Our Story

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Sharpe Group provides consulting, donor communication offerings, including print and digital communications, and training to charities and nonprofits throughout the United States.

Nonprofit organizations strive to make the world a better place, whether they’re helping those in need, serving a community, supporting a religious group, advocating a common interest, working to make our world safer or enriching our lives.

The people at Sharpe care deeply about America’s nonprofit organizations and their involvement with the social good of our country. Our mission says it all:

Serving Those Who Serve Society

Most nonprofits have two sets of clients: those who benefit from the organization and those who fund it. Some nonprofits are funded by government grants. Many others, however, require private donations to continue their operations. For these nonprofits, fundraising is just as critical as the services they provide. Without successful fundraising, year after year, they wouldn’t be able to continue their work.

Founded in 1963, Sharpe Group has helped to ensure the financial longevity of thousands of America’s educational, healthcare, religious, social service and cultural institutions. In 1967 Sharpe Group began its seminar programs, teaching gift planning professionals how to plan, market, implement and support major gift and planned gift development programs.

Since 1967, thousands have attended our planned giving seminars and webinars.

Sharpe Group has not only taught America’s largest nonprofits how to continually adjust and improve their donor programs through changing times, they’ve translated that knowledge into turn-key programs for small and mid-sized charities to grow the impact of their mission.

In 2010, new management executives, Jim Ross and Brad Champlin, joined with Robert Sharpe and Barlow Mann to evaluate the history of Sharpe and to consider strategies to expand its service and support of nonprofits’ missions. Because of this work, Sharpe Group redefined and expanded its purpose beyond just providing the nonprofit community with training and communication materials—adding a consulting component—bringing together all of the knowledge and proprietary tools and services Sharpe has developed over the decades.

The accumulation of knowledge gained serving clients is registered as the Sharpe KnowledgeBase. Sharpe Group also began recruiting and training experienced gift planning professionals to expand the capability to serve a greater number of charities and organizations.

Beginning in 2018, Jim Ross for Sharpe Group and Kathy Sperlak for R&R Newkirk, brought together their products, services and employees to create a “Best in Class” series of training seminars, consulting services and analytical processes. The focus is to develop donor communication plans based on each client’s unique donor facts—the basis for educating, stewarding and marketing gift opportunities to specific donor demographic segments.

R&R Newkirk has been providing planned giving support services to charities for more than 50 years, and Kathy Sperlak has been an integral part of the Newkirk team for more than half that time. In 1987, Kathy took a position as a legal editor at R&R Newkirk. Newkirk specialized in thoughtful, well-written and technically accurate publications about planned giving working with each client to create materials designed for specific audiences on a variety of topics.

Newkirk adapted through the years to keep up with changes in technology by hosting planned giving websites and creating helpful videos on planned giving topics that our clients can share with donors and advisors.

Sharpe and Newkirk have always had a similar philosophy about serving our clients. We work with our clients to create communications materials that are designed to meet each charity’s specific needs regardless of size or complexity.

Operating from locations in Atlanta, Chicago, Memphis, Nashville, Washington DC, and San Francisco—helping charities and nonprofit organizations of all sizes get the most value from their investment in major and planned gift programs is the purpose of Sharpe Newkirk.

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