We had the opportunity to work with Nic Campbell when she was scheduled to speak in our regional chapter meeting at the PEAK Grantmaking 2020 annual conference. When the conference was moved online in light of COVID-19, Nic graciously offered to adapt her presentation on Compliance and Best Practices in Grantmaking to a virtual format and to make the content more relevant for our audience by incorporating pandemic-specific concerns. Nic’s breadth of knowledge, her ability to distill complex legal topics, and her understanding of both grantee and funder perspectives made for an informative and engaging presentation. The session attracted 80 chapter members, and Nic was able to nimbly navigate time and technology constraints to keep the presentation interactive and the large virtual audience actively engaged for the duration of the meeting. We were thankful for her expertise, flexibility, and positive attitude during this stressful time for the grantmaking sector.
— Inna Livitz and Irene A. Williams
Program Committee Co-Chairs, PEAK Northeast
I attended a presentation by Nicole Campbell of Build Up Advisory Group on board development and immediately knew that she was the person our non-profit organization needed to work with to create a stronger, more engaged, vibrant, and productive non-profit organization. The presentation and educational session she provided was a wake-up call for many of our members and pinpointed the places where we were successful and more importantly, the places we needed to put in the hard work to make sure our entity remains sustainable. Nicole can provide the methodology and structure for any organization to create a call to action. Her depth of knowledge will assist in the development of a compelling programmatic vision and strategy in order to build a strong infrastructure and a sustainable organization. Her experience and insight and into the world of board governance and development is something any organization which wants to survive the “new normal” needs to avail themselves of.
— Dawn Reshen-Doty
President, Friends of Danbury Library
ASPIRE works with a diverse group of nonprofits and funders working in a fledging policy environment, increasing regulatory requirements, constricting funding and the new context of COVID-19. Nic Campbell’s ‘Surviving COVID-19 for Non-profits and Funders’ presentation was able to help these very different groups make sense of this new environment. A highlight was Nic’s knack for listening and breaking down a complex situation and technical expertise into a clear context, with actionable steps. The best part was Nic’s adaption of her technical expertise and experience to the cultural and legislative nuances of our social sector ecosystem. We look forward to future collaborations with Build Up Advisory Group.
— Amanda Haynes
CEO, ASPIRE Foundation (Barbados), Inc.
In addition to a high-level of expertise, The Ari Center needed a committed thought-partner, who would help to develop the intricacies of our work and that’s exactly what we found in the Build Up Advisory Group. Nic listened with care, evaluated our pain points, and advised in a manner that would support our growth and benefit our clients. We have our roadmap and are well on our way. Thanks Nic!
— Nicole Jimerson
President and CEO, The Ari Advocacy Center
Nic Campbell is one of the country’s leading not-for-profit lawyers. What distinguishes her from others in the field is a unique combination of technical expertise and a pragmatic, get-it-done approach to her work. When it comes to grant making, governance structuring and project design and management, it is hard to find someone more capable than Nic Campbell to get it done effectively and efficiently.
— Ricardo A. Castro
General Counsel, International Rescue Committee
The Open Society Foundations are a very large and complex philanthropic organization that operates in more than 90 countries around the world. As Deputy General Counsel for six years, Nicole Campbell provided high quality legal advice and strategic guidance to our professional staff. The feedback that I got from the staff indicated that that they always found Nic – as everyone knew her – to be attentive to their particular needs, untiring in her effort to make sure that she responded to them expeditiously, clear in her communications, pleasant to deal with, and immensely helpful. She always made sure that our diverse operations met the legal requirements of the many different jurisdictions in which we conducted operations. We knew we could rely on her.
— Aryeh Neier
President,1993-2012; President Emeritus, 2012 – present, Open Society Foundations
After trying to hire Nicole Campbell for over a decade, I’ve been thrilled that Build Up has finally given me the opportunity to tap her unmatched combination of deep philanthropic and nonprofit expertise, personal integrity and impressive technical know-how. I’ve relied on her as a resource for years and have seen firsthand her skill at solving some of the most complex organizational and strategic challenges that a nonprofit can face–internal, external and everything in between. Her wealth of experience and incredible network bring immediate credibility to any project and her ability to harmonize competing interests to create impact makes her truly unique.
