Richard Tollefson

Richard L. Tollefson, Jr. 
Founder and President

Before founding The Phoenix Philanthropy Group in 2004, Richard Tollefson was Vice President for Institutional Advancement at his alma mater, Thunderbird School of Global Management, the world’s leading international business school. There he managed two comprehensive fundraising campaigns, raising $120 million in 26 countries, including a $60 million commitment – at the time the largest-ever naming gift to a business school – and transformed Thunderbird’s alumni association into a global professional association. With over 30 years of extensive fundraising, alumni relations, and advancement management experience, he has successfully guided many acclaimed arts, culture, and educational institutions, including Master Chorale of Orange County, The Joffrey Ballet, the University of Arizona, and Arizona State University, where he was part of a $600 million campaign leadership team. Richard was the 2015 recipient of Social Venture Partners’ highest honor, the Paul Shoemaker Leadership Award; and is a past recipient of the Outstanding Fundraiser of the Year award from the Arizona chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Volunteer Highlights (past & present): Boards of Directors of Social Venture Partners International, Social Venture Partners Arizona, Giving Institute, and Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII; Advisory Council for Arizona Community Foundation’s Center for LGBTQ Philanthropy; active in the Association of Fundraising Professionals.