Michele R. Berard, MBA, CFRE, Principal of Ascent Advisors, LLC is a seasoned Philanthropy and Management Professional. Over 24 years have brought success to organizations of varying size, including the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, Volunteer Services for Animals, Caritas, Inc. and Butler Hospital. Michele is a regular presenter for many Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Chapters, New England Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (NEAHP), Partnership for Philanthropic Planning of RI (PPPRI), and The Center for Non-Profit Success. She has served as adjunct faculty member for Bryant University and Rhode Island College teaching courses in Philanthropy, Ethics, Nonprofit Management, Program Design, Board Development and Program Implementation. Most recently, Michele has partnered with several organizations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic to bolster fund-development and strategic vision planning.

Michele has served on several boards and committees, namely: Association of Fundraising Professionals of RI, the American Red Cross. AFP-RI’s annual conference committee and as chair of the conference in 2010 and 2011. Michele is a certified mentor for the Care New England Health System’s Mentoring Program, a mentor for the RIC Alumni Mentoring Program, a graduate of Leadership RI – Gamma II Class and is an AFP Certified Master Trainer.

Michele’s vast board service, work with and for nonprofit organizations and research make her a leading expert in board governance. Like a nonprofit organizations, no two boards are alike, therefore require a unique approach. Michele is an expert at guided board members toward a meaningful, productive and satisfying volunteer experience.

Michele is devoted to the tenants of team work and philanthropy. She is an expert connector and revenue generator. Her competencies include: grant writing, database organization, major gift fundraising, capital campaign planning/implementation, management, planning and board development. Armed with a CFRE, an MBA and now a certificate in Navigating a Crisis – a comprehensive course developed by Bryant University to head leaders adapt and response to changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Michele can help your organization to ascend to new heights.