Skip to main content

Learn How We Can Engage Your Audience

Dr. Patton McDowell, MBA, CFRE - Founder (Short Bio)

Patton is a nonprofit expert, best-selling author, consultant and coach. He’s a dynamic speaker who has presented at state and national conferences and universities nationwide. He founded PMA Nonprofit Leadership in 2009, and has worked with nearly 275 nonprofit organizations on their leadership development, fundraising and strategic planning. Previously he led development teams at two universities after nearly a decade working for Special Olympics International and in North Carolina. He’s an AFP Master Trainer, and a former board president for AFP Charlotte and chapter representative for AFP Global. His podcast Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership now includes 165+ episodes featuring nonprofit leaders from around the world, and he published his first book, also titled Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, in 2022.


Full Bio

Patton has enjoyed a successful 30-year career in nonprofit leadership, strategic planning, and organizational development. His consulting practice has allowed him to work with more than 275 organizations throughout the Southeast, including nonprofits focused on healthcare, education, arts & culture, and human services.  Patton is a dynamic speaker who has facilitated workshops throughout the region as well as served as a presenter at state and national conferences. 

Prior to founding PMA Nonprofit Leadership in 2009, he served as Vice President for University Advancement at Queens University of Charlotte where he was responsible for all fundraising, communications, and alumni programs for the university.  Before Queens, Patton served as Vice Chancellor for University Advancement at UNC Wilmington, where he was the youngest vice chancellor in the 16-campus UNC system. He previously served as Program Director for Special Olympics North Carolina in Raleigh, following his tenure with Special Olympics International in Washington, D.C.  Patton is a native of Elizabeth City, NC, and received a bachelor's degree in English Education from UNC Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He received his MBA from the McColl School of Business at Queens, and his Doctorate in Education (Organizational Change and Leadership) from the Rossier School at the University of Southern California. 

He is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), a Master Trainer for AFP Global, and serves as an Executive in Residence for Cornell University's Brooks School of Public Policy. His podcast Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership now includes 200+ episodes featuring nonprofit leaders from around the world, and he published his first book, also titled Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, in 2022.

Patton Speaking SASA