Value Driven. Relationally Minded.
At Palmetto Philanthropy, we consider ourselves to be the cultivators of positive change, donning the hat of fundraisers with unwavering enthusiasm and vision.We harbor a profound passion for nurturing the ever-evolving landscape of philanthropy, firmly believing in its potential to sculpt a brighter world stage.
Our essence is encapsulated in empowering the leaders of altruism—the nonprofit and fundraising professionals, equipping them with innovative tools to forge enduring, positive transformations.We stand steadfast in our commitment to foster growth, innovation, and resiliency in these changemakers, nurturing a future where philanthropy blooms in full grandeur.
Palmetto Philanthropy is guided by a team of experienced fundraising and non-profit professionals, with approximately 167 years of combined service in the philanthropic sector. Collectively, we’ve led fundraising strategy and teams at thirteen institutions of higher education, along with numerous non-profits in adult/pediatric healthcare and social service industries.
With years of results-oriented experience, Palmetto Philanthropy’s executive team has an established track record of successful campaign preparation and execution – providing contributions in multiple campaigns reaching over $9.5 billion. Prior to launching Palmetto Philanthropy, our team worked with and led approximately 200+ fundraisers and fundraising managers, while personally raising over $1.25 billion in contributions.
In our consulting work, we take pride in having coached and trained over 150 fundraisers and fundraising leaders. Cumulatively, our coaching partnerships have yielded over $75M in dollars raised to date. In addition to fundraiser coaching, our firm is particularly dedicated to serving our clients through campaign counsel, major gift/corporate fundraising strategy and implementation, board training and equipping, strategic planning, and more.
Our central focus is to maintain a value driven and relationally minded approach, with a specific emphasis on providing tangible support to our partners. We strictly maintain a team- based approach, which incorporates both full-time consultants and accomplished practitioners, to ensure our partners receive the full capability and unique skill sets of our team.
Our coaching program is proven to accelerate prospect and donor movement, all while sharpening the approach and providing focus for the fundraiser. Coaching is built on two principles: empowerment and accountability.
Optimizing the assets and resources of your executive board and leadership to work in unison and not opposition.
Our campaign counsel is both comprehensive and pragmatic. The backbone of a campaign is a combination of having the right prospects and donors and compelling organizational priorities. We will provide discernment, analysis and tools to help you exceed your campaign goals.
Is everyone on your fundraising team aligned? Are your fundraising goals and tactics shared across the team? Through a comprehensive assessment, we can help you identify and resolve pain points that lead to a more effective, collaborative fundraising team.
Everything a fundraiser needs to be successful! This is our unique version of “fundraising in a box.”
Assistant Vice President
Director of Client Services
We’ve led fundraising strategy for units/schools in higher education, built and led regional, remote fundraising teams and led all fundraising efforts for a mid-size non profit. Combined, we’ve been a part of three comprehensive campaigns that total more than $3B. We’ve learned, produced and led at more than six institutions.We take pride in having worked with over 150 fundraisers and fundraising leaders. Cumulatively, our partnerships have yielded over $56M in dollars raised to date.
When we are not working with our partners, we are enjoying life with our families in Greenville, South Carolina
LAUNCHED was created to propel your fundraising forward while keeping your costs low. As a monthly subscription model, we provide our unique and proven tools to accelerate your fundraising efforts. Created for organizations with limited budgets, staffing and previous fundraising experience - LAUNCHED will meet you where you are while not keeping you there.
Strategic planning processes can be a strength or stumbling block. We make it painless and productive.
Looking for talent? Let us help. Our time spent training, coaching and developing fundraisers and fundraising leaders has allowed us to discern fundraising skillsets that are indispensable to fundraising roles. Our process is unique and proven.
Want to increase diversity among your staff? Need help identifying transferrable skills that lead to productive fundraisers? The BRIDGE provides formal training and candidate observations PRE-HIRE.
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Josh Sims, a visionary in the philanthropic sector, holds the distinguished position of President and Co-Founder of Palmetto Philanthropy.With a profound trajectory spanning over 17 years, Josh has transformed the landscape of organizational fundraising, spearheading initiatives that have nurtured optimal fundraising performances and strategic alignments. His recent venture, Palmetto People, stands as a testament to his commitment to fostering robust fundraising networks, spotlighting talent acquisition within the sector.
