“I can’t tell you how welcome your words of encouragement are, and how much they mean to me. Here’s how I describe you. You are the best.” – Rhode Island executive director

General comments
Workshops, Seminars, Courses
Work with Clients
Feedback on my Books
Volunteer Leadership

General comments

“You’ve changed my life.” (U.S. fundraiser)

“I am a huge fan of your thinking, creativity, approach, and passion.” (International fundraising consultant)

“Your work has brought our organization a very long way from where we were.” (Board member)

“You are one of my idols. If there were  fundraiser guru/social justice hero trading cards, you would be in one of those hard plastic cases.” (Executive director)

“You are an amazing and powerful woman. During our session when you asked us to identify leaders, my first thought was you.” (Canadian fundraiser)

“As a woman and fundraiser and donor, I’m so humbled at all you do and know. The insight, the force, the passion – just wow. Thank you for who you are – and that you share it all.” (Canadian fundraiser)

“You are amazing and so talented. I love the wonderful energy you give to teaching, improving the field, and sharing your expertise.” (CEO, community college foundation)

“Simone never fails to question what we accept as reality, to point out problems with the status quo. She always challenges us to be better people.” (Board member)

“I appreciate your critical thinking, dedication to diving deeply into challenging and avoided conversations, and your leadership to push beyond the traditional boundaries.” (Consultant)

“Thanks for following your heart, speaking truth, and being courageous enough to be a leader.” (College fundraiser)

“I deeply appreciate what you’ve been doing for so many years as a writer, teacher and consultant.” (Consultant and author)

“Simone is a wonder. She empowers everyone to be participants in creating a better organization.” (Board chair)

“I think we’d have to invent you if you didn’t already exist!” (Community college fundraiser)

Workshops, Seminars, Courses

“I was honored to spend the day with one of my philanthropic idols, Simone Joyaux, at Indiana Philanthropy Day. She’s so honest and refreshing.” (Fundraiser for national organization)

“Your training was a fabulous experience. I walked away inspired, energized, and reminded about why I do this work in the first place.” (Community foundation program officer)

“Your style of delivery is captivating, engaging and most importantly, life-changing!” (University student)

“I appreciate your critical thinking, dedication to diving deeply into challenging and avoided conversations, and your leadership to push beyond the traditional boundaries.” (Consultant)

I thought you were absolutely phenomenal. I’m still quoting you and driving everyone here crazy with my new expertise. You are a very talented and gifted teacher. Thanks for a wonderful session. You knocked it out of the park.”

“Your  voice follows me around like a little angel on my shoulder whispering guidance throughout my day.”

“Simone is dynamite, knows her stuff and how to present it. Don’t miss her if you have the chance.”

“I was fortunate enough to be at the seminar you gave in Calgary. Thank you for the excellent information you provided; this was the best seminar I have been to.”

“My board members got real and substantial value from the luncheon speech.” (CEO)

“Fabulous, experienced, personable, exciting, humanistic, great humor.” (Development officer)

“Very forthright, direct, practical, passionate and integrity: fabulous mix!” (Development officer)

“I feel that every board and staff member should be in attendance at such a talk by Simone!” (Board member)

“What is most excellent about your presentation and teaching is that it fits all sizes of organizations.” (AFP audio conference on creating a fund development plan)

“I usually hate this kind of thing but she was good and so prepared and easy to listen to and I enjoyed it. Loved the sense of humor!” (Volunteer at a face-to-face solicitation training program)

“We want to extend our gratitude for your excellent presentation on the board’s role in fundraising. Your ability to instantly engage each member made the evening enjoyable and interesting, and we would suspect that you even may have changed a few viewpoints among those present.” (Human service organization, Hartford CT)

“Simone is an excellent teacher with a wonderful relaxed natural way of including the entire group in discussion.” (Workshop for Community Foundation of Greater New Haven CT)

“Great job, draws people in well, good at energizing stimulating conversation.” (Conference attendee)

“You are a fabulous performer. You were charming, witty, brilliant, not giving an inch in a nice way, tough and professional.” (Board member)

“I look forward to being inspired by you for a long time to come.” (Conference attendee)

From Clients

“Time with Simone – priceless. Best money I have spent in many years!” (CT executive director)

“With Simone’s no-nonsense guidance as our foundation, we’re further than we dared hope to be.” (CT executive director)

“Simone, this stuff is great. Thanks for being the consultant extraordinaire!” (MA executive director)

“I am writing to thank the Foundation for the wonderful 8 hours of invaluable time we had with Simone Joyaux. She was so informative and as I like it, very direct… may I say again, Simone is a real jewel.” (CT client, funded by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving)

“Where would we be without you? I am extremely grateful to you for all you have done to make the Club a better place for our members. You may not realize it, but you are truly changing and saving lives through your work.” (Executive Director of a Boys & Girls Club)

