Rodney P. Kirsch

Consulting Vice President

Our society faces global challenges that at times seem overwhelming, but the optimist in me knows that our collective work in philanthropy holds great promise in solving these challenges and improving the human condition. Our work has never been more important or rewarding.


Rod Kirsch, Consulting Vice President, brings to the firm a wealth of alumni and higher education development experience. Over his 34-year career in university fundraising, he has provided executive leadership in the raising of more than $5 billion of philanthropy.

Rod currently holds the title of Senior Vice President Emeritus for Development and Alumni Relations at The Pennsylvania State University, after serving as its Senior Vice President for 20 years. Rare in length of tenure and record of accomplishment at one institution, he led from start to finish two seven-year, billion-dollar-plus capital campaigns. Under his leadership, Penn State’s endowment sextupled, its annual donor base increased from 125,000 to 193,000, and the Penn State Alumni Association grew to 177,000 members, the largest of any dues-paying university association in the country.

He previously served as Senior Vice President for Development at the Indiana University Foundation, Executive Director, Capital Campaign at the University of California at Berkeley, Director of Annual Giving at Drake University, and Director of Undergraduate Chapter Services at Delta Upsilon International Fraternity.

Rod served as a faculty member of the Big Ten Fundraisers Institute, a premier educational seminar for senior development professionals, for 15 years, in addition to frequent speaking engagements at CASE seminars. He is also a board member of Nurturing Minds In Africa, a non-profit working to educate girls in Tanzania.

Rod is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the School of Education at Indiana University. In 2014, the Penn State Alumni Association granted him Honorary Alumnus status, and in 2016 he was recognized by Penn State as its Renaissance Honoree of the Year.

A native of North Dakota, Rod holds a Master of Science in Higher Education from Indiana University Bloomington and a Bachelor of Arts in English with Phi Beta Kappa honors from the University of North Dakota.

Areas of Expertise
  • Campaign Planning
  • Higher Education Fundraising
  • Major + Principal Gifts Strategy
  • Organizational Assessment
  • Organizational Development
  • Staff and Volunteer Teaching and Coaching
  • Volunteer Engagement
  • Volunteer Management

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