Funeral services have been set for Jimmie Alford, the longtime fundraising and nonprofit governance guru who died suddenly yesterday of an apparent heart attack. He was 69.
The memorial, visitation and service will be held Saturday, December 22 at the First United Methodist Church at The Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington St., in Chicago. Public visitation will begin at 1 p.m. and the memorial service at 2 p.m. The service will be followed by a celebration of Jimmie’s life at the University Club, Michigan Room.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, please send contributions be sent to benefit the Jimmie R. Alford Scholarship at North Park University, 3225 West Foster Avenue #6, Chicago, Ill. 60625.
Remembrances poured in from around the nonprofit sector as news of his death circulated. Even his competitors in the consulting space remembered him fondly.
“Our profession has lost one of the leaders of our generation,” said Robert Hartsook, chairman of Hartsook Companies in Kansas City, Mo. He called Alford “a great spirit of professional fundraising who set his mark not only through his personal example, but his philanthropy. In business, he was a great competitor and a good person,” said Hartsook.
“Jimmie lived philanthropy. He believed it, thought about it, practiced it, cared about it, trained others to be involved in it,” said Nancy Raybin, senior consultant and principal at Marts & Lundy, Inc. in Lyndhurst, N.J. “It is quite sad to know that a leader, a friend and a hero is gone. Jimmie was a giant, and his ongoing influence will be missed,” she said.
Association of Fundraising Executives Chair-elect, Bob Carter, called Alford a “true pioneer” in the fundraising industry. “I was fortunate enough to present Jimmie with the Lifetime Achievement AFP Award several years ago and he has continued to make contributions to benefit not only the profession but the millions served. We shall miss him,” said Carter, president of the Bob Carter Companies in Sarasota, Fla.
“Jimmie was a highly respected competitor in our industry for many years ands served clients with expertise and integrity. We served on the committees at AAFRC and he was always objective and wise in helping shape our industry,” said Carter.
Alford and his wife, Maree Bullock, were presented with the 2012 “Spirit of Youth” award last month from the National Runaway Switchboard (NRS). They are long-time supporters of the Chicago, Ill.-based agency, which recognized their work and dedication in helping to keep runaway, homeless and at-risk youth safe and off the streets.
Alford held a master’s degree in administration and organization behavior, in addition to an honorary Doctor of Laws from North Park University and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Aurora University. He served as member of the Board of Directors for North Park University and the advisory board of North Park’s Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management. He was executive in residence at Axelson and taught graduate courses in nonprofit management as well as seminars at Notre Dame University.
Alford also was a board member for Aurora University and The Barat Education Foundation, a member of the Business Advisory council of Trinity International University, as well as chair of Families International and former board chair of the Alliance for Children & Families. Alford was editor and chapter author for the book, “Building and Managing An Asset Base,” published by the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy’s New Directors for Philanthropic Fundraising program.