Inspired by a life dedicated to philanthropy and service, Barbara J. Tavrow has excelled as a consultant for nonprofit organizations seeking to strengthen their financial stability and implement major fundraising initiatives. Specializing in capital and endowment campaigns and major gifts, she has become highly regarded for her skill and expertise in the discipline. To set the groundwork for her three-decade-long career, she matriculated at the University of California Berkeley, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1968 and later a Master of Arts in secondary education and teaching.
Driven by her entrepreneurial spirit, Ms. Tavrow co-founded Tavrow|Lund Consulting LLC in 2003, remaining until 2015. During this period, she also developed her expertise in facilitating capital and endowment campaigns for various sectors such as education, medicine and the arts. Since the formation of BJ Tavrow Consulting in 2015, Ms. Tavrow has continued to thrive while providing strategic planning, feasibility studies and board development services for a host of well-established organizations, such as Let’s Get Ready, the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute, Reach Out and Read, several museums, and various universities and research institutes, where she also aids in the acquisition of medical research funding.
In the earlier years of her fundraising career, Ms. Tavrow found success as an independent fundraising consultant for numerous organizations and foundations throughout the 1980s and 1990s, including the San Francisco Symphony, the American Technion Society and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International. Likewise, she sat on the national board of directors for the American Technion Society from 1992 to 1996 and was a board member of the vice president capital campaign, The Only Remedy is a Cure, for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation from 1992 to 1998. Ms. Tavrow also planned and executed the Opening Night Gala for the San Francisco Symphony from 1984 to 1990.
Among other civic contributions geared toward the educational sector, Ms. Tavrow spearheaded the Program for Inquiry Involvement in Independent Study, an alternative school program in Westchester County, New York, in the 1980s. The program offered students from public high schools the opportunity to opt into a school within a school that approached learning differently. Notably, the program became a model that was emulated by 15 other public high schools in New York state. She recounts this project as one of the more satisfying experiences of her career. In addition, Ms. Tavrow is a co-founder and volunteer of the Portola Valley Schools Foundation.
Reflecting upon her productive career, Ms. Tavrow attributes a great deal of her success to her personal connection to her client’s goals, along with her people skills and ability to engage. She has a strong passion for her work and feels honored to have been involved in transformation capital campaigns that positively impact communities. Among her many notable achievements, she is particularly proud to have played a direct role in advancing funding for medical research in immunology. Her advice to budding fundraisers is to move in the direction of garnering greater community support, as engaging people is the best way to meet goals and become part of the solution.
To remain abreast of her industry, Ms. Tavrow maintains affiliation with the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Professional Women’s Network and the University of California Berkeley Alumni Association. Looking toward the future, she plans to remain loyal to her nonprofit priorities, as she envisions herself continuing to embrace educational institutions and funding medical research and the arts. Harboring a deep dedication to education, she intends to work with more organizations focused on fostering educational equity and increasing educational opportunities for underserved populations.
A distinguished Marquis listee, Ms. Tavrow presently resides in New York City. She is the loving mother of Joshua and Sara and a doting grandmother to Jordan and Lucas.