Emeritus Founding Principal
Marc Kellenberger is a true believer in the power of nonprofits to transform communities and build a more just and equitable society. His work to make the world a better place started early, when he was 16 and chaired the Walk to End World Hunger in Elgin, Illinois, and as a teenager served as a Board member of the YMCA, the Elgin Committee on Recycling, and Elgin Community College. He has devoted his professional life to helping organizations in Arizona and California realize this potential, and in the process, has developed a well-earned reputation as one of the most respected names in fundraising. His career, which spans more than 35 years as a development professional, has seen him serve numerous educational institutions, art organizations, and human service agencies- leading capital campaigns, marketing and public relations functions, and transformational re-organizations. Most notably, Marc was the long-time senior vice president and chief development officer for Arizona’s Children Association and helped guide the organization to an unparalleled level of fundraising and programmatic success.
In 2004, in need of a new challenge, Marc, along with Richard Tollefson, founded The Phoenix Philanthropy Group. In the firm’s early days, Marc quickly established himself as a go-to expert on nonprofit mergers and acquisitions, recognizing that “leaders may be passionate about their mission and form an organization, however, the reality of day-to-day operations and fundraising may cause them to decide to connect with another like organization to be successful.”
Marc’s volunteer work has been equally as active. He helped to lead the first $1,000,000 AIDS Walk Arizona, and has supported a diverse set of organizations such as the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library, Arizona AIDS Project, the Arizona Community Foundation’s Kellenberger + Tollefson Center for LGBTQ Philanthropy and Tollefson + Kellenberger Forum for Social Justice, Central Arizona Shelter Services, the City of Phoenix Human Rights Commission, and the City of Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission. He is also the recipient of the Arizona Human Rights Fund statewide Human Rights Award.
In the years since the firm’s founding, Marc is gratified to see the tremendous growth Phoenix Philanthropy has experienced, and to see how many organizations have succeeded because of the advice and counsel he was able to provide them. “The most rewarding aspect of my career is knowing how many organizations have benefited from the expertise we have offered to them on their path to financial and organizational success.”