Darrell Yuen

Portland, Oregon, United States

Fundraising Strategist, Nonprofit Fundraiser, Fundraiser

Modern Charity

I’ve been a professional fundraiser since 1997. In 2005 I started Modern Charity, a one-person company that specializes in capital campaigns and fundraising for small to medium size organizations.

When I developed a clear vision of my life, I knew that at the end of it, I wanted to be able to look back and know I made a difference. Being a professional fundraiser allows me to follow my life path.

Here’s just a bit of what we can cover in our PivotPlanet sessions:
• How to choose which fundraising field to pursue.
• How to find job board resources.
• How to look for professional groups to join.
• How to look for educational options in the field.
• Anything else you want to know about becoming a fundraiser.


The best part about being a fundraiser is knowing that I’m helping donors and organizations come together to do powerful things for the community. I’ve worked in the family construction business and as an environmental consultant, but working as a fundraiser aligns more closely with my values and purpose in life.

One of the biggest misconceptions about major donor fundraising is that it’s about asking people for money; it’s actually about building relationships. In fact, I’ve come to learn that if you’re doing the right things, by the time you “ask” the donor has already decided to give.

Major gifts take time. It’s about having a series of communications and touch points that can take more than a year. In fact, if you rush, you’re guaranteed to receive a smaller donation.

I especially love raising money for education. My areas of expertise are capital campaign management, major giving management, running a successful fundraising operation, using technology to make the most of fundraising, donor relations, events and communications.

Success in the field of fundraising is measured in dollars. I have raised or helped raise $30 million for non-profit agencies, including leading an effort that raised $13 million over two years for a medium sized non-profit in a medium-sized city.

I’m excited to work with people wanting to enter the fundraising field. I was a student career counselor in college and learned a lot about what job seekers are seeking. Choosing a career is a long and deep process of self-discovery more than anything, and I come to my PivotPlanet clients with that in mind.