I worked with Nic for several years. She has broad and deep knowledge of the field of non-profit law and governance and is insightful and creative when it comes to finding solutions to organizational challenges. In addition to her diligence and expertise, she is always a pleasure to work with. Her diplomatic and respectful manner makes her ideal for bringing together stakeholders who may see themselves on opposite sides of an issue. I can’t recommend Nic enough!
— Eric Rosenheim-Patton
Director, Grants Management, Smile Train
When Nic was our Associate General Counsel, we worked together closely on a variety of legal, grants management, and business matters that involved multiple stakeholders, including our internal teams of grants and operations staff, and our executive team. She helped us arrive at legally sound, practical solutions. Nic also helped to ensure that grants from restricted funds were aligned with original donor intent and worked with prospective donors to create funds for their charitable giving. Nic was able to take complicated legal, grants, and operations concepts and communicate them in an easy to understand, relevant manner.
— Jane Wilton
General Counsel, New York Community Trust
Nic was a great resource for grant-makers and grants managers while at Open Society Foundations. She is very skilled at getting stakeholders around the table and seeing various perspectives on an issue. Her solutions on grant compliance questions often address not just the problem at hand, serving as durable precedents for how to handle recurring scenarios long-term.
— Joseph Behaylo
Director of Grants Management, Open Society Foundations
As our primary legal advisor, Nic worked with my staff in South Africa to help implement network-wide policies into our grant making and operations in a respectful, thoughtful and seamless way. At our request, with our local legal advisors, she willingly helped us assess and redesign our governance structure, board membership, and our governance materials to ensure that our foundation’s structure was as effective as possible to enable us to fund transformational, social justice philanthropic work in South Africa. Nic also conducted interactive, helpful trainings for the program team and was able to easily communicate very complicated tax, legal, and technical OSF related grant-making rules and concepts in an easy, straightforward manner and also provide practical recommendations for our foundation and our grantees’ work. This enabled us to better support our grantees.
She always provided great strategic advice, understood the nuances of our work, and served as our trusted advisor and friend. She maintains the highest professional standards and her work is of superb quality. She is highly recommended!
— Fatima Hassan
Executive Director, Open Society Foundation for South Africa
There are lots of lawyers who can recite the law. Finding a lawyer who has a can–do (as opposed to no) approach is rare and valuable. Nic Campbell is that kind of lawyer. Working with Nic I learned that she really knows the tax code and nonprofit law, is smart as a whip, extremely hardworking, and genuinely interested in coming up with the best possible client-centered solutions. She’s a professional in all the best ways. I highly recommend her.
— Gay Young
Vice President, Donor Services, New York Community Trust
I worked with Nic Campbell for 6 years while she was in the general counsel’s office at Open Society Foundations. I found her to have a remarkable ability to design and tailor training on U.S. philanthropy’s compliance regulations to a variety of stakeholders, including those on other continents. She was also an exceptional colleague in her work ethic and in her reliable guidance and support in helping staff trouble shoot and address complex legal issues with grantees. In addition, she is a warm, generous, and reliable colleague to work with!
— Erlin Ibreck
Regional Manager for Grant Making, Africa Regional Office, Open Society Foundations
Nic’s insights related to organizational development and infrastructure have helped shape my team-building philosophy of ensuring that I have the right mix of Architects, Builders and Curators onboard for the next phase of CBMA’s enterprising work of building the field of Black male achievement. Thanks, Nic, for being such the game-changer for CBMA and my leadership!
— Shawn Dove
Chief Executive Officer, Campaign for Black Male Achievement
“Nicole has a unique ability to connect with staff at every level of the organization, and a track-record of philanthropic experience to immediately earn their trust. A year later, one of our executives still cites Nic’s engagement as a high point for opening up our teams to new ways of collaborating.”
— Joel Beck-Coon
General Counsel, Humanity United
“We worked with Nic and Build Up Advisory Group to assess our global grant-making processes. Nic identified the strengths and opportunities within our processes, and her assessment, analysis, and recommendations have positioned us to become an even stronger grant maker and support for our grantee partners. She provided practical, sound advice that showcased her global grant-making expertise, in-house counsel experience, and nonprofit tax expertise. She advised us on our use of our various funding vehicles and incorporated our strategy and values into her analysis to provide us with relevant and strategic advice. Nic served as our thought partner throughout the entire process. We are glad to call Build Up our partner and appreciate having Nic as our trusted advisor. We look forward to a continued relationship with Nic and Build Up Advisory Group.”
— Anthony Noble
Vice President and CFO, Global Greengrants Fund, Inc.