Christal M. Cherry
Senior Consultant at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits
Christal M. Cherry, a native New Yorker, is a Senior Consultant at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits where she works with nonprofits of all sizes to aid in their long term sustainability. This work includes board development, talent search, and fundraising. Christal also teaches classes on Major Gifts and Donor Stewardship at the Center.
Christal received her BA from Hofstra University and MA from Hampton, University. She has spent 18 years working in the higher education and nonprofit arena. She began her fundraising career at American University in Washington DC serving as the Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs. She also served in other leadership roles at the University of the District of Columbia, the United Negro College Fund, Spelman College, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Susan G. Komen of Greater Atlanta, and Nicholas house.
A former board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Atlanta, she worked arduously as the Chair of the nationally renowned Diversity Fellows Program during her tenure. It was then that her love for the profession flourished, allowing her to help mold and shape the career of aspiring career fundraisers.
How did you get interested in the fundraising profession?
A colleague at American University invited me to join the Development team to raise funds to support students whom I loved mentoring and encouraging to earn a college education.
What is something you wish you knew early on in your fundraising career?
The culture of an organization matters. Only great fundraising acumen and a healthy and supportive organizational culture, with a great leader, will assure success in your ability to move the needle in development.
What is the one quality every fundraiser should have?
Spit fire determination to ask for what you want; be it salary, vacation, benefits, or a large donation from a donor.
What inspires you about the fundraising profession?
It has evolved into a reputable, respectful, and fruitful career choice for those who have the tenacity required to thrive.
How do you want to be remembered as a professional?
Christal was someone who knew her “why” and lived every day to pursue her purpose.