“What a fresh, sharp, deep approach. You come at this with wisdom and grace, hard knowledge and a penchant for risk taking.” (Board member)

“Thank you for eliciting such a stimulating and invigorating response from our Board at the Retreat! I have never heard such an honest and open exchange of ideas from our Board members, and it was your very effective style of facilitating that made it happen.” (CEO)

“Thank you!!! You are a terrific facilitator and, as one of our Board members said, a very brave woman. Many board members and I appreciated your asking the hard questions, and doing so in a way that allowed for answers. Thank you, too, for all your counsel. You are wonderful to work with.” (NY environmental organization)

“You are by far the most professional woman I have ever met. Thank you for your focus, your energy, for sharing your talent and experience and compassion and care for each and every one of us. Amazing. You are simply amazing. Much respect and profound admiration.” (RI Development Officer)

“Thank you so much for agreeing to work with us. My life has been enriched as a result. I deeply respect and value you.” (Executive Director of a CT client working with Joyaux in a comprehensive capacity building consultancy)

“This consultancy has been the best investment we’ve ever made. You have been a wonderful help to us in turning this organization around and giving it new life!” (Healthcare organization)

“Simone, you have taught me more than any lesson in college or in 10 years of not-for-profit seminars. And you know why? Because you are specific, caring, very interesting, and you want your audience to have tangible stuff to take back to the workplace and put into use immediately. You ask the right questions without bombarding people with the ‘way you want it to be’. Instead, you make people think about how it could be, and then you provide, by your own life example, how it can become. I cross my fingers and my toes that I can work with you again. It has always been life changing, not only for me, but also for my organization. Thank you. My heart is grateful.” (Development officer)

“Your help to me during the tumultuous time was worth so much. Your intelligence is fabulous and your kindness was soothing.” (CT Board Chair)

“Simone has the ability to shed light where there is darkness.” (Association client in NY)

“Thanks for your expert consultation. We summon your name often around here.” (CT nonprofit Executive Director)

Joyaux’s Books

Remarks about Simone’s newest book Firing Lousy Board Members…And Helping the Others Succeed (CharityChannel Press, 2014)

“Simone’s concise, direct, clear manual gives you the roadmap to build a power board, confront problem members who actually jeopardize your mission, and get back on track.” (Amazon review)

“In her new book Simone tackles the subject nobody wants or dares to discuss, namely firing lousy board members. Not only does she tackle it, she explores it fully and succinctly with words of wisdom for all of us in the sector. I know it’s trite to issue the phrase “required reading” in reference to any new book, but this one should be read and a quiz given for every existing and future board member of all charities!” (Jay B. Love, SVP of Avectra & CEO/Co-Founder of Bloomerang)

“Firing a nonprofit board member? Awkward! But it may be a little easier after you read this guide by the plain talking but insightful Simone Joyaux who says that poor performing trustees present a problem of board contamination.” (Ruth McCambridge, editor in chief, Nonprofit Quarterly)

“At last! The long-overdue guide to making dreams of nonprofit organizations come true by exorcising the nightmare of lousy board members. Simone Joyaux’s lifetime of thoughtful, proven experience in building strong organizations is distilled in this highly readable, how-to roadmap to success. Read it then get started today on building great boards and culling bad board members.” (Roger M. Craver, Editor, The Agitator)

“As frank as the title, Simone has again demonstrated why she is a leading (and needed) voice in our sector.  Good and effective Board behavior must be articulated and enabled…bad Board behavior must not be tolerated.  As staff and volunteer leaders, this is our shared mission-critical responsibility.  Preach sister!” (Sharilyn Hale, M.A., CFRE, Principal, Watermark Philanthropic Advising, BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer,  Past Chair, CFRE International)

“Simone Joyaux is a unique combination of personal trainer, prophet, and agent provocateur. Her latest book tackles one of the great taboo subjects — dealing with weak volunteer leaders by sending them packing — with a kind of forthright wisdom that will take you breath away. Buy it, read it, use it.” (Andy Robinson, author, Great Boards for Small Groups)

Remarks about Joyaux’s book, Strategic Fund Development: Building Profitable Relationships That Last, 3rd Edition (Wiley)

“Simone Joyaux provides those of us who labor in the vineyards of the philanthropic sector with invaluable tools and concepts for translating organizational vision into reality. As one who has enjoyed the privilege of being a colleague of Simone’s in various venues, I view this volume as but one more component of the innumerable contributions she has made to not-for-profit organizations and their stakeholders over the past quarter century.” (Tim J. Burchill, CFRE, in the foreword)

“Simone Joyaux’s book is a well-worn book in my professional library. I consult it often and frequently refer it to colleagues, both those experienced and those new to the field.” (Angela G. Powers, Senior Vice President of Development, Stewardship & Donor Services, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven)

