Langley’s professional seminars are consistently described as the “best I have ever attended” by his peers and he has been awarded the Crystal Apple by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education for having received the highest possible evaluations from attendees at ten different conferences.
Langley graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati where he was also selected to Phi Beta Kappa. He also received a master’s degree in history from the University of Cincinnati where he was awarded the prestigious Taft Fellowship. He is a Vietnam era veteran of the U.S. Army.
Ron Cohen has helped advance the goals of three small colleges over 33 years, the last 17 of those as vice president for advancement at Susquehanna University. Over that span, raising $350 million in gift support at those schools helped transform the lives of thousands of students, many of whom were first in their family to earn a degree.
“Graduates are our greatest achievement,” Ron says. “Creating the circumstances that enable students to grow, to formulate critical questions, and to pursue the problems they are going to solve is the gift that our work delivers to the world.”
Since 2011, Ron has been a student of alumni engagement, driven by research that affirmed a persistent and nagging issue at most schools: alumni who believe that “…the only time I hear from my school is when they want money…” Ron and his Susquehanna colleagues re-engineered alumni programming to solve this problem, and the alumni volunteer base grew immediately.
Ron joined Langley Innovations as “of counsel” appreciating Langley’s approach to advancement and the student discovery program Jim Langley conceived at Georgetown University. Langley Innovations keeps clients focused on building and cultivating strong relationships and increasing institutional value.
Ron’s areas of expertise include:
Amy Maher is a dynamic, strategic, focused, confident leader and seasoned fundraiser who helps clients understand and respond to human behavior as it relates to both internal and external constituents in order to have progressive, productive, partnerships.
Amy joined Langley Innovations after 15 years as a successful frontline major gift officer and manager in higher education and social service organizations. Amy worked on various annual and capital campaigns and events at The Salvation Army and the YMCA and was a part of the $1.6B campaign at Georgetown University. Her approach has been to leverage the resources around her, building close partnerships with the various internal departments such as research, annual fund, alumni relations, and faculty and external volunteers in order to build a smart engagement approach and team. This process is what made her an effective senior regional major gifts officer who oversaw an area which generated over $319M in gifts.
“I joined Langley Innovations for I appreciated the research based individualized approach. As someone who believes in the use of science to comprehend and drive solutions this method enables a review of the data, survey and comprehension of the environment, and then the prescription of recommendations. In addition, we have a great team that can assist in guiding our clients through the process and establishing organizational change be it structurally, philosophically, systematically, or through individual skillsets all while being cognizant of institutional resources.”
Amy has her BS in psychology from Wake Forest University and a Masters in Leadership from Georgetown University. She has been called on to speak on a range of topics from volunteer engagement to the psychology of prospects. She wrote her master’s thesis on “Aligning Development Departments and Volunteers for Maximum Success” and has been published in CASE Currents. At home in the Southeast, Amy, and her husband, hone their negotiation and leadership skills on their three young children and one elderly dog. Amy’s other interests include spinning, barre, reading, and volunteering.
Amy’s areas of expertise include:
With more than 25 years of experience, Pete Frisko possesses a deep knowledge and understanding of development and fundraising. Having served in various roles, his experience spans the development spectrum – principal gifts, major gifts, advancement services, donor relations, annual giving, and alumni relations – as well as functioning as Board Liaison. As a VP at Drexel University, Pete developed new strategic functions for the division, including teams dedicated to donor relations, protocol and special events, and communications and marketing.
Across the institution Pete worked with deans, department heads and faculty and created a curriculum for them so they understand their role in development and become successful, confident fundraisers Pete’s energy, vision, transformational leadership, and inclusive managerial style set the bar for exceptional fundraising and operational effectiveness. His efforts helped fuel Drexel’s ascent to be among the nation’s top private research universities.
Pete shares the Langley Innovations philosophy of establishing and stewarding relationships to achieve philanthropic outcomes. He prides himself on being a good listener and feels that he represents the interests and intentions of the donor first. Pete considers himself to be someone who understands that people’s life experiences define and shape their philanthropic intentions and passions to accomplish something beyond an organization’s current needs. As part of the Langley team, Pete seeks to connect the right people to the right opportunities through a process of meaningful engagement and listening.
Bringing his talents and drive to every challenge, Pete has been called upon to spearhead teams, assist struggling advancement leaders with strategy and operations, direct tactical processes, and provide leadership and direction for teams in transition. He has exceled in assessing teams, developing job descriptions, and recruiting and hiring criteria to build effective organizations. His program of the “first 90 days” for new VPs ensures that they meet the right people, make the right assessments, and affect the best path forward.
