R. Gordon Talley
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R. Gordon Talley
Philanthropic Communication
25 Magazine Street
Cambridge, MA 02139-3960

Voice: 617-497-7490
Fax: 617-812-5883

E-mail: info@rgtalley.com
Web: www.rgtalley.com



R. Gordon Talley Philanthropic Communication
Cambridge, Mass.

Strategic planning and key marketing materials for development programs and campaigns totaling more than $1.6 billion
• Strategic communications plans; staffing and communications audits
• CEO, trustee, and major gifts communication
• Editorial, design, and production supervision for print and electronic case
statements, identity programs, fundraising appeals, annual reports, recruitment, and institutional positioning
• Campaign counsel, with focus on strategic planning and communications

Representative Projects

• Comprehensive campaign planning and marketing programs:
Boston Symphony Orchestra, Museum of Science
Development communications audits and plans:
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Sudbury Valley Trustees
Case statements:
Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, Phillips Academy (Andover), Massachusetts Audubon Society, Combined Jewish Philanthropies

Consultant in Fund Raising and Comunications
Editorial and Design Services
Cambridge, Mass.

Beth Israel Hospital, case statement, $55 million campaign.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, executive summary and preliminary case statement, $25 million campaign.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, conference report.
Hinduja National Hospital, Bombay, India, annual report.
Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, Bulletin contributor.
Newspaper articles on education, arts, photography, home improvement, travel, and leisure for The Boston Globe, Boston Phoenix, and others.

Director, Public Relations
New England Conservatory of Music

Responsible for media relations, publications, and communications for America's only National Historic Landmark music school.

My role was to support the Conservatory's key fund-raising and image enhancement initiatives by conveying its messages to external audiences, alumni, and trustees and to its president, faculty, students, and staff. To fulfill this required strategic planning to restructure the department, hire new staff, plan local and national projects, expand the capacity to serve electronic and print media, and reconceptualize publications. I accomplished these tasks primarily through building and training an effective team and by focusing it on motivating NEC constituencies.

My personal contributions included:


  • Member, senior External Affairs team. Strategic planning, implimentation, and successful completion of a $25 million capital and annual fund campaign. Review and approval of communication vehicles for research, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship, including reports, meetings, direct mail, special events, press, and publications.
  • Liaison to board and volunteer campaign marketing communication committees.
  • Writing, editing, and art direction of print and video fund-raising and special event materials, including two case statements. Four CASE awards (three gold, one bronze). Cable ACE Award.
  • Executive producer of special events, including three-day Restoration Celebration for the reopening of Jordan Hall at NEC with guest artists Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, and Denyce Graves.

Alumni Relations

  • Member, senior team responsible for integrating Alumni Office into the External Affairs Division.

Public Relatons

  • Developing institutional image program. Redesign of logo and letterhead for school and campaign.
  • Directing publicity campaign for the Conservatory's 125th Anniversary, leading to coverage in all major Boston papers and on National Public Radio.
  • Marketing liaison for a national research study of New England Conservatory's position among prospective music students. Conception and editorial approval of Conservatory admissions marketing materials. Complete rewrite of 1997-98 viewbook.
  • Lobbying support for federal funding of the restoration of Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory. Communications liaison to National Parks Service for National Historic Landmark status.
  • Community relations with neighboring institutions and residents. Organized response to negotiations with abutting developer.
  • Account supervision of major NYC public relations firm for ticket sales and publicity for a sold-out Carnegie Hall concert covered in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and by AP.
  • Press strategy and execution for exchange program with Moscow Conservatory, leading to front page coverage in The Boston Globe.
  • Publication coordination of a history of New England Conservatory. The selected designer was later appointed director of design arts for the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Reviewing design proposals, writing, and art direction of several public installations, including a restoration architectural display.
  • Conceiving, editing, and supervising New England Conservatory's first World Wide Web site. Promoting use of Internet for publicity and press contact, resulting in rapid contact with editors and writers.

I also worked to help redefine the Conservatory for the future. I was staff liaison for two trustee committees—Diversity (on which I also served as a member) and Marketing. I was part of a team studying new technology and programming opportunities, including developing radio, television, long distance learning, and multimedia educational properties.

