Michael Downing offers our clients extensive experience as a senior consultant, working with nonprofit organizations in the areas of strategic planning, management, development and marketing.

After teaching school for ten years, Michael has devoted nearly 35 years to nonprofit management as vice president for advancement, vice president of public programs and COO. The institutions he has served include private secondary and graduate schools (Franciscan School of Theology [CA], and Toledo’s St. John’s Jesuit High School and Notre Dame Academy); zoos (Toledo Zoo, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo), and museums (Tacoma Art Museum). In addition, Michael has broad organizational experience, supervising areas in finance, facilities and construction, signage, volunteers, visitor services, education and political action.

Michael has built professional advancement programs from the ground up developing policies, protocol and plans; instituting processes based on best practices; introducing donor management systems; and hiring and mentoring staff. He also has deep experience in membership programs; national, state and private foundation relations; corporate giving and sponsorship programs; and sustainable major gifts and planned giving processes. A firm believer in public-private partnerships, Michael was instrumental in helping to shape tax levy initiatives for the Toledo and Cheyenne Mountain zoos.

Michael was an active AFP member for more than 20 years, helping to establish two chapters. He has served on national committees for the Association of Zoos & Aquariums; he has been a grant reviewer for the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Colorado Historical Society; and he has served on numerous community development and cultural alliances.

Michael holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo. He has teaching credentials from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and certificates in planned giving and nonprofit management from the Indiana University School of Philanthropy.



Special Content: The Roadmap to Recovery

As nonprofits everywhere face unprecedented challenges, S&W is stepping forward to help—working on rapid response strategies with our clients, curating resources for easy access, offering answers from our expert team, and bringing people together from across the nonprofit world to share ideas. The point, as we say, is Powering Missions That Matter—now at the moment they matter most.

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