The firm was founded in 1961 as John Grenzebach and Associates to provide philanthropic management consulting to fundraising institutions and organizations. In the early years, clients were primarily locally based educational institutions — including the first client, a private school near Detroit — and voluntary sector organizations.
Over time, the firm grew in size, scope and reputation. In the 1970s, when public universities emerged as fundraising powerhouses, the firm was selected by a leading public university to guide its first major campaign. GG+A quickly became a leading consultant to colleges and universities and later expanded its practice to include medical and cultural institutions. To serve this growing clientele, GG+A invited individuals with expertise in fundraising and highly successful careers in development to join the firm as consultants.
In 1974, John’s son, Martin, joined the firm and recruited John Glier in 1981. John Grenzebach died in 1987, and the firm changed its name to Grenzebach Glier and Associates, with Martin Grenzebach as Chairman of the Board and John Glier as President and Chief Executive Officer. The firm expanded its consulting services to the United Kingdom and Canada in the 1990s. Today, GG+A serves more than 300 clients in diverse sectors in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America.
Philanthropic Management: An Evidence-Based Approach
The firm has led the way in providing evidence-based fundraising counsel. It initiated its own prospect screening services, and has constantly raised the bar on the use of hard data to guide strategy. Today, through its Grenzebach Glier Philanthropic Analytics Division, GG+A continues its innovations in the effective use of data analysis and interpretation to help clients achieve the best return on their fundraising investments.
Throughout its history, the firm has been committed to providing strategic counsel to help each client institution build a development function that would have significant impact on its mission. The measure of the firm’s success is that each client institution has achieved its fundraising objectives, and also developed the structure, capabilities, and culture of philanthropy to build on its success for years to come.