National Philanthropy Day Honoree — 2016

Tim Benz, CFRE

Outstanding Professional Fundraiser

Tim Benz

Tim Benz, CFRE, President of the Minnesota Independent School Forum (MISF), is believed by many to be the quintessential professional fundraiser. With a long history of ethical and donor-centered leadership, Tim brings a focus on best practices and fostering a culture of philanthropy to his organizations.

Tim began his fundraising career 20 years ago with the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls, serving as Director of Annual Appeals and Special Events. After two years, he returned to the Twin Cities and became Director of Development for his high school alma mater, Cretin-Derham Hall. During his decade-long tenure, Tim raised nearly $40 million in support in addition to a successful multi-million dollar capital campaign.

In 2008, Tim became Vice President of Development and Communications for Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He led his team in raising nearly $10 million annually. Tim helped the agency transition through two CEO changes and was integral in the organization’s strategic planning efforts.

Tim returned to his love of education in 2012 when he became Associate Vice President of Development for the College of St. Benedict. While at St. Ben’s, Tim helped build a strong team in advance of launching a $125 million capital campaign — the largest in the school’s history.

In 2014, Tim became the President of the Minnesota Independent School Forum. MISF Board member, Jon A. Theobald, reflected on Tim’s leadership, saying, “Tim moved quickly to strengthen the board, expand services to member schools, boost fundraising in terms of both number of donors and total amount of money raised, and enhance the credibility of the organization.”

An active volunteer with AFP, Tim is a past president of the AFP Minnesota Chapter. He is also a board member of Hopkins Early Learning Center (HELC) and is a member of the MN Nonpublic Education Council. Tim received a Bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of St. Thomas and has held the Certified Fundraising Executive designation since 2005.

Tim and his wife Anastasia live in Minnetonka with their sons Zach, a sophomore at Academy of Holy Angels and Nick, a sophomore at Iowa State University. In his free time, Tim enjoys spending time with his family and friends, entertaining at their lake home, enjoying an occasional craft beer and watching their sons’ numerous activities.

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