Our Vision is Simple:

Learn About Make Philanthropy Work

To ensure every nonprofit has the tools and expertise to take their fundraising to the next level and meet the needs of an evolving industry.


For six years, Make Philanthropy Work (formerly MPW Strategies) has partnered with inspiring nonprofit organizations and higher-ed institutions to generate immediate and lasting fundraising growth.

To date, we’ve partnered with nearly fifty organizations and institutions, offering innovative thinking and customized solutions that have transformed how they engage with their donors, resulting in significantly increased fundraising success.

Along the way, we’ve undergone a transformation ourselves. We now have a team of pros with diverse expertise across the full spectrum of fundraising disciplines. And we’re confident that our toolbox of innovative, relationship-driven strategies will be even more instrumental as we forge into the future, and continue to connect loyal donors with impactful missions. Meet our team; we cannot wait to meet you!

Our Mission

To guide and coach nonprofits along a path to more effective fundraising. We do this by:

Our Team

Patrick Gaines
Senior Advisor – Health Care, Human Services
Jaime Garcia
Senior Advisor
Emily Gonzales
Senior Advisor
Dr. Bruce Leslie
Senior Advisor
Kevin Jones
Senior Technology Advisor
Alex Pera
AI Assistant
Dale Slusser
Senior Advisor
Jillian Sterns
Senior Advisor Foundations
Kaye Taavialma
Senior Advisor, Charter Schools
Rebekah Wells
Senior Advisor

Let's work together to amplify your impact and advance your mission.


Patrick Gaines

Patrick Gaines has 28 years of fundraising experience with cultural arts, higher education, healthcare and medical research organizations. For nearly three decades, he has helped lead nonprofit organizations through strategic planning and implementation, business development, talent acquisition and board management. He has a strong record of accomplishment in major gifts initiatives, planned giving, capital campaigns, corporate development and sponsorship marketing, annual fund and membership programs, grant writing, and volunteer recruitment/management. As a nonprofit executive, volunteer and donor, Patrick passionately fosters a culture of philanthropy throughout the organizations and communities in which he works and lives.

Patrick served as the Executive Director of the University of Colorado’s Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine from 2011 to 2019, where he played a critical role in securing $50 million for operating and endowment, and an additional $17 million for capital construction. Prior to that, Patrick held the position of Director of Major Gifts with the American Cancer Society, where he helped secure the Society’s largest individual gift, $9.5 million, in its 100-year history. Patrick also piloted a new and innovative major gifts business model to increase the Society’s national investment in cancer research.

Patrick’s experience in the cultural arts spans over 15 years, including senior fundraising positions with the Des Moines Metro Opera, Westfield Symphony Orchestra in New Jersey, and the University of Colorado Denver College of Arts & Media. Concurrent with his early fundraising career, Patrick also enjoyed a brief tenure as a professional musician, holding positions with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra and Mannheim Steamroller.

Patrick is a board member with the Brent Eley Foundation and volunteers with City Year Denver, CASA, and the ARC of Weld County. He has lived in Colorado for 18 years and enjoys hiking, climbing, skiing, cycling and ultra trail running. Patrick resides in Ken Caryl, CO and is the proud and grateful father of an eighteen year old son, Christopher, who will be enrolled in the University of Colorado’s College of Engineering and Applied Science in August 2019.


Jaime McMullen Garcia

With over 15 years of experience in fundraising and communication research, Jaime McMullen Garcia is the founder of Jovial Communication. Jovial provides philanthropy advising and fundraising consulting services. Throughout her career, she has excelled in development and leadership positions in higher education and other nonprofit organizations. Her passion lies in the joy that comes from connecting donors with their philanthropic passions and helping organizations benefit from this generosity.

Jaime previously served as the Chief Philanthropy Officer for Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado, where she directed philanthropic activities. Additionally, she oversaw the successful execution of the UCCS Ent Center for the Arts Capital Campaign that raised over $60 million and opened its doors in 2018. Garcia started her fundraising career at the University of Colorado Foundation in 2003, and eventually served as Executive Director of Development for the Colorado Springs campus.