“Development professionals cannot succeed by simply changing tactics; they must help cure their institution’s ailments. As James Carville might say, “It’s the organization, stupid.” (James H. Lewis, CFRE, from his review of Joyaux first edition. Advancing Philanthropy, Fall 1997, AFP)

“It takes moxie to call out professional and organizational indifference, courage to question the role and use of power in fundraising, and wisdom to identify what makes a good fundraiser exceptional. Simone’s is a powerful voice in our field, and we must listen.” (Sharilyn Hale, MA, CFRE, Former Chair, CFRE International)

“I admire this book. It’s not just about raising money, it’s about building strong organizations. And without strong organizations, you can’t raise money. If you’re an executive director or CEO looking to better understand fund development, this is an excellent resource. The chapters on strategic planning and how to enable your board members to help with fundraising will prove valuable on its own. A great contribution to the sector.” (E.H. Guy Mallabone, MA, CFRE, President and CEO, Global Philanthropic Canada)

“In asking the reader to question everything, Simone continually reminds us of the connection between leadership, mission and meaning.” (Gary A. Kelsey, EdD, Consultant and Professor, Master of Arts in Philanthropy and Development, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota)

Remarks about Joyaux’s book (co-authored with Tom Ahern), Keep Your Donors: The Guide to Better Communications and Stronger Relationships (Wiley)

“Your book Keep Your Donors is great. Chock full of wisdom and inspiration. Thank you!” (Fundraising consultant)

“An instant classic.” (Susan F. Rice, ACFRE)

“A great book…a great read…value beyond words. Ahern and Joyaux have married ideas, insights, stories, and real-life examples to remind us all…it is all about the donor.” (Tony Myers, Canadian consultant)

“With inspired precision, energy and passion, Tom and Simone have set a new milestone and raised the bar for fundraisers around the world. Keep Your Donors throws down the gauntlet – it is now up to us to share their vision and step outside our comfort zones to meet the challenges of the flat philanthropic world head on!” (Jon Duschinsky, Fundraiser)

“This book is a ‘must-have’ for those who want to move beyond competence to excellence, beyond formula to strategy, beyond immediate ‘fix’ to long-term stability.” (Sarah C. Coviello, CFRE, President, Coviello and Associates)

Volunteer Leadership

“Congratulations for receiving the Leadership Rhode Island Award for commitment to the community. You delivered the most meaningful message in your acceptance remarks. As usual, you rose to the occasion and challenged the audience. You delivered a call to action that was riveting and memorable. You have given all of us food for thought. Thank you for continuing to inspire us.”

“I’m inspired, as always, by your leadership.”

“You are a wonderful leader and I feel privileged to have the opportunity of working with you.”

“Thank you for your leadership, your guidance, your wisdom, your courage, your energy, your resolve, and your integrity. We thank you for your impassioned and unifying leadership.”

“Your support and leadership have been invaluable. In fact, it is what has kept me as a participating board member.”

“Thank you for your selfless and courageous leadership.”

“Thank you, Simone, for your leadership, your guidance, your wisdom, your courage, your energy, your resolve, your integrity. We thank you, not only for ourselves, but for the whole profession, for your impassioned and unifying leadership toward independence and autonomy for CFRE.”

“You are one of the best volunteer leaders with whom I have had the pleasure to work.”


From students in the Masters Program in Philanthropy and Fund Development, Saint Mary’s University, Winona, Minnesota. (Cohorts 9 – 29. After 20 years teaching in the program, I left the university in 2020.)

“In many years, I have witnessed few instructors of Joyaux’s caliber. She and her courses are admittedly exceptional.

“The fact that you’re a professor was one of the guiding decisions in my choice to apply to the Philanthropy & Development Program at Saint Mary’s University, MN.”

“I am so impressed by the humanity, passion and spirit Simone brings to class.”

“You are that perfect (and rare) combination of one who is both at the top of her craft AND can teach it to others.”

“Thank you for a tremendous learning experience and for allowing me to feel more confident in the skills I already have. I feel so privileged to have been part of your class.”

“I told my staff all about your work and went through your ideas for enabling volunteers. It was amazing! Simone, I got them to start asking questions. Thank you so much. Isn’t the best teacher the one who gives her students the skills to teach others? Thanks teacher.”

“The best gift you gave me came in the form of personal growth. I discovered so much about myself and formulated a personal philosophy that I didn’t realize was missing.”

“Because of you, I moved from the role of simply student to learner, questioner, and strategic thinker. I am so grateful for that transformation. It has given me inner peace.”

“You’ve instilled qualities and insights that we’ll use for the rest of our philanthropic lives.”

“It’s not what you taught me. It’s how you taught me to think differently.”

“You and your teaching have changed my life for the better.”

“Simone created a safe place for me to express myself and my views and question the status quo.”


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