Communications Director
The Capital Campaign
Massachusetts General Hospital

Member, campaign department directors. Conceived and implemented the external communications program for the MGH's $169 million fund drive, including budgeting and hiring of staff and freelancers. Wrote, edited, and supervised design and production of case statement, magazine, newsletter, and letterhead. Reviewed and rewrote all materials for the final years of the campaign.

Member, public relations subcommittee of MGH's 175th Charter Year anniversary celebration: Editor of supplement to The Boston Sunday Globe. Staff account executive for newspaper advertising campaign. Script editor of trustees' dinner video presentation.

Special projects: Speech writer for general director, Board chairman, and campaign co-chairmen. Creator of support materials for legal department (DoN appeals).

Contributing Editor (Design)
The Boston Phoenix

Page layout for Boston's largest weekly newspaper.

Fund-raising Writer
Wheaton College
Norton, Mass.

Creator of format, editor, and writer for magazine and newsletter for $25-million campaign. Script writer and producer for supporting slide shows. Proposal writer.

James Newspapers, Inc.
Norway, Me.

Manager and editor, Somerset Reporter, Skowhegan, Me. Supervise staff of six.

Reporter, photographer, and editor, The Irregular, North Conway, N.H., Berlin [N.H.] Reporter, and Advertiser-Democrat, Norway, Me.

Partial story list: Hospital terminates doctor's privileges (later picked up as page one, The Boston Sunday Globe), baby-beating trial, hospice program, school board considers sex education, Molotov cocktail, hazardous waste at metallurgical plant. Series: Town Hall notebook, people of influence of Berlin, N.H.

GMP Associates
Bryant Pond, Me.

Partner in advertising agency. Creative concept, copywriting, design, production, and media selection for ads in local, regional, and national print.

Artistic Director
Threeater, Bryant Pond, Me.

Director and actor. Toured to more than 100 communities and colleges in U.S., Canada, and Great Britain. Appeared on Maine Public Television and on the Fringe of the Edinburgh Festival, Scotland. Presentations with psychiatrist R.D. Laing.

Consultant in education

Teacher training for Harvard School of Education, Newton Public Schools, the Institute of Open Education, and Lowell State College.



1969 M.F.A., Yale University School of Drama, Directing

Danforth Foundation Graduate Fellow
Woodrow Wilson Foundation Fellow

1966 B.A., magna cum laude, Colgate University, Philosophy

Phi Beta Kappa
President's Cup
Hamilton College Junior Year in France, Paris


Continuing Education

Numerous NSFRE, CASE, PRSA, and independent seminars and workshops, including the CASE conference for senior p.r. professionals, New York, CASE/NAIS conference, Boston, PRSA workshop on strategic planning, Portsmouth, N.H., and the International Events Group conference on sponsorship, Chicago


Computer Skills

Macintosh: Microsoft Office 2001, Adobe Acrobat, PageMaker, and Photoshop, Agfa FotoLook, FileMaker Pro, InControl, Quicken, Now Contact

PC: Microsoft Office, WordPerfect, GroupWise

Web Site Management: Adobe GoLive, Fetch

Palm: Palm OS, Palm Desktop


Memberships/Volunteer Activities

Association of Fundraising Professionals

AFP Massachusetts Chapter Board: 2002–
AFP Massachusetts Chapter Conferences:
Chair, 2004
Co-Chair, 2003
Vice Chair, Programming and education Track Chairman (Donor Relations, Capital Campaigns), 2002
Co-presenter: "The Tailored Case," 2002
Vice Chair, Programming (Annual Fund, Capital Campaigns, Major Gifts education tracks), 2001
Chair, Capital Campaigns Education Track Committee, 2000
Co-chair, Capital Campaigns and PR/Communications tracks, 1999
Presenter: "Building the Case," 1999
Conference Vice Chair, Public Relations, 1998
Co-presenter: "Communicating the Campaign," 1994

Council for Advancement and Support of Education

Coordinating Judge, District I Awards, 2003
Presenter, "The Tailored Case", District I conference, Quebec, 2001

Association of Independent Schools of New England

Presenter, "The Tailored Case", annual conference, 2001

Maine Island Trail Association

Board of Directors, 1994-97
Fund Development Committee, 1996-current
Newsletter contributor
Charter member

Country Dance Society, Boston Centre

Past president and treasurer, 1987-93


R. Gordon Talley
Philanthropic Communication
25 Magazine Street
Cambridge, MA 02139-3960



All information on this site Copyright 2006 R. Gordon Talley unless otherwise noted.