What Robert Weiner's clients have to say about his work:
"The Hertz Foundation runs two data base systems, one for managing over 700 Fellowship applications and 100 candidate interviews a year and one for supporting the fundraising approaches to over 1000 graduate Fellows and another 100 or more friends of the Foundation. When I became President in 2009, both were legacy systems handcrafted by a small and not very good company. Robert had previously done an assessment of these systems that was incredibly helpful to me and my operations manager as we reorganized and reprogrammed with professionals the FileMaker-based Fellowship system and selected commercial software packeges for relationship and fundraising management. Despite the fact that this report had been buried for two years, it was accurate and actionable.
Should we get in trouble again, we will go to him again."
Fannie and John Hertz Foundation
"The Office of Institutional Advancement at Mills College consulted with Robert in the summer of 2011. He interviewed stakeholders, reviewed processes for everything from list generation to gift entry, and assessed the division of responsibilities for advancement services both within the group and across the organization. Although staff were initially skeptical, Robert won them over and gained their cooperation through his excellent listening skills, thoughtful approach to problems, and obvious expertise. I waited to write this recommendation so that I could report on outcomes. I am thrilled to say that with Robert’s guidance we completely overhauled the division and are setting a new standard for excellence in advancement services at Mills! The division of labor makes sense and is clear to everyone; staff are happier and more productive; we have more useful tools and reports; and—due to those improvements—we were finally able to recruit a top notch senior director of advancement services. I looked at Robert’s report again recently (winter of 2012) and was impressed that his observations and recommendations still ring true."
Cynthia Brandt Stover, PhD
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
"Without Robert's expert counsel we would not be in such a tremendous place technologically. I would recommend his services to any organization."
Coastal Conservation Association
"We contacted Robert to help us shift our information from separate software programs to a unified system. He was able to digest and conceptualize our varied needs in a short time and then use that knowledge to point us toward the best systems to consider, both in terms of function and cost. With Robert’s technical assistance and expertise, we could focus our attention on finding a system that really fit with our workflow and know that we could afford it, too."
Finance & Operations Coordinator
GIFT/Grassroots Fundraising Journal
“I’ve always been a bit skeptical about using consultants (it always seems like we can just do it ourselves, no?), but Robert was worth every penny! Purchasing a new information system is an incredibly complex endeavor with tons at stake. I simply cannot imagine having gone through this process without Robert’s knowledge, patience, expertise and skill. We are delighted with how our project turned out and we’re deeply grateful to Robert for his assistance and careful shepherding.”
Director of Advancement Services
"All I have to say is... thank God we hired Robert Weiner to help us navigate the treacherous waters of database options, assessment and selection! He provided us a clear and objective road map that kept us on task and on time!"
Nancy Trish Calderon
Assistant Vice President, Development
Santa Clara University
"We hired Robert to conduct a donor database needs assessment and to guide us through the subsequent selection process. Robert’s combined knowledge of fundraising best practices, information technology systems, and the ever-changing market for donor databases made him an extremely valuable resource during this time. Robert also has the admirable ability to convey complex information to a broad audience without alienating anyone in the process. I always looked forward to asking Robert critical questions, and I never doubted that he would provide an informed response. I strongly recommend Robert for your database assessment and selection needs. You won't be disappointed!"
Development Operations Manager
"We first engaged Robert to help us reach consensus on how to improve the database that we had been struggling with for several years. With his guidance, we were able to agree that we really needed to find a new solution. He then helped us identify and agree on that solution. He helped craft RFPs for our prospective vendors that, first, really captured the critical issues for our organization, and second, forced the vendors to respond in an "apples to apples" manner, which helped the decision process tremendously. Robert was a supportive, enthusiastic, and knowlegable facilitator of this process and his approach helped us achieve critical buy-in from all departments throughout the process, which I'm very pleased to say, resulted in a successful migration to a much more robust and dynamic database that should serve our needs for many years to come."
David C. Miller
Director of Operations and Finance
"Robert is perhaps the best organized, most professional consultant with whom I have ever worked. He helped a small nonprofit with which I volunteer select a new Application Service Provider to provide online membership services. His attention to detail was amazing, and his ability to keep us on schedule was calming. He researched options, recommended selection criteria, and facilitated our group decision making process with a calm ease that I hope to someday mirror as a consultant myself. As a result of our new website, our membership has doubled in the last year. A++ rating all around!"
Gayle Roberts Fundraising for Nonprofits
“Florida State University hired Robert to assist in selection of a new Advancement database. He guided us through the needs assessment process, made difficult by the fact we were merging academic and athletic fundraising units. He was able to work with the divergent campus groups and guide them to a common purpose. He was tremendously helpful in identifying vendors, creating demonstration scripts and evaluation forms. The result of his professional approach was a software selection and, as important, the uniting of 5 campus groups on a single software decision."
Florida State University Foundation
"Robert helped us turn our 'technologically maladroit' Development Office into a competent, successful fundraising machine! We recently reported our holiday appeal numbers to the finance committee, and my reports were professional, easy to understand, and informative, thanks to the new fund raising software that Robert helped us choose. Now our Board sees the benefits of spending money on technology, and for the first time in our organization’s history, we are creating a professional marketing strategy based on actual numbers, not guesswork. It’s been a huge success, and we’re grateful for Robert’s wise counsel."
Director of Development
St. Vincent de Paul Society of Marin County
"Robert was hired by the ADRP Board of Directors to provide professional guidance in choosing membership and recruitment software that will meet our growing association’s needs. His expert advice and thoughtful recommendations helped the Board easily navigate through some very difficult technical decisions. From undertaking a thorough needs assessment to scripting vendor demonstrations, Robert delivered exactly what he promised, when he promised, within budget. The Board could not be more pleased by our decision to work with Robert."
