Founder and CEO
Terry Axelrod has more than forty years of experience in the nonprofit field, including founding three nonprofit organizations in healthcare and affordable housing. She realized early in her career that the only path to sustainable funding was to systematically connect donors to the mission of the organization, then involve and cultivate them until they were clearly ready to give—in short, to treat donors the way you would treat a close friend or family member, someone with whom you planned to have a lifelong relationship.
Terry created the Benevon Model in 1996 after serving as development consultant to a private inner city school from 1992-1995. There she designed and implemented the fundraising and marketing programs that yielded $7.2 million in two and a half years as well as national recognition of the program including a cover story in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Author of eight books and several DVDs, Terry is a sought-after speaker, both nationally and internationally. Her passion and commitment to the possibility of sustainable funding for all nonprofits drive the mission of Benevon and each of its programs. "The donors are truly out there—wanting to contribute; it's up to the organizations to connect them powerfully to their work and nurture that connection over time. Our programs give them the tools to do that successfully."
Terry currently serves as a Life Trustee of Swedish Medical Center and an adjunct lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. She received her MSW and BA in psychology at the University of Michigan.
Curriculum Director and Coach
Sharon Ervine came to Benevon with more than twenty years of nonprofit experience in management, fundraising, and program development. Her work with human service organizations and schools in Texas resulted in successful capital campaigns, active volunteer involvement, and effective team building.
In 2002, Sharon successfully implemented the Benevon Model as the Senior Vice President of Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston. Her passion for the organization and for the model transformed the manner in which staff and other supporters viewed donors and grew a significant Multiple-Year Giving Society.
Sharon now uses her valuable experience and insight to guide the Benevon curriculum and to assist other nonprofits to build sustainable funding.
She holds a B.A. in secondary education from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
"One of the things I most appreciate about Benevon's model is that at no point are you asked to twist someone's arm to support your school. Everyone is treated with respect. This is not a gimmick. It is a thoughtful, systematic approach to educating people about your school."
Victoria Kennedy, Head of School
Bradford Christian Academy
"Our first Ask Event was a smashing success! We raised over $305,000 from less than 200 people, and the feedback from the people who attended has been phenomenal and extremely positive. We are elated by the results."
Bruce Uditsky, CEO
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada