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Colton C. Strawser, Ph.D., CFRE

Colton C. Strawser started his philanthropic journey at a young age by becoming the director of marketing/fundraising for a nonprofit organization dedicated to youth and computer literacy at the age of 14. He later became the organization’s executive director and under his leadership the organization expanded from serving one county in Northeast Indiana to serving seven counties in the region in under four years.

Strawser has also served as the vice president of communications for an international auction company, director of development for a nonprofit organization focused on serving the elderly, and several roles within secondary and higher education. In addition, he has worked with over fifteen foundations and philanthropy service organizations. He has spoken at conferences across the country around the topics of nonprofit communications, strategic grantmaking, foundation management, youth philanthropy, and civic engagement.

Strawser is a Certified Fund Raising Professional and Certified Nonprofit Professional. He has also completed a Certificate of Nonprofit Board Consulting through BoardSource and is a Master Trainer through the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Through his education from BoardSource and AFP, Strawser is able to deliver high quality BoardSource and AFP workshops around the country at a discounted rate.

In addition to his consulting, Strawser is an accomplished nonprofit management and philanthropic studies scholar. He has taught university-level courses on nonprofit management, philanthropy, fundraising, community development, and program evaluation. Strawser has published a book chapter, reports, papers, and articles and seeks to bridge theory and practice within the context of the nonprofit sector. His academic works can be found at

​​​Strawser is the recipient of five Presidential Volunteer Service Awards (including a lifetime achievement award for over 4,000 hours of community service), a Daily Point of Light Award, a William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion (IUPUI), and was recognized through the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

Strawser holds a B.A. in Philanthropic Studies from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, M.S. in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in online teaching and program administration, M.S. in Nonprofit Management & Philanthropy, and Graduate Certificate in Strategic Fundraising through Bay Path University. He received his Ph.D. in Leadership Studies (Nonprofit & Philanthropic Leadership) from the University of San Diego.


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