Aggie Sweeney’s career has spanned four decades, touching all philanthropic sectors, influencing her peers, and making a mark on the face of fundraising in our region. On March 1st, she begins a new full-time role as Senior Counsel for Collins Group after serving as Division President & CEO. Aggie has a long history with Collins Group, joining in 1999, becoming President and CEO in 2008, and leading the firm as it joined forces with Campbell & Company in 2013.
Widely recognized as an expert in philanthropy, Aggie is deeply immersed in the field and became Chair of the Giving USA Foundation Board in July 2016. As a consultant, she has worked with more than 100 diverse nonprofits throughout the Northwest. Aggie has provided counsel to many of our region’s largest campaigns in the human services sector and has expanded her focus to higher education and arts and culture over the past decade.
“Under Aggie’s leadership, Collins Group thrived as a successful, innovative division, and we look forward to the impact she will have working in this new capacity,” says Peter Fissinger, President and Chief Executive Officer of Campbell & Company. “She is a tremendous asset to our firm and will continue to shape the philanthropic world in her roles as Senior Counsel and Chair of the Giving USA Foundation Board.”
With this change, Aggie welcomes the ability to spend more time serving clients and mentoring consultants. “I have truly enjoyed helping to grow the firm, and I have great confidence in its leaders,” attests Aggie. “In my new position, I’m looking forward to sharing my experience and strengthening the brain trust at Collins Group and Campbell & Company.” She will also be available to focus on special projects strategic to the firm.
As Senior Counsel, Aggie will have more time to devote to her prominent work as Chair of the Giving USA Foundation Board. Founded by the Giving Institute, Giving USA Foundation’s mission is to advance “the research, education and public understanding of philanthropy.” Aggie has been closely involved with the Foundation for the past six years, serving in several officer roles before accepting the position of Chair.
Each year, the foundation publishes Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy. First printed in 1956, this influential report provides actionable nonprofit insights. The Foundation also distributes quarterly reports on topics related to charitable giving. In her role as Chair, Aggie leads the board and collaborates with the foundation’s research partners at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy as they follow trends and analyze data.
“Ultimately, I see these roles as two complementary ways to give back to the field,” says Aggie. “As Senior Counsel, I closely guide clients and a new generation of consultants who will go on to strengthen our firm and the fundraising world at large. As Chair of the Giving USA Foundation Board, I use my leadership perspective to promote research that will inform and advance philanthropy.”
As Aggie focuses on the future of philanthropy, she looks back at her experience and notes that significant changes have occurred over the past two decades. “Many donors want nonprofits to be as innovative as technology has been, and they ask hard questions while pushing nonprofits to achieve significant outcomes. At the same time, public confidence in our institutions has eroded, but, for the most part, trust in nonprofits remains relatively high,” she explains. “Finally, the growing gap in income distribution is reflected in nonprofits. The most successful have strong partnerships with donors who have the capacity to give leadership gifts, as well as an extensive base of passionate advocates.”
Please join us in thanking Aggie for her years of leadership and congratulating her on these new developments in her career! The work she continues to do for Collins Group and the Giving USA Foundation Board greatly benefits our division and our clients.
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