An exceptional teacher and coach and one who knows how all the pieces fit together, Pete is able to guide organizations in developing top-notch teams to deliver across all advancement areas – major gifts, planned giving, corporate & foundation relations, annual fund, alumni relations, prospect research, IT systems, donor relations, and alumni relations. He is also experienced in mobilizing board and volunteer resources and positioning the president as the lead fundraiser.
Pete has been called on as an expert lecturer on topics including fostering lifetime relationships with alumni, building prospect pipelines, fundraising communications, and advancement operations. He has collaborated with and provided assistance to non-profit organizations, including higher education, health and human services, and arts-related causes.
Having grown up an athlete as a swimmer, surfer, rower, and cyclist, Pete maintains his active lifestyle and continues to enjoy these activities.
Pete’s areas of expertise:
Philip Mazzara, with nearly four decades of comprehensive advancement experience, is a specialist in leading multi-faceted development programs. He brings expertise in strategic leadership of development teams and capital campaigns for a wide range of non-profit organizations, including two academic medical centers, a technology university and a liberal arts college, and two NGOs.
As Chief Development Officer of The Carter Center, Phil planned and implemented a $150 million endowment campaign and traveled extensively with President and Mrs. Carter to raise funds from donors around the world. At CARE USA, he led the Private Support division responsible for raising approximately $65 million annually.
He has also consulted with other NGOs, academic institutions and non-profits on board development, strategic planning and fundraising effectiveness, and he has conducted or participated in numerous development program assessments, feasibility studies and capital campaign plans. He is the author of "Achieving Trustee Ownership," a chapter in The Trustee's Role in Capital Campaigns, published by the Association of Governing Boards.
Mazzara joined Langley Innovations because “Jim is a thought-leader whose approach with clients is to help them understand their critical role in empowering their donors to create compounding impact.”
Phil’s innovative, hospital-based "Grand Rounds for Community Leaders" program has been cited as a Best Practice by the Philanthropy Leadership Council of The Advisory Board. He has also been recognized for his professional acumen through his inclusion in The Unnamed Society.
A graduate of Lynchburg (VA) College, Phil served on its Board of Trustees for 12 years until May 2017. His alma mater also awarded him its Distinguished Alumnus Award in recognition of his leadership in transforming its alumni relations programming. He is an avid book collector of first editions in select genres, including the prose and poetry of World War I.
Phil’s areas of expertise include:
Andrea Morseburg “is a seasoned, conscientious, multi-dimensional fundraising professional committed to helping clients find the best way to use their precious time and resources to build productive and lasting philanthropic relationships”.
She joined Langley Innovations after an eighteen-year career in fundraising which included both leadership positions as well as frontline principal, major and planned giving roles. She has worked in both higher education and healthcare at Mattel Children’s Hospital-UCLA, Good Samaritan Hospital, National Jewish Health, Claremont McKenna and Pomona Colleges with campaigns ranging from $250 million-4 billion.
“I am pleased to join Jim Langley at Langley Innovations,” says Andrea, “and enjoy working with both established and new clients utilizing the proven Langley Method.” Langley Innovations is a full-service strategic fundraising consulting firm based in Maryland with consultants across the US. It’s business model is based on serving smaller numbers of “kindred spirit” clients over many years. The Langley Method, based on extensive behavioral and psychological research, focuses on assisting our clients in establishing and maintaining productive, purpose-driven relationships with their donors.
Andrea is Swiss-American, attended Georgetown University’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences and has lived in Southern California for over twenty years. Prior to her career in advancement she was a pediatric healthcare provider at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center caring for patients with HIV/AIDS and administrator of one of the largest orthopedic practices in Pasadena.
Andrea enjoys golf, tennis, hiking, ballroom dancing and crew. Andrea is a member of Central Casting and takes on occasional assignments as a background actor in films, TV shows, commercials and music videos.
Andrea’s areas of expertise include:
Eve Carr earned her Ph.D. in US History and has been working in historical and advancement focused research for over fifteen years. She has worked with cultural, health care, and educational institutions for over ten years providing research and research training in support of institutional advancement. She also has gained a great deal of experience building professional relationships and partnerships since she and her husband move regularly for his career in the U.S. Coast Guard.
Working with Langley Innovations aligns with Eve’s expertise and practice of collaboration. In addition to traditional prospect research, Eve is particularly interested in developing and analyzing prospect opportunities and identifying potential funding sources for projects.
Eve also has an affinity for training other development professionals in effective research skills. In past positions, she has worked collaboratively with colleagues to meet research needs specific to their programs, events, goals, and travel. As part of the Langley team, Eve draws on these aspects of advancement research in order to address each client’s unique research needs.
Eve received her bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College where she studied English Literature and History. She currently serves as an Oberlin Class Agent and is a member of the Alumni Recruiting Network. As a graduate student, she focused on public and applied history receiving her master’s and doctoral degrees in U.S. History from Arizona State University.