Susan O'Donnell Black, CFRE

Susan Black, CFRE brings 25 years of experience in fundraising, public relations and organizational leadership experience to Allene Professional Fundraising.  Susan has a Bachelor's and Master's degree in political science from Mary Baldwin College and the University of Richmond, respectively.  Her career in development began at Marietta College and she went on to gain experience at Easter Seals of Central Ohio and the Epilepsy Foundation of Central Ohio before serving as Vice-President of Advancement for five years at St. Vincent Family Centers in Columbus, OH.  She began Allene Professional Fundraising in 2008 to bring her expertise to the wider non-profit community and help struggling non-profits identify strategies that will allow them to reach their potential.  She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Kiwanis Club of Columbus.  She received her Certified Fundraising Executive designation in 2006, 2009 and 2012. Her book Help! They Want Me to Fundraise! was published in 2014.

What is a CFRE? CFRE refers to the Certified Fundraising Executive designation, a mark of distinction among fundraising professionals as one of the highest certifications that can be achieved in the field. Persons with a CFRE have been subjected to a thorough performance review and extensive examination and must maintain their accreditation every three years through continuing education credits, service to the profession, teaching or publication, and high performance.

Where does the name Allene come from? Almost every new client or colleague asks me the same question: "What is Allene?"  Well, the answer is: a name from a baby book! When I was looking for a name for my company, I chose not to use my own last name.  I found the name Allene in a list of baby names.  According to the source, it has both Old French and Old Irish roots.  In Old French, it refers to "light bearer" and in Old Irish, it refers to "fiery".  These both fit very well with my motto: "Let Your Light Shine."


Are you a registered solicitor? In the state of Ohio where Allene Professional Fundraising is domiciled, the Attorney General's office makes a distinction between fund-raising counsel and professional solicitors. Fund-raising counsel are not required to register but professional solicitors are.  APF falls into the category of fund-raising counsel is therefore not registered as a professional solicitor in the State of Ohio. Unlike fund-raising counsel, professional solicitors have the ability to directly solicit donations on your behalf and even handle donations.  APF does not provide solicitation or donation processing services.

Our Clients


·       Just Think, Inc. (now Invention League)

·       St. Joseph Montessori School

·       Columbus Early Learning Centers

·       Girls on the Run Franklin County

·       Houghton Academy (Houghton, NY)

·       Edheads


The Arts

·       Columbus Children’s Choir

·       Columbus Children’s Theatre

·       Chamber Music Columbus


Business, Civic Engagement

·       SZD Whiteboard

·       Jackson Community Foundation (Jackson, MI)

·       The Ohio Credit Union Alliance

·       Columbus Historical Society

·       Boy Scouts of America, Simon Kenton Council


Religious Life, International Issues

·       Montaña de Luz

·       Somali Community Association of Ohio

·       The Shalem/Abwoon Center

·       Columbus International Program

·       US Together, Inc.

·       West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church



Human Services

·       The Center for Healthy Families

·       Community Kitchen, Inc.

·       Community for New Direction

·       New Path, Inc. (Tipp City, OH)

·       Deaf Services Center


Developmental Disabilities and Aging

·       Foundation For the Challenged

·       Advocacy and Protective Services, Inc.

·       Echoing Hills Village, Inc.

·       Friendship Village of Dublin

·       Down Syndrome Association of Greater Toledo (Toledo, OH)


Behavioral and Physical Health

·       The Wellness Community of Greater Columbus (now Cancer Support Community)

·       The United Methodist Children’s Home (now UMCH Family Services)

·       Columbus Area Integrated Healthcare

·       Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Foundation

·       RADD: Recording Artists Against Drunk Driving (Los Angeles, CA)

·       Foundation for Psychology in Ohio

·       Ohio Physicians Health Program

·       Kaleidoscope Youth Center

·       PrimaryOne Health

·       Holly Hill Children’s Services (California, KY)

* Unless otherwise noted, all clients are domiciled in Franklin County, OH.