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   Philanthropy Coach & Counsel works with staff and volunteers to build fundraising capacity. Principal, Michael Farrell and a team of seasoned professionals offer fundraising counsel, executive coaching & strategic planning to help organizations achieve their fundraising potential.   

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Our Team

Michael Farrell, Principal


 Michael is one of Canada’s foremost fundraising professionals. Prior to founding Philanthropy Coach & Counsel he worked for 25 years in not-for profit organizations. As President and CEO of the Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation he oversaw the successful “Cornerstone of Care” $100 million capital campaign.     

Tricia Hellingman


 Tricia is a practical, experienced strategic communicator. She and her team work extensively with clients in the public and private sectors building brands, managing crisis communications and strengthening media and stakeholder relations. Tricia's web site  is      

Bob Jones


 Bob is an seasoned HR executive with extensive leadership experience in both privately and publicly held companies.  He is a problem solver, an outcomes focused leader with a strong and diverse network of working relationships in business, education, and government. Bob has exceptional skills in strategic planning, operational alignment and governance.   Bob's LInkedin  Page





Philanthropy Coach & Counsel at Work


The Growth Potential Study for Fundraising...

GPS©-Because your future is not in the rear-view mirror.  

The GPS is the anti “Operational Review”.  Philanthropy Coach & Counsel offers a positive, effective and galvanizing alternative in the Growth Potential Study. Hey! You will never find your future staring into the rear-view mirror. We spend our time and energy exploring your mission, reinvigorating the case for support and developing an optimal, measurable and scaled operating plan that informs the board’s allocation of resources and deployment of staff while identifying deficiencies and appropriate remedies.   

Campaign Planning Studies - We don’t use the “F” word.

It seems to me that by the time an organization has called in counsel the question isn’t really feasibility, it is planning. It’s rarely a question of if we are going ahead but rather how we can move ahead.  We do things very differently at Philanthropy Coach & Counsel. Our Planning Study focuses first on the case for support.  Through internal interviews and focus groups we immerse ourselves in your culture. We help to refine your messaging and find the language that will define your project in the language of philanthropy. If the case language isn’t fully developed how can you expect a reasonable test in the community?  

We coach you through the process of identifying and rating Planning Study interview prospects and work with you to develop our questionnaire, the agenda for the community conversations. It is not one size fits all. We want answers to questions that are specific to the success of your project. Moving into the donor prospect interviews we present as informed, third party advocates. We get meaningful, dependable feedback and produce planning studies that you can trust.   

Capital Campaign Strategic Counsel - Trusted, Skilled and Authentic

We are seasoned professionals providing strategic and on-site campaign counsel. We understand that effective campaign counsel is dependent on trust. All our contracts have an escape clause that allows the client to terminate the contract at any time with no penalty. We are proud to say that we have never had a single client use this clause.   

Strategic Planning Facilitation

If you don’t change direction you will surely get where you are headed. 

The Philanthropy Coach & Counsel strategic planning process is based on a “success based inquiry”. We work with you to first define success for your organization and then to align structure and process to set a course to achieve it. Our planning model is organic, engaging and effective. Our plans establish meaningful and measurable goals and provide a detailed, documented and deliberate path to achieve them.  

Working With Philanthropy Coach & Counsel



“Mike Farrell worked with our Board and staff to create a strategic plan that was visionary but actionable! The plan gave our staff ownership and accountability for moving their programs to the next level. They are now able to make their own decisions on what tactics to use to reach our strategic goals. Overall, our programs are more efficient and effective and we’re raising more money. Thanks Mike! 

Jory Pritchard-Kerr Executive Director Collingwood General and Marine Hospital Foundation 



"We brought Michael on at the end of a very successful campaign to assist us with our messaging to the community. We had reached our goal early and wanted to continue but were concerned how the community would perceive this. Mike helped us develop the message and strategy to complete the campaign and surpass our goal."

Carrie Zeffiro, Director of Philanthropy & Public Relations  

Contact Us

Michael Farrell, FAHP - Principle

111 Market St, Suite 1003, Hamilton, Ontario L8R, Canada

(905) 650-9797

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