Richard Banks

Vice President

“Greatness is an inherently dynamic process, not an end point.” ― James C. Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great


Richard Banks, Consulting Vice President, brings to the firm nearly 30 years of senior management experience in advancement, with specialized expertise in strategic planning at the organizational level.

Rick’s collaborative approach to strategic planning is grounded in an understanding of effective methods for partnerships among universities’ executive and academic leadership. Through his distinguished career, he has developed an expansive knowledge of all disciplines of advancement services and operations, including process design, policy and procedures, and system decisions and implementation projects, as well as donor relations and events management.

His background further includes resource planning, organizational design, financing approaches, and change management. His breadth of knowledge of business intelligence functions has led to expertise in developing robust reporting strategies and improved digital approaches for alumni engagement. Rick retired in September 2016 from his position as the Associate Vice President, Alumni Affairs and Development Administration, Cornell University.

As a principal organizer and planner of strategic direction for Cornell for over 20 years, he was responsible for directing and executing administrative operations and strategic and campaign planning in support of the University's fundraising and alumni engagement programs, including the successful $6.3 billion Cornell Now campaign. His role also included serving as the senior finance officer and senior administrative officer for the division, wherein he was responsible for managing human resources, advancement services, budget, planning, finance, information technologies, and business intelligence programs.

Rick previously served as Director of Alumni Affairs and Development Services and Deputy Director of University Development at Cornell. He also held the position of Director of Business Operations for Cornell's Division of Public Affairs. Prior to joining Alumni Affairs and Development, he worked for eleven years in the Cornell University Controller's Office, including serving as University Bursar. Additionally, Rick was part of the team that provided design specifications to PeopleSoft for the development of the Contributor Relations product, and he was the Project Director for the implementation of Contributor Relations at Cornell from 2002 to 2003.

Rick graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics, majoring in Business Management and Marketing. Rick serves as a member of the Cornell Class of 1972 Class Council and as a board member of the William George Agency for Children, currently serving as board chair. In August 2016, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Beta Theta Pi Foundation and in April 2017 he joined the board of Longview, a senior living community located in Ithaca, NY. Previously he served two terms as a board member for the Community Foundation of Tompkins County, New York.


  • American Associates of Ben Gurion University of the Negev
  • Brown University
  • Columbia University
  • Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)
  • Indiana University Foundation
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • NAACP Legal Defense Fund 
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • University of Colorado
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Toronto
  • Washington State University Foundation
Areas of Expertise
  • Advancement Function Integration
  • Advancement Services Administration
  • Assessment of Campaign Readiness and Feasibility
  • Campaign Planning
  • Client Service
  • Human Resources Management
  • Information Technology and Reporting
  • Strategic Planning

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