STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 05/25/2012

A Mentor to Fundraisers

Editor’s note: This article is excerpted from a news story that appeared in the Portland Press Herald in August 2011.

Marc Pitman ’95 was recently selected as one of Maine’s “Forty Under 40”—a group of people who are making significant contributions in their careers and communities. Marc is founder of and the author of Ask Without Fear!

“So many amazing causes struggle simply because well-meaning volunteers don’t know how to fundraise effectively,” he says. “I love helping people discover their potential and design their lives around it.”
“In such a challenging economic time, many nonprofits have lost a significant portion of their funding. Marc’s work is helping many of these organizations continue to achieve their goals by giving them the tools, skills and ‘permission’ to ask for funding help,” says Lynnelle Wilson, founder and president of Bold Vision Consulting.

Marc’s drive to get things done also might explain how he’s been able to accomplish more in four decades than many have achieved in a lifetime, such as international speaking, pastoring a church, managing a gubernatorial campaign, writing books, teaching at the college level and raising millions of dollars for charity.

Pitman’s skills at writing and speaking have served him well in his travels around the world teaching fundraising and social media marketing. His accomplishments include:

  • His book about fundraising, Ask Without Fear, which has been made into a DVD.
  • A blog,, which is listed as one of the top 10 nonprofit blogs in the world.
  • Co-founder of, an international community for leaders of social change.
  • Featured on CBS, Fox and NBC, and in Forbes, The Chronicle of Philanthropy and FundRaising Success magazines.

Marc has had a number of mentors in his life, including his first boss in fundraising, Bob Grinnell, a longtime development leader at Gordon. Of his wife, Emily (Downing) ’96, he says, “She has an amazing ability to inspire me, whether that inspiration is a word of encouragement or a kick in the pants.”

He draws inspiration from not only his family, but also from his religious convictions and beliefs. “Jesus. As cheesy as it sounds, I owe everything I’ve accomplished to Him. I’ve dedicated my life to discovering how He’s created me and being the best I can in honoring His trust. I could go on and on, but I’ll just say He has had the most impact.”

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Marc Pitman