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Michelle-cropped-headshot - 2023

Michelle Cramer, CFRE

President & CEO

“So much of my work is about showing people how powerful they truly are. When leaders come together with a compelling cause, they discover that they have everything they need to make their vision a reality. That’s the magic of philanthropy.”

Michelle Cramer is passionate about the power of philanthropy to ignite change. Her entrepreneurial spirit and keen fundraising ability have allowed her to excel in a profession she describes as her life’s calling.


Michelle began her career in nonprofit fundraising in 1987. Since then, she has become an established leader in the industry. She has assembled a team of energetic, dedicated professionals who share her passion for developing innovative fundraising and marketing strategies in the ever-changing philanthropic landscape. The Cramer team has provided campaign counsel to more than 200 organizations, foundations, and corporations. Altogether, they have helped nonprofits raise more than $1.4 billion.


The first campaign Michelle led was for YWCA Columbus in 1993. She assembled a campaign cabinet of 50 women and developed their fundraising skills with extensive coaching. As a result, these leaders raised $14 million to renovate the YWCA building and restore the dignity of the unhoused women sheltering there.


In 2018 Michelle led the campaign for Lakeside Chautauqua. To ensure success, she built a strategy centered on community involvement. She facilitated town hall meetings where Lakeside leaders could hear directly from community members about their top priorities. As a result of their feedback, the entire campaign was reimagined. Thanks to Michelle’s guidance, Lakeside exceeded its campaign goal in less than six months. The culture of philanthropy she cultivated in the community endures to this day.


The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) named Michelle “Outstanding Professional Fundraiser of the Year” in 2015. She has been a highlighted speaker at their Hemispheric Conference on Fundraising and served as Dean at the AFP/Giving Institute Consultants School. Her advice for fellow consultants is featured in the book The Nonprofit Consulting Playbook: Winning Strategies from 25 Leaders in the Field. She is an alumna of The Ohio State University and a Certified Fund Raising Executive.


Michelle has served her community as a Board member for The Catholic Foundation, the Dublin Community Foundation, and the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations. She and her husband Jim have three daughters.