Park Bench Fundraising Strategists

Passionate About Nonprofits

About Park Bench Fundraising Strategists

Dr. James A. Johnson, Founding Principal

Dr. James A. Johnson

Founding Principal

James has more than 35 years of successful fundraising experience. He is the founder of the national firm, Ethos Leadership Group (1988) which he sold to partners in 2021. James also served with the prestigious firm of Jerold Panas, Linzy and Partners (Chicago) as well as serving for over a decade coaching in The Institute for Charitable Giving, teaching How To Make The Ask, So Now You Are A Fundraiser, There You Are! and various communication topics.

Dr Johnson has led over 35 campaigns and major projects ranging from $2 million to a recent 5-year campaign for $500 million. He received the “President’s Public Service Award” for his role in the Red Cross “HEROS” campaign. James is the author of two fundraising books, Why Is No One Following Me? and Twenty for 20, a collection of 20 actions guaranteed to increase fundraising by 20%. His new book, Moves Management Fundraising is available now.

James holds a Doctorate degree in Organizational Communication from Texas Tech University, Doctoral Honors work from Indiana University and post-doctorate studies from Harvard University. He has served as Vice President for Advancement and External Affairs at a major university as well as a University President.


Major Campaigns


Years of Experience


Billion in Funds Raised

Tim Johnson

Leading Principal

Tim Johnson began professional fundraising in 1989. His early work consisted heavily of international clients spanning four continents and six countries, including extensive time in Ukraine.

His fundraising experience ranges from micro-capital campaigns for Habitat for Humanity to multi-million dollar comprehensive campaigns. He has worked with major gifts, planned giving, annual funds, and special events.

Tim received a MA from Texas Tech University in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing on Mass Communication, Speech, and Higher Education Administration, a BA from Texas Tech in Public Relations and Advertising, the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation, and a Certificate in Fund Raising Management (CFRM) from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

He enjoys spending time with his family and can often be found flying a small airplane in search of a great adventure. He is also a proud member of the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas.

Tim Johnson, Leading Principal

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What Others Are Saying
"Without James we would have never reached our goal. His communication style and interpersonal skills are unsurpassed."
- American Red Cross
"Dr. Johnson is brilliant yet very down to earth and personable. His training workshop produced immediate results with both our new and experienced fundraisers."
- Habitat For Humanity
"Dr. Johnson saved our campaign. He literally resurrected it from the ashes."
- Nebraska Independent College Foundation
Park Bench Fundraising Strategists

"Never let the urgent replace the important."