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Empowering Organizations to
Elevate their Fundraising

Our Fundraising Philosophy

We believe that fundraising is most successful when it is volunteer-led, with strong management and leadership provided by the president and CEO, fundraising staff, and the board. As fundraising counsel, our role is to prepare organizations to engage volunteer fundraising leadership, to provide guidance related to infrastructure and capacity, and to provide coaching and strategy specific to your needs and opportunities.

Our Mission

To provide accessible, affordable, quality fundraising counsel to nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, and philanthropists who want to help grow the fundraising capacity of the sector.

Our Vision

Saad&Shaw exists to help its diverse clients become more creative, more efficient, more capable, and ultimately more self-sufficient, so that they may achieve success in all areas – including fundraising.

Trust is at the core of all our client engagements.

When we work with an organization, we seek first to create an atmosphere that supports open communication. We ask questions. We listen. We ask more questions. We answer yours. We give you our honest assessment regarding options for you to consider, as well as suggested next steps.


Our Culture

We believe every organization has foundational strengths and assets. We listen, ask questions, and want you to succeed on your terms.

Our Commitment

To provide nonprofits with solutions, education, real world advice, and a sense of community as they grow their capacity and resources.

Our Values

We serve our clients with integrity, competence, independence, objectivity, and professionalism.

Our Proven Framework

The following is our proven framework:

Ninety percent of fundraising is actually preparation and planning. When you are prepared for a solicitation, it is easier to get to “yes” because you know your organization’s priorities, and the priorities of the donor or funder you are talking with.  Our fundraising counsel is rooted in listening, asking questions, and co-creating strategies that are a fit for your organization, capacity, and constituency.

We work with you to create a case for support that tells your story in a clear, concise, and compelling way. It takes time to create this foundational document, and the process strengthens your team, clarifies your fundraising goals and anticipated impact, and gets everyone on the same page.

Once you have a draft version of your case, we test it through individual conversations with your current and prospective donors and funders. We learn how they respond to your best thinking and use their insights to help create your fundraising plan.

We then work with you as you and your team implement the plan, engage board members, build a volunteer team, and raise the funds you need to deliver on your mission.

We Facilitate Relationships With the Best People on Earth

We urge clients to ask and answer the hard questions necessary to honestly assess their own strengths and weaknesses. It is not always comfortable, but it always rewarding. And with Saad&Shaw guiding the way, you don’t have to go through it alone. We are there with you, helping you take advantage of opportunities and navigate challenges as they arise.


Saad&Shaw is fully owned and operated by principals Mel Shaw and Pearl Shaw. We are a husband-and-wife team with over 50 years of combined experience serving diverse organizations across the country and internationally. Saad&Shaw was established in 2004, bringing together Shaw & Company, founded by Melvin Shaw (1995) and Phrased Write, founded by Pearl Shaw (2001).

We draw on Mel Shaw’s extensive experience working with nonprofits, colleges, universities, grassroots organizations, celebrities, corporate leaders, and members of the media in all our work.  His tried and tested techniques form the backbone of the Saad & Shaw approach to fundraising, community engagement, and successful business operations. These are leveraged by Pearl Shaw’s writing and analytic skills, allowing us to provide our clients with more than concepts, more than talk. We document all our suggestions so clients can reference them for future use.

Our offices were first located in Northern California, and in 2010 we relocated to Memphis Tennessee. We continuously refine our services so that we can best meet the needs of new and returning clients. Our experience has allowed us to develop a professional specialization that focuses on helping nonprofits build their fundraising capacity and infrastructure while preparing for and conducting campaigns that represent a significant increase from prior campaigns, if any.

Production of the Lew Rawls Telethon for UNCF, 1985. Mel Shaw, Lou Rawls, and Jim Alston.

Grow Your Nonprofit From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be With Our Guidance.

Our key competencies lie in being able to assess an organization’s strengths and any significant barriers quickly and accurately so you can grow your fundraising.

Our Team



Co-Founder & President



Founder & Vice President, Creative & Strategy



Senior Philanthropic Advisor



Graphics & Administrative Support



Senior Philanthropic Advisor



Marketing & Communications Support 


We Can Help

Contact our team to learn more about the variety of ways we can help your organization grow to the next level. With a successful track record of over 20 years of fundraising and consulting, we have the tools, knowledge, and experience to help you and your organization succeed.