Janell Johnson, MPA
Senior Vice President

Janell is well versed in capital campaign organization and execution; major gift identification; event planning; cultivation and solicitation strategies; annual fund development; planned gift acquisition; and strategic planning. She also has considerable experience in board development, strategic planning and staff management. Her track record is even more impressive: she routinely exceeds her clients’ expectations and breaks fundraising records.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Michigan State University and a Master’s of Public Administration and Certification of Nonprofit Leadership Administration from Western Michigan University.

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Will You Be There When John Shamberg Calls?

A big part of fundraising is showing up and being available. I learned this lesson on a very memorable New Year’s Eve, a very long time ago.

As an eager young fundraiser working for Washburn University, I didn’t know that it was unusual still to be at work in the evening of December 31st. But, there I was.

Earlier that year, a graduate of Washburn University School of Law told me he was going to give a gift of land to his synagogue, a private K-12 school and Washburn. John Shamberg, who has since passed away, made millions of dollars for institutions all over the world, and he wanted to give a significant gift to organizations he valued. His 40 acres of land on the outskirts of Kansas City were valued at $450,000, and his intention was to give $150,000 each to three organizations.

He’d left the task to the last day of the year, but now he was ready to make it happen.

He called the synagogue. No answer.

He called the K-12 school. No answer.

Then, he called Washburn and got me.

“Bob,” he said, “you just won the jackpot!”

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