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Wesley Lindahl, Consulting Partner, Academic Advancement Partners

Wesley Lindahl, Ph.D.

Professor and Founding Dean Emeritus

School of Business and Nonprofit Management

North Park University (IL)

Dr. Wesley Lindahl has followed a unique career path as both an accomplished university fundraiser and leader of an academic unit. In 2002, he was appointed as the head of the School of Business and Nonprofit Management and Nils Axelson Professor of Nonprofit Management at North Park University in Chicago. He retired as dean in June 2019 but continues teaching. During his tenure, the school expanded significantly and now offers five Master’s degrees, 16 graduate-level certificates and a Bachelor’s degree in nonprofit management.


Prior to his academic role, he served 18 years at Northwestern University in a number of fundraising roles including Assistant Dean & Director of Development for the School of Engineering and Applied Science. During this time, he also earned a Ph.D. at Northwestern in administration and policy studies.


Dr. Lindahl has contributed significantly to the profession through his research and service. His 1992 book, Strategic Planning for Fund Raising is widely recognized as an industry standard and received the John Grenzebach Award for Outstanding Published Research for Fund Raising in 1994. He also authored Principles of Fundraising: Theory & Practice (2009), in addition to a dozen other articles and book reviews published in Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, and Advancing Philanthropy. His volunteer leadership roles include Chair of the Research Council for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and Vice President for Resource Development with the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA).


In addition to his Ph.D., he also earned an M.S. in applied mathematics at the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in mathematics from North Park University.

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