$7.580M raised to create and grow an organization that is now a leader in the advancement of novel treatments for paralysis recovery through medical research and advocacy. Services provided include corporate sponsorship, special events, annual giving, major gifts, board development, strategic planning, and nonprofit management including interim executive leadership.

Funds Raised


Project Dates

January 2013 – December 2023

Project Services

Corporate Sponsorship, Board Developent, Special Events, Annual Giving, Digital Communications, Major Gifts, Nonprofit Management.

“This foundation captured lightening in a bottle. The results are truly amazing; beyond any of our expectations. Not only did we raise millions for research, but that research has started to make recovery possible for people living with paralysis. John’s fundraising leadership was essential to every part of that success.”

Peter Brew, founding member of the JJF Board of Directors

Regional foundation inspired by a traumatic accident transforms paralysis recovery treatment in America through a comprehensive fundraising program of events, online giving, major gifts, and corporate sponsorships.

Special Events Fundraising

A capstone reflecting the truly remarkable outpouring of support from every level of hockey, the Minnesota Wild NHL Franchise began co-hosting the annual BEAT PARALYSIS gala in 2012 on the ice in Xcel Energy Center.  In year three, the event evolved into a unique-in-the-nation hybrid gala featuring dinner served in suites during a live NHL event.

With only a one-year COVID hiatus in 2020, the event posted its best results to date in 2023, raising nearly $400,000.

From its modest start ($10,860 gross receipts), we stewarded the growth of the BEL13VE golf event to $110,000 this year (2023).

BEAT PARALYSIS gala cohosted with the Minnesota Wild NHL franchise engaged more than 5,000 guests to raise nearly $#M.

Fundraising Video
Shared with audiences through live events, broadcast television, social media, and organic web traffic, video story-telling is a powerful engagement method to increase awareness, generate new donors, and sustain loyal donor support.

Leadership and Annual Giving Campaigns

$3.661M raised from more than 5,200 donors. In 2015, a fundraising program originally focused only on event-based support began building mission-based support from individuals ranging from $13/month recurring gifts to leadership campaigns focused on gifts of $25,000 and more.

Special-focus campaigns included the USC Challenge among fraternities and sororities at USC and the Twin Cities Challenge sponsored by Greenspring Media and Minnesota Monthly Magazine. BEL13VE won the Twin Cities Challenge in 20##, its first-ever campaign soliciting gift support directly from individuals. In 20##, BEL13VE raised $ in gifts from new donors during the first USC Challenge appeal.

Corporate Sponsorship

$1.978M raised from regional and national corporate sponsors representing a broad range of industries. Annual sponsorships ranged from $2,500 event-based awards to comprehensive packages of $50,000+ from more than 250 corporate sponsorships supported the mission to transform treatment for paralysis recovery in North America.

This 3-year fundraising campaign exceeded its goal to raise $1.3M for research conducted at Mayo Clinic and UCLA’s Neurorecovery Laboratory to advance spinal neuromodulation as an emerging new recovery treatment for people living with chronic complete paralysis. Even more exciting: the treatment works! [case statement link]

Nonprofit Management and Board Development
Beginning with creation of the nonprofit corporation, application for exemption on IRC 501(c)(3) with IRS Form 1023, and recruitment of the founding volunteer board of directors, we served as interim executive leadership for this new organization from its inception in 2013 through its first 11 years of operations (ending Dec 2023).
As fundraising results grew, we built the bookkeeping and financial management system, the integrated donor information CRM (NEON), and all the online platforms to support more than $2M of event transactions. Prepared, facilitated, and reported on 50+ Board of Directors meetings and welcomed 35+ new members to their role on the board.