Katharine DeShaw

President, Philanthropic Consulting

Katharine DeShaw is a dynamic, results-oriented consultant, public speaker, and teacher in non-profit administration and philanthropy. A leader skilled in start-up operations, Ms. DeShaw has designed successful grant making programs and delivered record-breaking fundraising campaigns in the arts, health, and social justice. She has proven expertise working with international leadership from the fields of philanthropy, technology, business, politics, and entertainment. She has worked in all areas of nonprofit philanthropy, including crowdfunding. A memoir about her life in fundraising and philanthropy is set to be published by the tech company NationBuilder in early 2017.

Her current and recent clients include The Actors Fund; The Actors’ Gang (founded by Tim Robbins); AltaSea; American Song; Arts for LA; ChildSHARE; CicLAvia; Craft and Folk Art Museum; Fractured Atlas; Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation; Fulfillment Fund; the Getty Leadership Institute; the Glow Festival; the Harvard Center on Media and Child Health; Headlands; Heal the Bay; Hollywood Arts Center (a partnership of The Actors Fund, Artspace and L.A.’s Department of Cultural Affairs); L.A. Dance Project (founded by choreographer Benjamin Millepied); Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND); Moss Family Foundation; Museum of Latin American Art; Susan and Leonard Nimoy Foundation; Shakespeare Central; Street Poets; and the Youth Policy Institute.

From 2005-2013, she served as the Founding Executive Director of United States Artists (USA). Recruited by the presidents of the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, during her tenure, USA Fellowships of $50,000 each were awarded to 350 artists across the nation in all artistic disciplines, a $17.5M investment.  

At USA she built a national Board of Directors and a major donor base of leading arts patrons (including Michael Bloomberg, Eli and Edye Broad, Agnes Gund, Target, and Elaine Wynn) securing $56M, including $10M in endowment funds for the USA Fellows program. Concurrently she incubated USA Projects, the world’s first micro-philanthropy website for artists. Under her leadership, the site reached 730,000 visitors, raised $5M in tax-deductible gifts from 30K+ donors, and supported 500+ artists’ projects.

She has taught fundraising leadership courses at Claremont McKenna College, the Peter F. Drucker School of Management, the Getty Leadership Institute, the Kravis Leadership Institute, St. Thomas University (Minneapolis), the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Southern CA. 

She has held senior development positions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Multiple Sclerosis Society (NYC Chapter) and Twyla Tharp Dance.

Ms. DeShaw attended Colorado College and lives in Los Angeles with her husband Mark McConnell.

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