Ken Miller, CFRE, is the president of Denali Fundraising Consultants a nonprofit fundraising and management consulting company located in Anchorage, Alaska. Ken originally moved to Alaska in 1975, attended Bartlett High School and graduated in 1980. He then attended and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1984. After a career in sales and management in the lower 48 he returned to Alaska in 2009 to marry his high school sweetheart Sondra Stewman.
Ken began in the field of fundraising and development in June 2010 and was the director of development for Bean's Café for almost four years before starting Denali Fundraising Consultants. Ken is the past president and founder of the Dartmouth Alumni Club of Alaska, the past president of the Anchorage Gateway Rotary club, chairman of the Rotary District 5010 Public Information committee.
Ken is also the president elect of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Alaska Chapter and the board treasurer of local nonprofit Alaska Boxing Academy. Recently Ken was appointed to the national Dartmouth Alumni Council and the national Association of Fundraising Professionals committees on diversity & inclusion and also marketing.
What is something you wish you’d known earlier in your fundraising career?
I wish I had reached out earlier for mentorship and continuing education and, on a humorous note, I wish I’d known then all that I know now!
What is the one quality every fund raiser should have?
Two primary qualities: a willingness to learn and a commitment to excellence in all aspects of fund raising.
What inspires you about the development profession?
As a consultant, I’m inspired by the emotion of a client that’s successfully solicited a major gift.
What is the legacy you wish to leave behind?
I want to be remembered as someone who always was willing to help a development colleague, no strings attached.
What is the best advice that you’ve received related to your career?
Believe in your capabilities, remain grateful and enjoy the journey.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a fund raiser?
Work efficiently (not just hard).
Be grateful to be part of such an honorable profession.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I’m proud of having had the courage to begin a fundraising consulting firm and that I carry out my work in an honest and ethical manner.
How do you explain your profession to your family and friends?
I tell them I consult with nonprofits on best-practices sustainable fund raising.
What inspired you to become a fund raiser?
I wasn’t inspired to enter the field; I needed a job (wife strongly suggested! LOL). It was my colleagues in AFP who inspired me to become a development professional.
Should more people of color be engaged in the profession? Why?
Yes, because it’s an honorable vocation that provides individuals opportunities to impact their communities and world and provide for their own welfare and that of their loved ones.