Jaime received an MA in Communication and a BA in Communication and Psychology with a minor in Professional Writing from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Jaime is currently an adjunct professor at Pikes Peak Community College and Purdue Global where she teaches Public Speaking and Persuasive Communication. She also served on the board of directors for Classical KCME FM and now serves as secretary on the board of directors for Leadership Pikes Peak and the Colorado State Fair Capital Campaign Committee. Jaime lives in Falcon, Colorado, with her husband, Leo, their two sons, and four dogs. She loves camping, paddleboarding, and hockey games.


Emily Gonzales

Emily’s unique duality of skills in both software & analytics and compassionate leadership allow her to strategically leverage organizations’ strengths for positive growth. She brings 15 years of professional program and project management experience in various non-profit industries, ranging from PreK-12 education to higher education and from human services to the arts. Throughout her career, she has surpassed goals for fundraising, volunteer engagement, and program implementation.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Colorado School of Mines in Math & Computer Science, with an emphasis on Modeling, Analysis, and Computation and a minor in Economics & Business. Leaning into her analytical background, she utilizes data and big-picture problem solving to improve business practices.

In addition to her engineer’s mindset, Emily’s positive, people-first attitude allows her to see the value of each potential donor, to effectively work with all stakeholders, and to appreciate the client’s assets and opportunities for growth. After increasing revenue by over 15% at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s school & youth department, she went on to increase volunteer engagement and retention five-fold at Junior Achievement. Emily found further success as the director of the alumni association at her alma mater, where she oversaw an organizational merger with the university’s foundation while also surpassing fundraising targets by 25%. She thrives in the challenges of managing change, inspiring staff, engaging volunteers, and working in partnerships with boards of directors.

As an involved community volunteer, Emily brings her real-world perspective of on-the-ground non-profit work. In support of parks and recreation, she launched a city-wide grassroots organization that resulted in successful grants, city council votes, and improved initiatives. She spends her time leading a Girl Scout troop, cultural enrichment efforts for SCFD, diversity and inclusion work at a local elementary school, and outreach at a Unitarian Universalist church.

Emily believes in the meaningful work of our clients. She prioritizes living an essential life, doing only the most important, which is why she is thrilled to spend her time at Make Philanthropy Work. When not at her computer, she can be found in nature with her husband and two children: skiing, camping, running, biking, or reading in a hammock.


Dr. Bruce Leslie

Dr. Bruce Leslie has successfully implemented cohesive organizational systems and strategic, creative and accountable cultures, engaging all stakeholders and emphasizing leadership development for all members of the organization, especially the boards of trustees, resulting in dramatic, nationally recognized performance outcomes at each institution he has led.

A Navy Veteran and Chancellor Emeritus of both Houston Community College District and The Alamo Colleges District, Leslie retired October 1, 2018, concluding a 42-year career as a senior executive in community college systems. As Chancellor, of the AlamoColleges District, composed of five individually accredited colleges, the system received numerous state and national awards, most noteworthy, the 2018 National Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award for Performance Excellence; the only higher education, multi-college system to ever receive this national Presidential award.

As a result of Leslie’s leadership, Achieving the Dream awarded the District the prestigious Leah Meyer Austin Award in 2020 “for dramatic improvements in Student Success”. The District also received several Texas Star Awards, a record four National Bellwether Awards, several equity and sustainability awards and numerous state and national operational and fiscal performance awards, including four Texas Awards for Performance Excellence and multiple years of AAA bond ratings by both Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, one of only seven community colleges nationally to receive such fiscal performance affirmation. Recently, The Aspen Institute awarded Alamo Colleges
– San Antonio College with the Aspen Award for Community College Excellence, the best community college in the nation.

At each of the Colleges he has led, Dr. Leslie founded or reinvigorated the college foundation leading to rapid increases in donations, student scholarships, faculty support and facility development. By reinvigorating the Alamo CollegesFoundation, contributions increased 412%. Recently, as a result of The Alamo College’s high performance, McKenzie Scott donated $35 million to the District.

Leslie earned his bachelor’s degree from Baldwin-Wallace University in Ohio, master