Iain Bernhoft

Iain Bernhoft works as Managing Consultant in American Philanthropic’s Writing and Communication Department, where he helps to write, edit, and oversee our writing engagements and materials.

In addition to his several years of writing direct mail, grant proposals, and collateral fundraising material for our clients, Iain has over a decade of experience teaching English, writing, and rhetoric at various universities in New England. His writing has appeared in Modern Fiction StudiesThe Cormac McCarthy JournalCommonwealPhilanthropy Daily, and various journalistic outlets.

Iain holds a Ph.D. in English from Boston University. He works out of Providence (the one in Rhode Island), where he lives with his wife and their two sons.


seattle flu study covid-19
Swabless in Seattle

One thing we can learn from the coronavirus crisis is the importance of local initiative to manage even major problems. Centralization leads to “fragility” which does not respond well to disruption, whereas smaller, decentralized initiatives tend to be “antifragile”—more nimble in the case of volatility.

philanthropy storytelling for fundraising
The importance of storytelling: the dollar in the details

It is essential to use stories to cultivate donors, raise money, and strengthen your organizations. Here are tips on the details and tone you should employ in your writing.


philanthropy and fundraising story telling st crispin day speech
The importance of storytelling: the story of us

Successful organizations tell their story in a way makes it a story about their donors, too. Here’s how to help your donors identify with your story.

storytelling and fundraising for philanthropy
Fundraising and fairy tales: the importance of storytelling

Storytelling is essential for good fundraising. Here’s why it matters and how to do it well. The first in a three-part series.


university of missouri donor intent philanthropy
Schemes to protect donor intent gone awry

A questionable donor-intent protection scheme is resulting in a lawsuit of Hillsdale College against the University of Missouri.

Lawsuit promises to clarify donors rights over DAFs, leaves larger questions unasked

A lawsuit against Fidelity Charitable’s management of a donor-advised fund may begin to answer questions about the legal rights donors have over the these increasingly popular charitable vehicles.


Not all donor-advised funds are created equal

Donors would do well to consider the risks of large-scale DAFs and the benefits of boutique funds.