Chris Watson is the co-founder of our firm. He currently serves as a senior consultant and has previously served as Executive Vice President, President and Vice Chairman.
Chris’s career in the sector spans more than 30 years. He is regarded as among the foremost philanthropic and management consultants in the nation, with a particular reputation for designing and leading major capital and endowment campaigns and change management initiatives. Over his career, he has provided campaign counsel, direction and strategic guidance to more than 250 leading local, national and international organizations, raising well in excess of $3 billion. He is also a frequent speaker on fundraising and philanthropy.
Among the organizations Chris has counseled include World Vision (where he designed and led a $500 million campaign and helped to establish a sophisticated major gift program for the organization), the Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund (where he designed and led an historic public-private campaign to replace the visitor center at Pearl Harbor), the Global Fund, the Pontifical North American College, the Fashion Institute of Technology, the National 4-H Council, the National Urban League, Genesis Health System, Ascension Health System, CARE, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Apollo Theatre, the Joe Torre Foundation, the Tiger Woods Foundation, the Lymphoma Research Foundation, the United Nations World Food Programme, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the American Society of Association Executives, The Sage Colleges, Girl Scouts USA, the Salvation Army Eastern Territory and Lions Clubs International Foundation, to name a few.
Chris began his career in the nonprofit arena with the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor Health System, where he rose through the ranks to become the youngest corporate vice president in the history of the system. While with the system (which was sold in the late 1990s), Chris successfully integrated the marketing, communications and development function, created a direct relief program for children in West Africa and helped launch the system’s first-ever fundraising campaign, which exceeded its goal of $65 million.
In addition, Chris has volunteered his time serving as pro-bono counsel to scores of nonprofit organizations in board development, annual fund development and planning, including 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina charities. Chris also served for 20 years as a member of the Eastchester, New York volunteer fire department, where he served as president of the Volunteer Officers Association. A member of Who’s Who in the World, Chris also has extensive experience in communications, public relations and marketing.