Andrea John-Smith

Seattle, Washington

Andrea John-Smith

Seattle, Washington

A lot of us world changers are not always sure of our goal. We can tell you what we DON'T want, but we can't always articulate with crystal clarity what we DO want. Yet, we wonder; Why is fundraising so hard? Why is my Board asleep at the wheel? Is what we're doing really making people's lives better?

I started my consulting firm in 2003 to bring the sensibility of community organizing to community change work. Listening to people. Beginning with the end in mind. Asking, "What kind of community do we want anyway?" Aligning means with our ends (not confusing means for ends). Breaking those means into do-able and practical steps. We start with what success looks like and we reverse engineer.

I apply this approach to everything from fundraising planning, to merger due diligence, to communications strategy, to board development. In the end, we go somewhere new, not around in circles. You feel like the smart one, not dependent on a consultant for expertise. Your effort advances in ways you planned and in ways you had not imagined possible.

Prior to starting my firm, I served in a variety of roles with United Way of King County, The Salvation Army, and the Cascade Center for Public Service at the Evans School at the University of Washington. I served on many Boards of Directors.

A past president (2009) of the Washington State Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), I continue to volunteer with AFP.

I am a 2003 graduate of Leadership Tomorrow, I earned my BA in humanities at UC Berkeley in the 80s, and briefly attended American Conservatory Theatre. In the 90s, I married Darryl Smith and moved to Seattle to pursue a career as a jazz singer and finally gave in to my inner nonprofit geek, and the primal drive to make a baby, the beautiful Sofie, and make a home. We all live with our escape-artist dog, Cosmo, in Seattle's Columbia City neighborhood in the great Rainier Valley.

  • Work
    • Andrea John-Smith Consulting
  • Education
    • Arcadia High School
    • UC Berkeley