COMM alumna carves her own niche in non-profit sector

Alyce Lee Stansbury
Alyce Lee Stansbury

Alyce Lee Stansbury didn’t go into a typical communication field upon graduating from Florida State University, but the skill set she learned at the School of Communication helped her launch a lengthy career in non-profits and fundraising.

Stansbury is currently the president of Stansbury Consulting, a leading fundraising firm, headquartered in Tallahassee, Fla., which she founded in 2006.  The firm helps nonprofit organizations build robust, sustainable fundraising programs.

Stansbury Consulting is a finalist in the service category for the 2014 Chamber Awards, organized by the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. Winners will be announced at the awards luncheon on June 3 at the University Center Club.

After earning her bachelor’s degree at Florida State in 1987, Stansbury’s very first job was working for a non-profit – the Muscular Dystrophy Association – doing fundraising, coordinating the local telethon and organizing the MDA’s camp program.

“It got into my blood – the idea of working in a non-profit setting and providing that community benefit,” Stansbury said.  “There was a great feeling and return on investment working in the non-profit sector.”

Over the next several years, Stansbury worked with a variety of non-profit organizations, including a decade at Big Bend Hospice where she was involved with a capital campaign for the area’s first Hospice House and the formation of the Hospice Foundation Board.

Stansbury wins North Florida Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration’s Civic Leadership Award.
Stansbury wins North Florida Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration’s Civic Leadership Award.

From there, Stansbury became the director of development and donor services at the Community Foundation of North Florida, where she experienced the other side of charitable giving.  In that position, she helped donors accomplish their charitable objectives and non-profits establish endowment funds.

After three years at the Community Foundation of North Florida, Stansbury took the leap and started her own consulting firm with the mission of empowering organizations to create sustainable programs, inspiring action, nurturing long term relationships, and advancing philanthropy.

“It’s been great to take what I learned and what I know about non-profits and fundraising and help other organizations build successful fundraising programs and sustainable organizations,” Stansbury said.

In addition to being a Chamber Award finalist, she also received the North Florida Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration’s Civic Leadership Award this year and was a nominee for Tallahassee Woman Magazine’s Tallahassee Women Who Mean Business.

As a fundraising consultant, Stansbury relies on several skills learned in classes like persuasive speaking, non-verbal communication and public relations at Florida State.

“Those types of classes I took at the School of Communication were a perfect fit for what I’m doing now even though I didn’t know it then,” Stansbury said.

In addition to her consulting business, Stansbury also is an adjunct faculty member at Florida State’s Askew School of Public Administration and Policy.

“Teaching allows me to keep my skills sharp and keep up with all the latest and greatest things in the fundraising arena,” Stansbury said.  “And being around young people is really invigorating.”

Stansbury also volunteers hours of her time to opening a non-profit resource center for the Big Bend area.  She is collaborating with Tallahassee Community College on this vision, which will have its initial launch on June 24.

“In the non-profit community, there are a variety of programs that are offered once a year or occasionally, but nothing happening on a consistent basis,” Stansbury said.  “The purpose of this center is to offer support, education, training and resources to the non-profit organizations 365 days a year.”

Stansbury regularly shares her knowledge in a column she co-writes for the Tallahassee Democrat, “Notes for Non-profits,” which talks about the role of philanthropy and non-profits in the community.

“I have the pleasure of combining my knowledge of fundraising and non-profit management with my communication skill set because I do a lot of teaching and training and public speaking,” Stansbury said.

Interested in what a communication background can do for your career?  Check out what Florida State alumni are up to on