SUZANNE M. COHEN, PRINCIPAL CONSULTANT
A seasoned nonprofit professional and cultural worker, I possess substantial arts administration, program management, communications and resource development experience, with a record of consistent accomplishment. At my core, I am a storyteller—not only crafting written narratives, but also taking words from the page to the stage in my work as a theatre artist. I understand the business of making art, and how to leverage minimal resources for maximum impact. My academic research focuses on the cognitive neuroscience of audience engagement and how audiences construct meaning, incorporating questions of representation and identity formation.
Since receiving a BA in Humanities with an emphasis in Drama and a minor in English/Creative Writing from the University of Southern California, I’ve obtained certificates in Grantwriting, Strategic Fundraising and Public Relations, and also studied Technical Writing and Editing. I completed a Master’s degree in Not-for-Profit Leadership from Seattle University, and earned my MA in Cultural Studies at University of Washington Bothell. I taught Marketing the Arts to undergraduate Arts Leadership students at Seattle University.
I have developed, written, and edited a broad range of communication pieces including brochures, case statements, newsletters, one-sheets, sponsorship proposals, direct mail fundraising letters, market research surveys, web sites and media releases, in addition to more scholarly writing. My academic involvement in interdisciplinary fields including humanities, cultural studies and performance studies combined with more than 20 years evaluating new plays has forged a unique storytelling skill set.
Proposals I’ve written have secured millions of dollars for capital, general operating and program expenses—from both public and private funders. I assist clients in making their projects more fundable, help them with budgets, and identify prospective funders and streams of revenue. I’ve led successful strategic planning initiatives, as well as major gifts, staff giving and corporate sponsorship campaigns, in addition to writing hundreds of grant proposals. I specialize in strengthening and streamlining the case statement, distilling the essence of what makes an organization and its programming unique. I follow and adhere to the Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethical Principles and Standards.