Who We Are

About the Sara Leonard Group

Your partner in doing more good.

The Sara Leonard Group delivers excellent professional guidance, education and facilitation to those responsible for fund development – fundraising professionals, CEOs, CFOs, board members and other nonprofit staff.

We value

  • The success of our clients and quality of life in our community.
  • Client-centered guidance that is responsive, creative, customized and accessible.
  • Client partnerships built on collegiality, trust, clarity, transparency and communication.
  • Service to our colleagues, profession and community.

How can we help you do more good?

Sara Teaching1

Sara Leonard, MBA, CFRE

Executive Director • Director of Development • Major Gifts Officer • Director of Advancement
Board Member • Executive Committee Member • Trainer • Mentor

Image: Mojo Studios

In her 30 years of nonprofit work, Sara has held many titles and been a solutions-oriented advancement professional.

She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Tampa and an MBA from the University of South Florida. She is a Certified Fundraising Executive and has been named as a Master Trainer by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

As the founding director of the Nonprofit Leadership Center’s Fund Development Academy, Sara created an extensive curriculum of fundraising and board governance courses. She has had the privilege of working with organizations to achieve their fundraising goals through instruction, coaching and consulting. She continues to serve as an instructor for the Fund Development Academy.

She has worked in the nonprofit sector raising funds for healthcare, educational and cultural organizations. She managed development operations including identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors, managing annual giving, major gift cultivation and solicitation, training and management of staff, board and volunteers, foundation and corporate support, sponsorships, annual funds, special events and in-kind support. She is widely considered an expert in crisis fundraising and has guided organizations through capital campaigns – both large and small.

Sara serves as the Immediate Past President of the  Suncoast Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She is a former board member of the AFP Florida Caucus and New Tampa Young Life. She lives in Tampa with her husband and two children.

Sara proudly has affiliations with the following organizations:

Connect With Sara on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Ashley Pero

Ashley is a dynamic, creative professional with over 15 years of communications and marketing experience. She holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University in Tampa and bachelor’s degrees in Mass Communications and Marketing from the University of South Florida.

When she isn’t cheering from a little league sideline, volunteering at her son’s school or trying not to be beat at Mario Kart, she helps organizations put their best self forward through marketing and communications consulting.

Ashley spent six years working in the nonprofit sector with Florida Philanthropic Network (FPN) and the Nonprofit Leadership Center (NLC). She worked with both organizations during times of tremendous growth managing marketing and communications. In addition, at NLC she was responsible for the development and coordination of educational opportunities for Tampa Bay nonprofits. Before transitioning to the social sector Ashley worked for a boutique marketing firm and a global digital media company.

Who We Have Helped

We have had the opportunity to work with organizations of all sizes, across the United States. Each organization is unique and we have had the pleasure of working with the agencies below to develop a plan, some big and some small, to be their partner in doing good.

Academy at the Lakes • AdventHealth Wesley Chapel Foundation • Alliance for Independence (AFI) • Alpha Chi Omega Foundation

AMI Kids • Bay Area Legal Services • Best Buddies International • Beyond the Spectrum Education Center • Big Cat Habitat & Gulf Coast Sanctuary

Brain Injury Association of America • Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School • Champions for Children • Charlotte Community Foundation

Charlotte County Homeless Coalition • Charlotte Preparatory School • Children’s Cancer Center • Children’s Dream Fund

Community Foundation of Sarasota County • Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida • Easter Seals Florida • Foundation for International Missions

Friends of Joshua House Foundation • Gulf Coast Legal Services • HCC Foundation • Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving •  Humane Society of Manatee County • Junior League of Tampa • Leadership St. Petersburg • Learn Tampa Bay

Learning Empowered • Manatee County Habitat for Humanity • Mary Lee’s House • Meals on Wheels of Tampa • Neuro Challenge Foundation

New Hope M.B. Church • Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida • North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance • Pasco Hernando State College Foundation

Pinellas County Sherriff’s PAL • Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida • Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg

Premier Community HealthCare • Prospect Riding Center • R’Club • Regions Bank • Rotary Club of Sarasota • Ryan Neece Foundation

SPCA Tampa Bay • Stage Works Theatre • Tampa Metro YMCA • TMS Global • The Florida Aquarium • The Patterson Foundation

The Spring • The Stuart Society (Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg) • UnidosNow • University of South Florida Foundation • University of Tampa

Visual Arts Center of Punta Gorda • Youth and Family Alternatives