Association of Donor Relations Professionals
"Robert was wonderful to work with. For those of us involved in the decision making process, but not well versed on the technical aspects, he was able to translate the technical components for us in a way we could all understand. He was thorough, professional and discreet."
Chief of Staff
"Marin Agricultural Land Trust hired Robert Weiner to assist us with the selection of a new fundraising database. Robert’s analytical skills, knowledge of the industry, and good counsel were invaluable in helping us make the right decision for our needs. His database demo script was the most thorough I’ve ever seen – and he played a critical role in our interviews with vendors. I would highly recommend Robert, and would be happy to provide a reference for him."
Marin Agricultural Land Trust
"Robert was able to evaluate our development needs and provide us with a framework that was easy to use to make our final software selection. He was a pleasure to work with and we got great results."
Director of Development
Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County
"Mothers Against Drunk Driving retained Robert while I was the national Director of Development and Marketing. Robert gave us a thoughtful and pragmatic assessment of our data management issues and helped us think through our options. He provided guidance on the operational, technical, financial, and cultural issues involved in addressing our issues at a national level. I would not hesitate to call on him again."
Associate Executive Director
American College of Emergency Physicians
"I hired Robert when I was the national Development Director at the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Robert delivers thoughtful, insightful and empowering observations and recommendations. He blends his knowledge of technology, data management and fundraising to identify the best solutions for the situation and resources. Robert is a master at communicating concepts and helping to translate those concepts into reality. I would highly recommend Robert!"
(Former) Director of Development
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
"Robert provided expert guidance as we evaluated donor databases and negotiated with the chosen vendor. The project was well under way when he came on board, but he was able to get up to speed almost instantly. He helped us understand the pros and cons of various approaches and counseled us on potential pitfalls. His approach was very effective. He acted as a consultant - providing guidance without a pre-determined solution. I felt like we were in the driver's seat; Robert was the navigator."
(Former) Acting Executive Director
San Francisco AIDS Foundation
"Robert was able to evaluate and articulate effectively our specialized development technology needs. Having him a part of the process with our marketing and information services staff helped us find a better solution. He provides a great service."
Ann E. Root
Director of National Development
The Trust for Public Land
"As a new university our funds are limited. I was very impressed with Robert's analysis of our requirements and his cost effective recommendations. I am pleased to say that his consulting assignment was completed on time and in a very professional manner. We now have a system in place that meets our current needs and is expandable to accommodate our growth in the future."
Associate Vice Chancellor for Development
"Robert delivered a thoughtful assessment of our organization’s database situation and helped us understand what our next steps should be. Robert’s work was thorough and timely. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him to any organization trying to come to terms with technology and how to make it work for them."
Mary Beth Smith
Director of Marketing and Communications
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
"At the start of our capital campaign, we asked Robert to conduct an assessment of the UM Foundation's technology. We asked him to determine whether we were prepared to support the escalating need for accurate and efficient data management and reporting. Robert quickly got up to speed on our internal and external issues and produced a thorough and highly professional report. His recommendations provided a clear and concise road map of what we needed to do. He was timely, affordable and accessible throughout the process, and his contribution to our organization was invaluable."
President and CEO
The University of Montana Foundation
"Robert gave us the best advice possible, including a pragmatic assessment of where he was needed and where he wasn't. He can roll up his sleeves and work alongside staff, and present to the president with the best of them. It's hard to choose among his strengths-projects on budget and on time, strategic as well as technical advice, and an unfailing sense of perspective."
(Former) Senior Vice President for Advancement
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
"When I was Director of Development for the San Francisco Ballet, Robert played a key role in assessing our technology needs, and guided us through a thorough process of selecting new software. I've known Robert for 20 years and have only the highest praise for his sensitive guidance, thoughtful advice, and superb professionalism. He is the first person I turn to for technology issues."
Associate Vice President for Advancement
San Francisco State University
"Working closely with Robert has been a pleasure. He's an enthusiastic advocate with practical solutions to difficult problems. His support was invaluable during our recent database conversion."
(Former) Director, Advancement Services
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
"As a fundraising consultant, it is vitally important for me to have technical consultants on whom I can depend. I recently provided counsel on a major donor campaign to a small community-based organization in San Francisco. Robert was invaluable in offering that client advice on fundraising software that would fit their needs and their budget. The client was very pleased--and so was I."
"When he assessed our information systems area, Robert went beyond offering suggestions based on his own experience and expertise to making connections for us with other advancement services professionals. The assistance we received from these individuals continues to add value to Robert's consulting assignment to this day."
Robert W. Burt
Vice President, University Advancement
California State University, East Bay
"Robert, we have enjoyed working with you immensely, and now feel we are fully prepared to fly on our own with our new database. Thank you for your encouragement to take the time to thoroughly assess our needs and your step-by- step guidance through the process. It's been a few months now since our data conversion, and we are still excited about the possibilities of our new database and confident that you helped us make the right choice. Thank you so much for your expert assistance!"
(Former) Development Administrator
Bay Area Video Coalition
"It was wonderful having the opportunity to have you consult with New Connections and learn more about your approach and in-depth knowledge of the field. Your thoughtful comments and critical thinking will help further NC's approach to better planning, implementing and managing our approach to 'philanthropic activism'. I would not hesitate to recommend your consulting services in the future."
Alan R. Stein, MPH, MS, MFT
Counseling and Recovery Services