Joe Kender

Senior Consulting Vice President


Joe Kender, Senior Vice President in the firm's Teaching and Coaching practice, brings more than 27 years of leadership experience in development and fundraising, alumni relations, and advancement in higher education. Joe’s core leadership skills include building high-performance teams, campaign planning and implementation, securing transformative gifts, and institutional strategic planning.

Joe brings to his training and coaching a core philosophy that successful major gifts programs are driven by strong professional development opportunities. When aspirational, yet sustainable, metrics are implemented in tandem with professional development, staff members have both the motivation and the skills needed to succeed. Investment in professional development improves retention and recruitment, which in turn translates to sustainable fundraising success for the institution. Joe personally observed this effect in his former leadership roles, and now, as a consultant, he is in a position to bring this philosophy to GG+A’s clients.

Before joining GG+A, Joe most recently served as Vice President for Advancement at Lehigh University, which completed a $500 million campaign and raised $400 million toward a new $1 billion campaign during his tenure. Previously, Joe served as Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations at Saint Joseph’s University, where in a three-year period the program grew from $7 million per year to $30 million. Earlier in his career, Joe held several leadership positions at Georgetown University, first as the Annual Fund Director then later as Associate Vice President for Development during Georgetown’s $1 billion campaign. Joe was an integral member of a team that oversaw a 300% increase in cash over an eight-year period, and he led the effort to double the University’s annual fund from $9 million to $18 million within four years. During this time, the rate of new alumni donations increased from 27% to 33%.

Joe holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and an MBA, both from Lehigh University. He also completed the Harvard Higher Education Management Program for Senior Leaders in 2006. Joe’s team members at Lehigh were the 2016 recipients of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Gold Medal Award for the Presidential Tour for John D. Simon. Joe was the 1999 winner of the CASE District II Rising Star Award, and he has been a frequent speaker for CASE and other fundraising organizations. Most notably, he was a faculty member for the CASE Conference for Campaign Management in 2014 and 2012; the Jesuit Advancement Association Development Track Chair, 2004; and was CASE District II Board Member, 2004 through 2007.

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