A family man at heart, Josh shares his life journey with his wife Cara and their five wonderful children. His academic path led him from Baylor University, culminating in an MBA from Clemson University, equipping him with a robust foundation to revolutionize philanthropy.
As the Vice President and Co-Founder of Palmetto Philanthropy, Tyler Cornwell has carved a unique niche in the sector, dedicated to fostering positive, enduring change in the world of philanthropy. With a decade of experience under his belt, Tyler has become a beacon of innovation, partnering with organizations to enhance their fundraising trajectories, offering insightful strategies, and executing dynamic fundraising campaigns that resonate on a tangible, meaningful level.
At the heart of Tyler’s approach lies a commitment to nurturing relationships that bring genuine, lasting value, making a palpable difference in the philanthropic sector. Sharing his journey with his wife, Ally, and their child, Graham, Tyler is a proud resident of Oxford, Mississippi, holding fast to a vision of a more philanthropically driven world.
Education: BS, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, Arkansas
In the realm of strategic philanthropy, Chip Bryant stands as a paragon of success, embodying a legacy rich with remarkable achievements in fundraising, sales, and management. Over a span of three decades, he has meticulously crafted an illustrious career, blending expertise in relationship-building with innovative strategic planning. His journey saw a pivotal chapter as the Vice Chancellor for Advancement at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), from August 2016 to July 2023, orchestrating groundbreaking fundraising campaigns that catapulted the institution to unprecedented heights, accumulating over $1.3 billion in donations.
Before ascending to the role of Vice Chancellor, Chip showcased his mettle in key positions within UTK, steering transformative campaigns and initiatives with adept finesse. His tenure at the Haslam College of Business witnessed the blossoming of pivotal donor relationships, underpinning critical educational and research initiatives. Furthermore, Chip has lent his marketing and relationship- building acumen to the sports industry, notably with Action Sports Media, fostering substantial growth and visibility for collegiate sports programs nationwide.
A venerated figure in higher education circles, Chip’s philanthropic culture creation is revered, embedding a profound ethos of giving back within the community, and nurturing long-lasting partnerships that have fundamentally impacted both students and faculty alike.
Education: B.S., University of Tennessee
Brian is a husband, father, philanthropic strategist, estate planner, attorney, business advisor, volunteer, and outdoorsman. He’s helped 3 institutions with record-breaking campaigns, elevating the role of estate commitments, life income, and asset-focused gifts.
He is committed to breaking down the assumptions that these gifts are difficult to cultivate or close, and empowering all charitable ambassadors to embrace their role as advisor in helping supporters achieve tax efficiency while meeting their goals.
Nick Oyler, a distinguished Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE), brings to Palmetto Philanthropy a rich tapestry of experience that spans across multifaceted institutions, from premier universities to comprehensive healthcare entities. Joining the Palmetto team in early 2023, Nick has become a linchpin in orchestrating successful fundraising campaigns, encapsulating a career where his efforts have garnered over $1.5 billion in contributions, significantly bolstering scholarships and healthcare initiatives.
Nick champions a tailored approach in client relations, dedicating himself to delivering unmatched value through innovative strategies and insights.Apart from his professional realm, Nick enjoys an enriching family life with his wife, Beth, and their two children, exploring the world and culinary adventures together. They are proud residents of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Education: BA, Purdue Fort Wayne; M.ED, University of Kentucky
Lynn Pilgrim is a seasoned fundraising professional with more than 20 years of experience in the field. Their expertise spans across both Annual Giving and Major Giving in the Higher Education sector. Additionally, they have had the privilege of spearheading the development and management of a robust Development department for a nonprofit organization within the social services sector, consistently achieving an impressive annual fundraising average of over $2.5 million.
In addition to their extensive fundraising background, Lynn brings over a decade of retail management experience to their repertoire. This diverse skill set has been instrumental in shaping their approach to strategic fundraising and nonprofit management.
In August 2022, Lynn embarked on a new professional journey with Palmetto Philanthropy, where they enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to make a more substantial impact on the nonprofit sector. Their dedication is evident in their mission to assist various nonprofit organizations in their fundraising endeavors, contributing to the betterment of communities and causes they are passionate about.
Lynn holds an impressive academic background, having graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a Masters in Electronic Commerce. These qualifications have enriched their strategic approach to fundraising and nonprofit leadership.