"Martin has grown to be a wise leader over his 40 years serving non-profits in St. Louis and beyond. I witnessed this firsthand as FOCUS St. Louis -- the region's leading civic leadership organization for which I am honored to serve as president -- featured Martin in a unique, half-day leadership training program that received the highest marks from the 120 participants. There was so much inspiration from this training and afterwards, I wanted to go out and conquer the world. Catalytic wisdom and impactful insight flowed from Martin throughout the seminar to the benefit of all."

Yemi Akande-Bartsch, PhD, President & CEO, FOCUS St. Louis

"Martin lives what he teaches. While he is an effective and knowledgeable fundraiser, Martin always puts my interests as a donor and alumnus first and foremost in his interactions with me. He guided me to make a significant philanthropic investment with the university and, in so doing, helped to make the experience a meaningful, memorable one for me."  

-  Wayne DeVeydt, philanthropist, Chief Executive Officer, Surgery Partners


"Alumni naturally feel pride in their alma mater.  Martin has a unique ability to fan this pride and turn it into a willingness to give back. By helping graduates contribute time, talent and treasure to their university, Martin enhances their sense of pride in one's university and in one's self.  Thank you Martin!"

 - Norm Eaker, philanthropist, retired Chief Administrative Officer, Edward Jones


Martin’s knowledge, leadership, and experience was transformational for St. Louis Public Radio over his ten years at UMSL. Few people grasp the importance of mission the way Martin does when approaching philanthropy. He brings thoughtfulness, sincerity, creativity, passion, and deep institutional expertise to his work and it becomes contagious among his colleagues and donors. He defines “leader” in the truest sense.

Tim Eby, Director and General Manager, St. Louis Public Radio

"UMSL started a $100 million comprehensive fundraising campaign in 2005. We were all excited, but also nervous. It was our first-ever campaign and, frankly, we were struggling. Three years into the campaign, Martin stepped in to reorganize our advancement team and involve the entire campus in the campaign. We ended up exceeding our goal by $54 million. Martin’s efforts have made UMSL a better institution and me a better fundraiser."  

- Chancellor Thomas F. George, University of Missouri-St. Louis


“Martin joined me early in my tenure as Bishop of the Diocese of Belleville and proceeded to develop a best-in-class diocesan fundraising shop. His leadership skills and consistent effectiveness led to tremendous success and enabled the diocese to address many significant priorities.”  

- Wilton Gregory,  Archbishop of Washington, D.C.


"Martin Leifeld is a refreshing counterpoint to the current tumult in the advancement field, where nonprofits scrambling for new revenue are hiring scores of fundraisers--many who possess minimal or no experience--and expect them to quickly produce big results. Drawing upon his rich experience and impressive track record, Martin offers a sane, thoughtful response by advocating or and demonstrating the importance of 'doing things right' and building for long-term success. Of particular value is Martin's terrific video series, Five Minutes for Fundraising, in which he periodically offers simple, wise advice for development professionals at all levels, and which is a resource that both individual practitioners and managers can easily integrate into their professional development programs.”

- Mark W. Jones, Director of Business Development, Advancement Resources

"Corporate donors want their resources to connect with their corporate mission. Martin has done an outstanding job of identifying where the goals of Express Scripts and UMSL intersect. Most important, we've been able to establish relationships throughout our corporate structure with university faculty and staff experts.  Through these relationships we've been able to invest in meaningful ways – whether in new academic programs, research or targeted scholarships."

- George Paz, Philanthropist, Former Chairman, President and CEO, Express Scripts


"Martin presented a session on major gifts that The Rome Group co-sponsored with the University of Missouri St. Louis’ Nonprofit Management and leadership Program. Not only was he able to provide extremely valuable, insightful information on the process of major gift fundraising, he was able to maintain a high level of participant engagement throughout the half-day session.  Over 100 fundraisers walked away with new knowledge and practical tips that they can use to improve their fundraising. Martin is a rock star fundraiser and presenter!" 

-  Amy Rome, The Rome Group

"Martin’s organizational skills and innovative strategies have definitely heighted my confidence in UMSL meeting – and exceeding – its goals for awareness, engagement and fundraising. His leadership, and the successes resulting therefrom, demonstrates to me as a donor and volunteer that the investment of my dollars and time is well placed, creating true opportunities for advancing public education in our communities."

- Sandra Van Trease, Group President of BJC HealthCare


“Martin is a wonderful leader and mentor.  He has always been readily available anytime I have called with questions or needed advice.  He is an exceptional listener and is thoughtful when offering suggestions.  Martin not only has a wealth of experience, but also leads by example and sets a high standard of excellence and integrity in his work and personal interactions with others.   His individual attention has helped me develop to be a better fundraiser and leader.”

- Matthew White – Vice President for Advancement Utah State University

and President of the Utah State University Foundation


During my first month as President of Lincoln University, I had the pleasure of hearing Martin speak in detail about university fundraising.  Struck by his presentations, I reached out to Martin to retain him as our consultant for university advancement. After completing a very insightful fundraising study, I asked him to continue to work with our team and me to develop a comprehensive advancement program with a focus upon major gifts. I have been so pleased with the process and results of his consulting. I wholeheartedly recommend Martin as a consultant and major gifts coach to senior executives in higher education, and more broadly, for any non-profit organization.

- Jerald Jones Woolfolk, Ph.D. and President of Lincoln University