School of Public Policy and Administration
Dr. Gary Kelsey has more than 35 years of experience in the development and leadership of organizations in the nonprofit, government and education sectors. He specializes in areas such as nonprofit organizational behavior, program development, board development, strategic planning and fundraising.
Since joining Walden University in 1996, Dr. Kelsey has served in a variety of roles in the School of Public Policy and Administration, including faculty member and former interim associate dean. He also served as the interim director of academic residencies. Over the course of his 20 years at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Dr. Kelsey was program director and faculty member of the St. Mary’s University Master of Arts in Philanthropy and Development program. He has also taught seminars for the Center for Nonprofit Excellence at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.
As principal consultant of Gary Kelsey and Associates for the past 20 years, Dr. Kelsey has assisted and provided training for more than 250 nonprofit, philanthropic, education and government organizations. He has also held staff positions as a community organizer, program director, grants manager, administrator, senior planner and executive director for both nonprofit and government organizations. Dr. Kelsey’s research interests include nonprofit leadership, fundraising, board governance, organization planning and organizational behavior.
- Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, 2001
- M.S. in Human and Health Services Administration, St. Mary’s College, 1991
- B.A. in Social Work, St. Cloud University, 1977
Areas of Expertise
- Has more than 35 years of experience in the management and development of organizations in the nonprofit, government and education sectors.
- Has provided professional consulting since 1993 to more than 250 nonprofit, philanthropic, education and government organizations in such areas as board development, fundraising and marketing, program development, strategic planning, team building, qualitative research and leadership training.
- Has nonprofit management experience as executive director for community-based human services agencies and government organizations, providing leadership in strategic planning and program development.
Nonprofit Fund Development
- Is an expert in the nonprofit fund development process, specifically the role of the board in fundraising.
- Provides fundraising planning assistance.
Board Development and Governance
- Focuses on understanding the role of a board of directors in nonprofit fundraising, strategic planning and governance.
- Provides professional training in such areas as the board recruitment process, board orientation and management of an effective board–staff relationship.
- “Development Basics” and “Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations.” Presented at the Foundation for Bayport Public Library.
- “Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations.” Presented at the Otto Bremer Foundation.
- “Engaging the Board in Development.” Presented at the Canadian Association of Fundraising Professionals Conference.
- “Strategic Planning.” Presented at the Hartford Foundation.
- “Best Practices for Highly Effective Boards.” Presented at the Metropolitan Regional Arts. Council “Systems Thinking for Nonprofit Organizations.” Presented at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.
- “Board Governance Fundamentals.” Presented at the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa.
- “Engaging the Board in Development.” Presented at the Southern Minnesota and Southeastern Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
- “Fundraising and the Board.” Presented at the St. Croix Valley Community Foundation “Creating an Effective Board.” Presented at the University of St. Thomas Nonprofit Conference “Board Governance and Board Role in Development.” Presented at the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Professional Affiliations (Board and Committee Service)
- Art Reach St. Croix
- East Side Neighborhood Services
- Headwaters Fund
- Minneapolis Area Senior Workers Association
- Minnesota Gerontological Society
- St. Cloud State University Alumni Association
- St. Croix Valley Community Foundation
- Voluntary Action Center of St. Paul
- Training to Serve
- Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity