Geoffrey W. Peters A fundraiser, lawyer, and manager, Geoff has a J.D. degree, as well as an M.A. in social research and statistics.His A.B. degree is from NorthwesternUniversity.In addition to practicing law early in his career, he was a faculty member at Creighton University College of Law.After a period of time when he served as Deputy Director of the NationalCenter for State Courts (a nonprofit “think-tank” for the U.S. state court system) and as a member of the law faculty at William and Mary, he was, in 1980, appointed as the youngest president and dean of a major law school in the United States.He currently practices law in his own firm, primarily handling cases pro-bono on behalf of nonprofit organizations and has recently been involved in representing nonprofits against the United States Postal Service, in litigation regarding fundraising registration against Pinellas County, Florida, Utah, and in the Supreme Court of the United States in a case involving fundraising regulation. Geoff has been the chief operating officer or chief executive officer of a national marketing research company, a national management consulting company, a $40 million insurance company, a commercial real estate development company, an international franchiser, an investment banking company, and an international World Trade Center. Geoff’s involvement with nonprofit organizations goes back fourty years.In addition to his service as a president, dean and as a faculty member at various educational institutions, Geoff has served as Chairman of the nonprofit Mid-America World Trade Center, as a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, as Chairman of the nonprofit Council for Government Reform, and in numerous voluntary roles with the American Bar Association, various State Bar Associations, the Conference of Chief Justices, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (formerly NSFRE), American Charities for Reasonable Fundraising Regulation, and the DMA Nonprofit Federation just to name a few. Geoff is the former President of one of the USA’s oldest direct mail fundraising agencies and formerly President of Creative Direct Marketing International, a global fundraising agency specializing in European and Asian countries.He has worked with international charities and their U.S. and European staffs on their overall fundraising programs.He sold CDMI in November 2001 and while maintaining his international connections and interests, he has recently refocused his energies on assisting North American nonprofits with their development programs. Geoff is currently Chairman of CDR Fundraising Group and President of the Moore DM Group. CDR is a national fundraising agency located in the DC metropolitan area and Moore DM Group is a group of companies serving the nonprofit community with more than 100 national nonprofit clients.While at CDR Geoff helped form an internal educational arm “CDR University” which has become recognized for its outstanding teaching of direct response fundraising and which has been accredited to offer CEU credits.CDR is a founding member of ADRFCO (the trade association of direct response fundraising firms) and helped develop ethical rules for direct response fundraisers.Geoff was also a founder of NonProfit Advisors.com an internet fundraising organization. Geoff is an internationally recognized advisor on the regulation of nonprofits and their fundraisers in the U.S. and in Europe and serves as pro-bono general counsel to American Charities for Reasonable Fundraising Regulation.He is known for his successful litigation against the United States Postal Service on behalf of nonprofit organizations seeking to use their nonprofit mail permits.Geoff was lead counsel in the case against Pinellas County, Florida in which out-of-state fundraisers won the right to refuse to register with a local government unit and another case on behalf of charities where the court struck down the extensive fundraising registration requirements of Pinellas County. In 2002, Geoff volunteered to undertake a major legal task on behalf of charities and fundraisers.He wrote the amicus brief in the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of AFP, the DMA Nonprofit Federation, the Direct Mail Fundraisers Association, the Association of Direct Response Fundraising Counsel, the National Catholic Development Council, the National Heath Council and other “umbrella organizations” in the nonprofit community.In addition he coordinated the filing of two other amicus briefs (one on behalf of charities and one on behalf of “professional fundraising counsel.”These were all filed in the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of the nonprofit community in the Ryan (later Madigan) litigation and led to a successful outcome when the Supreme Court decided the case in June of 2003. In addition to his volunteer legal work Geoff spends a great deal of time as a volunteer teaching fundraising.His teaching credentials include more than eleven years of teaching at the graduate school level, presentations at more than 100 continuing education programs, (he has also published more than 35 articles, book chapters, and monographs on various topics), and regular contributions to courses on fundraising, direct response marketing, the regulation of nonprofit organizations and their fundraisers, etc.He has made presentations to various gatherings of charities and fundraisers including: AFP International Conference, AFP-DC Fundraising Days, AFP-NY Fundraising Days, DMFA, DMA-Nonprofit Federation, Philanthropy Monthly, National Federation of Nonprofits, International Fundraising Congress, the National Association of Attorneys General-National Association of State Charity Officials, Charity Channel, Nonprofit Excellence Conference, and others.In March 2001 Geoff was awarded the DMA-Nonprofit Federation’s Public Service Award for his various volunteer efforts on behalf of the nonprofit community. He has been recognized by the NonProfit Times as one of the 50 most influential people in fundraising in the United States. He has been recognized by the National Catholic Development Conference with an award for public service and he was inducted into the DMAW Hall of Leaders.
As a former college president and in other roles within nonprofits and in service to them, Geoff has been involved in nearly every form of fundraising ranging from capital campaigns to deferred giving, major donor, annual fund, internet, alumni membership and fundraising, government grants and service contracts, corporate sponsorships, special events, cause related programs, international appeals in more than 25 countries, and, of course, direct response fundraising.