When I was younger, every January the newsstands – remember those? – would be covered with magazines – remember those? – filled with ideas of how to completely remake yourself in the new year. The “women’s magazines” in particular loved to use the headline New Year, New You!

Now, personally, I’ve never been interested in trading myself in on a new model. But every January, I do like to plan. What’s going to be different this year? What am I going to try? What are my goals for this year?

It’s no coincidence that it was in January, ten years ago, that I launched Our Fundraising Search. Last year, as we began celebrating our tenth year, I wrote about the things we’ve accomplished over the last decade. We have expanded our services far beyond search to include campaign management, strategic planning, assessments and board effectiveness. We also published a new book and several articles, delivered a whole spectrum of seminars, and served our 200th client.

This January, it is time to write about the future.

Our Fundraising Search is in a great place. Our team is strong, our clients seem happy, and for the first time in a few years, I don’t feel the need to keep my hand on the wheel at all times. We are well positioned to grow, and have plans to do so.

With those things in mind, effective this month, we are promoting Ailena Parramore to Principal and Director of Practice, and Dave Paule to Principal and Managing Director. By virtue of Ailena’s experience and great customer service skills, it only makes sense that she take the lead on client service. And Dave, having led other companies, both for-profit and nonprofit, is well qualified to oversee the business operations of the company.

So, what am I going to do? A lot. Dave and Ailena are going to free up my time so I can focus on all the things I’ve always wanted to do. I want to take a more proactive approach to fundraising education: writing, training, mentoring and coaching. My career has always given much to me, and I have always cared about giving back to it. Now, it can be more of my focus.

Since Ailena and Dave joined the company, they have really improved and streamlined how we do business. They will continue to do so in these new, expanded roles. Eleanor Roosevelt once expressed New Year’s wishes: “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” All of us thank you for being part of the last decade.

I’m excited about what comes next.

– Linda Wise McNay, Ph. D., Founder & Principal Fundraising Consultant


  • Linda McNay

    Linda Wise McNay is the founder, owner and fundraising consultant with Our Fundraising Search in Atlanta. She has completed more than 18 years of consulting and has served more than 200 clients. Linda’s nonprofit background includes work with both higher and secondary education, the arts, human services and faith-based organizations; and has included work in capital campaigns, annual fund, planned giving, membership, and development and executive search.