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Leonard Honored as 2021 Outstanding Professional Fundraiser

By Clarke News  |  November 15, 2021

The Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Tri-State Chapter has named Clarke University Executive Director of Development Courtney Leonard as the 2021 Outstanding Professional Fundraiser. Leonard will be recognized as part of the association’s National Philanthropy Day celebration on November 16 at the Grand River Center, where she will also be named the organization’s president-elect.  

“Courtney is an outstanding professional who consistently has the mission of Clarke University and her donor relations at the heart of every decision she makes,” said Wendy Knight, current AFP chapter president.  

With over 15 years of professional experience, Leonard has shared her talents with a variety of non-profits to help them fund their organizations and achieve their goals. Since joining Clarke in 2013, she has played an instrumental part in raising more than $24 million in philanthropic support for the institution. Her efforts have redefined the university’s annual giving program to encompass a multi-channel approach that includes print and electronic communications, digital media outreach, and phone communications. Furthermore, Leonard recently led efforts to transform Clarke’s alumni communication strategy to focus on increased transparency and engagement through frequent digital communications, in addition to a more targeted approach to print publications. 

“Courtney blends vision and passion in her work, which has been a key element to her success,” said Bill Biebuyck, Clarke’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement. “Her skills and dedication have led to tremendous growth for Clarke, and we are grateful for all she has accomplished.”  

To learn more about Leonard and her work with Clarke University Institutional Advancement visit