Opening Keynote Speaker

In November 2016, the New York Times called Tom Ahern “one of the country‚Äôs most sought-after creators of fundraising messages.”

He specializes in applying the discoveries of psychology and neuroscience to the day-to-day business of attracting and retaining donors. He’s authored six well-received books on that topic; his latest is What Your Donors Want…and Why! Each year, he trains thousands of fundraisers internationally through conferences and webinars.

He is an award-winning copywriter and journalist. His recent clients for direct mail, capital campaign case statements, audits and training include the Anchorage Museum, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Chabad on Campus, Connecticut Forest and Park Association, Friends of the Mississippi River, Lollypop Farm (animal rescue, NY), Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, Sharp Healthcare (nonprofit hospital system in San Diego), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (USA) … and dozens more, large and tiny.

He works with Prof. Adrian Sargeant and psychologist Jen Shang, principals at the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, Plymouth University (UK). Tom sits on HCSP’s advisory board. HCSP includes among its many outreach activities the world’s top fundraising think tank, Rogare (Latin: to ask).

Tom Ahern has a BA and MA from Brown University and a Certificate in Advertising Art from the RI School of Design. He lives with his wife, nonprofit consultant and author Simone Joyaux, in Rhode Island and France.

  • Click here for a downloadable PDF, “20 Questions: The Donor Communications Test”