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Feasibility study, strategic analysis, campaign action plan development, staff/volunteer structure and management, and principal gifts/donor strategies for all phases and types of campaigns and development needs. 


Offering a wide range of training opportunities on various subjects – ranging from the general to highly specific – and presented in practical, comprehensible formats.


Customized and in-depth plan creation and assistance that champions intentional, actionable, and outcomes-based strategies for dynamic plans and future success.


Experienced, professional and empathetic leadership services for executive vacancy needs ranging from temporary to long-standing engagements.


Clear and in-depth analysis of both program and/or staffing resources designed to highlight organizational strengths and opportunities for improvement.


Personal counsel and advocacy for individuals, couples or families seeking assistance with the planning, organization or execution of philanthropic goals.


Norton Philanthropic Counsel (NPC) was founded to provide institutions, organizations and individuals with the highly personalized attention needed to reach and exceed their philanthropic goals. NPC provides professional counsel and services in a wide variety of areas including strategic planning, program and staff assessment, board and volunteer training, interim executive management, and all phases of development work including campaign planning and execution as well as annual, major and planned gift fundraising and staff training.


NPC’s mission is to blend the art and science of philanthropy and provide solutions that focus on institutional, organizational and/or individual success.  Every client possesses a unique truth that deserves a customized solution.  Whether for an individual or an entire organization, the services provided by NPC are designed to understand the authentic qualities of each customer and provide a tailored plan that concentrates on activities that will deliver optimal outcomes. 


NPC offers a strategic, high-touch and highly customizable experience focused on your long-term success. We look forward to partnering with you.



Blending the art and science of philanthropy to provide solutions that focus on client success.

Specializing in customized, relationship-focused philanthropic counsel for institutions, organizations and individuals.




Norton Philanthropic Counsel was founded to provide institutions, organizations and individuals with the strategic and highly personalized attention needed to reach their philanthropic goals. Blending the art and science of philanthropy, Melanie Norton provides professional and results-focused counsel to help institutions, organizations and individuals better understand their unique circumstances and develop a comprehensive and effective plan to achieve their mission.    

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Melanie J. Norton, CFRE MBA

Founder and Philanthropic Consultant

Melanie J. Norton is passionate about philanthropy and the success of individuals and organizations that enhance the world in which we live.  As an accomplished professional and leader, Melanie fueled her drive to make a meaningful impact with nonprofits and individuals throughout the nation by founding Norton Philanthropic Counsel (NPC). Her unique and broad-based background blends for-profit and not-for-profit experience in both business and fundraising.  This specialized lens provides for a deep and comprehensive understanding of traditional business practice and allows her a creative, intentional and outcomes-focused perspective. Melanie’s experience helps her provide the highly customized and relationship-focused strategies needed for client success.  She possesses an unwavering commitment to authenticity and honesty in her work.

Prior to the launch of NPC, Melanie was most recently the vice president for development and alumni engagement at DePauw University where she led the University to more than $320 million of a successful $383 million comprehensive campaign, surpassing the original goal some 2 ½ years in advance of the campaign’s end. In this role, Melanie oversaw the strategy and fundraising efforts for the University and restructured and managed a staff of some 40 full-time development and alumni professionals.

Melanie was previously a consultant with Johnson, Grossnickle + Associates, a full-service philanthropic consulting firm. During her time at JGA, Melanie consulted on all phases of philanthropic work including feasibility studies, capital campaigns, quantitative and qualitative analyses, and major gift and development plan creation.  Her development work prior to JGA included eleven years in leadership roles in gift planning and major gifts for DePauw and Franklin College. Melanie’s first career was in banking where she served as an AVP in the Retail and Trust & Investment Advisors divisions of Fifth Third Bank for seven years. 

Melanie is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), holding an M.B.A. from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and a B.A. in business from Franklin College.  She is past national chairman of the board for the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners – the premier organization serving the thousands of individuals across the nation whose work involves charitable gift planning – where she led the organization through a hallmark name change and rebranding effort during her year of chairmanship (2016). 

Melanie has presented for a number of organizations and conferences across the nation on a variety of topics involving philanthropic work and planning.  She is a board member of The Cabaret, one of the nation's preeminent organizations supporting world-class cabaret performance located in Indianapolis. She is past president and former board member of the Planned Giving Group of Indiana, past president and former board member of the Rotary Club of Indianapolis–Sunrise, and previously served on the board of the Independent College Advancement Associates as well as several other volunteer and social service organizations.  



PO Box 47055, Indianapolis, IN  46247


Tel:  (317) 730-6540

For general inquiries, please fill in the following contact form:

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