Sophie W. Penney, PhD is the founder and President of i5 Fundraising and is the Senior Program Coordinator and a Lecturer for Penn State’s all online Certificate Program in Fundraising Leadership.

She has nearly twenty years of experience as a front-line fund fundraiser or development director, with a substantial track record of success with major, planned, corporate and foundation, and capital campaign gifts. She regularly collaborates with nonprofit and university leadership to plan and implement campaigns ranging from $1 million to $80 million dollar goals.

She also serves as a coach to staff members and individuals seeking to launch or advance their careers in fundraising.

Dr. Penney is a frequent workshop facilitator and author of numerous articles in Advancing Philanthropy published by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

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Fundraising and AI: Bots Don’t Trot

AI may prove a useful tool that will enable gift officers to do more of what they should: have face-to-face meetings with prospective donors.

Artificial Intelligence and Fundraising: Is a Bot Coming to Take My Job?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already being used in fundraising. If you don't think it can impact you, think again.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Fundraising in Troubling Times

“It was a dark and stormy night...” Oh, wait a minute. Isn’t that the line that Snoopy uses when beginning his epic novel? I invite to you to think about the types of dark and stormy times that sometimes visit those of us in the nonprofit world.

Telling the Tale of a Nonprofit Name Change

While a fundraiser’s time is limited, and it might seem best to leave renaming to the marketing team, savvy fundraisers seek a seat at the table during a conversation about changing the organization's name. I have found myself in such a situation with not one, but three, of my consulting clients. Stephen Nill invited me to take you on a journey — to tell the tale of my experience with the renaming process pursued by one of those clients.

Changing Your Nonprofit's Name and Maybe Even Its Brand

Is it time to change your nonprofit organization’s name and maybe even its brand?

Existential Dread and Planned Giving. Whaaaat?

What role can a planned giving or fundraising professional play as elders engage in their life review? The best professionals invite prospective donors to connect their values and what has given their lives meaning to their philanthropic planning.