Penny Cowden

Penny began her career at Weyerhaeuser Company, a Fortune 500 Forest Products company operating in eighteen countries, in marketing, communications and business development. Penny has specialized in healthcare philanthropy for over twenty years holding senior level positions at major health systems and institutions in Washington, Colorado, Virginia and Arizona. Currently, Penny holds the position of executive director of Columbia Memorial Hospital Foundation in Astoria, Oregon where she is responsible for board development, strategic planning, operations and managing a comprehensive development program to support numerous programs and services. Penny is also the president of philanthropy212 a company that specializes in customized approaches to raising money through transformational philanthropy. She has consulted with numerous not-for-profit organizations throughout the United States, providing customized growth strategies, creative services and program development. Penny earned her Bachelor’s from Portland State University and Masters Degree from Washington State University. She holds the CFRE designation and has earned advanced certification as a Fellow in the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (FAHP). She has received numerous awards for community service and is a member of the National Chamber of Commerce, the Public Relations Society of America, the American Hospital Association, the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy, The Northwest Planned Giving Roundtable, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Recent Posts

What Does Certification Mean?

Posted by Penny Cowden on Aug 16, 2017 7:30:00 AM

Certification in the fundraising field can take many forms and there are different certifications depending on the area of focus.  Many fundraisers begin by achieving the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation that recognizes experienced professionals who have met a standard of knowledge and experience. This designation was the first to provide a unified credentialing program designed specifically for fundraisers. The advanced certification, ACFRE or FAHP (specific to healthcare), demonstrates a higher level of knowledge and experience. 

Other certifications are available specific to areas of career focus, such as the Certified Specialist in Planned Giving (CSPGCM) developed by the American Institute for Philanthropic Studies and Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) certification offered through the American College. More recently, the Association of Fundraising Professionals is collaborating with the American College to offer courses in philanthropic planning which will only increase the value of the CAP designation. 

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Topics: Education, certification