Background: Jim Pattison was born in Baltimore and grew up in the Washington, D.C. area. He did his undergraduate work at Georgetown University with a degree in history and has a MBA from the University of Notre Dame. He currently lives in Goleta near Santa Barbara, California.
He has over 40 years of experience with stops in Boston, New York, Washington, Chicago, Milwaukee, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. He recently retired (June 30, 2023) as the Senior Advancement Officer at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles where he had been for 26 years. During his time at Harvard-Westlake, he was part of the teams that raised over $800 million. Jim was instrumental in spurring a change in focus at HW from the previous “institution-centric”/transaction-based approach to the current “donor-centric”/relationship-based one. Part of Jim’s job had been to lead the education of the Board, the administration, and others in the Office of Advancement regarding the culture of philanthropy; and how to make donors be better donors. He was a key member of the school’s $175 million Opportunity of a Lifetime comprehensive campaign.
He received the CASE Robert Bell Crow Award in January 2016. The Robert Bell Crow award recognizes independent school advancement professionals for their distinguished service to the profession, their school and CASE. This is the highest award that can be accorded an advancement professional in independent schools. Nominees are judged on their professional achievements, their length of service and their involvement in CASE national and/or district activities.
He was the principal architect and organizer as well as the inaugural chair for two years, of the CASE Independent School Leadership Group. This group includes the Chief Advancement Officers from top producing independent schools in the country, as defined by: i) having done or is planning a campaign of $100 million+; ii) personally securing an individual (not cumulative) gift from an individual of at least $10 million; iii) three consecutive years of over $10 million in total giving; and iv) having at least two individuals involved with major gift work. The group also includes those who have been awarded the Robert Bell Crow Award.
Tune in to Jim's latest Podcast Here
Jim shares what makes an excellent advancement pro on this podcast along with some donor stories that gives you an idea how he approaches his search work. You will get to know Jim better by listening to this entertaining piece.