Sara Pandolfi leads her own consulting firm, Sara Pandolfi & Company, which provides fundraising, marketing and human capital solutions, and event management to corporations and nonprofits.
Sara combines skills and expertise in the nonprofit sector with a successful track record of building corporate and community partnerships. She leads fundraising and marketing campaigns, special events and human capital initiatives that increase impact and revenue for numerous organizations. As a registered fundraising counsel with a flair for event management, Sara leverages her relationships in the corporate world and her extensive network in the arts, education, and hospitality industries to positively impact populations in need and improve bottom-line business results.
Sara takes on the challenges presented to organizations by understanding their strengths and limitations, and works directly with the client to formulate a plan to achieve their objectives, identify opportunities for growth and improvement, and maintain the integrity of the mission. She assists private-sector clients in leveraging their interest in doing social good by connecting them with charities that make impact in areas that are relevant to their core values.
Sara’s most notable fundraising success is Farm to Tray, a year-round sustainable food campaign that brings together New York City’s premier culinary figures and socially responsible corporations to support Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, New York’s largest emergency food program. Since she launched the grassroots campaign in 2013, Sara has raised nearly $2M in cash and in-kind support, attracted over 400 guests to a sold out event and secured 100 new partnerships for the soup kitchen, including Google, International Paper and Whole Foods Market. Through strategic marketing, sponsorship development, donor cultivation and stewardship, and community outreach, Sara spearheaded the most successful and visible fundraiser in the organization’s 35-year history. Other clients include Tanenbaum, NYU Langone Health, Grace Institute, Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation, Hunter College Foundation, New York University, dcc, OTTO, PENCIL, Animal Haven, St. Joseph’s Soup Kitchen, CauseWired, Federici Films, Communication Energy New York Inc., and award-winning Executive Pastry Chef Emily Luchetti.
As former leader of the Project for Academic Student Success program, she developed and coordinated the curriculum and functions for numerous academic programs and raised high school graduate rates of her clients to 100 percent. During her leadership and clinical role in the nonprofit sector, Sara encountered the challenges faced by government-funded programs, including the lack of resources and the increasing demand for services. Compelled to make a difference, she returned to academia to hone her development acumen and was soon elected President of NYU’s Fundraising Student Association. Her success in implementing campus-wide philanthropic initiatives and development growth for nonprofits led to her nomination for the prestigious Crain’s 40 Under 40 Award by NYU.
From managing enrichment programs for at-risk teens, to helping organizations develop the tools to maintain a sustainable and meaningful business operation, Sara has chosen a career path that is aligned with her passion to serve and to help others. She mentors students, giving them unique opportunities to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world fundraising initiatives. Sara is the recipient of the 2015 NYU Bart Lawson Alumni Award for Public Service.
Sara is a member of the Board of Directors of Tanenbaum, thought-leaders in combating religious prejudice through customized trainings and educational resources, and serves as Vice Chair of Strategic Partnership for the James Beard Foundation’s Young Professionals Committee.
Sara has spoken on numerous industry panels, including the NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development's "Building and Maintaining a Professional Network" and "Non-Profit Boot Camp," NYU-SPS's "Preparing Students for Successful Careers Conference," the AFP Long Island's "Philanthropy Day Conference," and AFP New York’s “Professional Advancement." She has also been a guest lecturer in both Columbia University and NYU graduate courses.
Sara holds degrees from New York University’s Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising (M.S.), Columbia University School of Social Work (M.S.W.) and California State University, Northridge Department of Journalism (B.A).