For 25 years, The Osborne Group has been serving nonprofits and helping them make the world a better place. As a small, boutique firm with a global reputation, we place a strong emphasis on providing strong customer service and innovative, personalized, and effective solutions to our clients.
Each of our consultants have one thing in common: a true love of philanthropy and a belief that philanthropy and nonprofits can truly change the world for the better. This is reflected in how we conduct our work and live our lives. We all serve or have served on nonprofit boards and each of use volunteers our time professionally and otherwise. We each support the nonprofit sector through time, money and pro bono services.
Our consulting philosophy is founded on a strong belief that our role is to help our clients to capacity build and truly leave each of our clients stronger then when we began the engagement. We never ask the question “can you do this?” but instead ask the question “how will we do this and what do we need to do to be successful?” We pride ourselves on being an organization that brings true creativity to its client solutions while ensuring that tried and true best practices are adhered to. The diversity of our client base, as well as our international work, provides us with strong experience in adapting fundraising fundamentals to a variety of circumstances in an effective manner. We are a nimble organization that is called on just as often to fix challenging problems as we are to provide traditional fundraising planning and execution.
Robert Osborne, Jr. - Principal
With 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Robert brings his expertise to his clients, the organizations whose boards he serves on, and the pro bono projects he assists with. He believes that civil society has a critical role to play in making the world a better place.
Robert has served as the Director of Development for St. Aloysius School, Interfaith Neighbors and the Center for Constitutional Rights. He specializes in organizational management, including strategic planning and scaling fundraising programs. Robert is also known for his international work, working with clients and other NGOs on a diversity of projects in Europe and around the globe.
A well-known international speaker and workshop leader, Robert works with all types of organizations and all sizes. He has conducted well-received workshops and/or keynote addresses for the International Fundraising Congress, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy, the International Fundraising Festival, AFP Congress, the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand, and many others.
Robert serves on the Advisory Board of the Czech Fundraising Center in Prague, Czech Republic and he currently serves as a mentor to numerous social impact start-up organizations in Serbia as well as an International Ambassador to the accelerator and incubator Impact Hub Belgrade. He is a former board member of Brooklyn Community and Housing Services, the Neighborhood Economic Development and Advocacy Project, and CitySquash.
Laurel McCombs - Senior Philanthropy Advisor
Laurel McCombs brings 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector and a passion for the role philanthropy can play in changing the world to her work as a consultant, partner, and trainer.
Laurel has worked closely with clients on a variety of topics, including donor retention, development operations, planning, donor management, board development and more. Current and recent clients include the National Minority AIDS Council, Council of Michigan Foundations, La Clinica de la Raza and the University of Missouri. In addition to well-received workshops at national conferences, such as Junior Achievement and JDRF, Laurel has presented at the Association of Fundraising Professionals International Conference, AFP Congress, CASE-NAIS, and several local development professional associations.
Prior to joining the Osborne Group, Laurel worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America where she was responsible for the coordination of capacity building resources and support to more than 350 Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across the country. She also spent time as a Program Officer in healthcare philanthropy and began her non-profit career at the Girl Scouts of Monterey Bay where she was the Director of Development and Communications.
Laurel is a graduate of the University of Southern California and lives in Portland, OR.
Karen E. Osborne - Senior Strategist
Karen loves and believes in the power of philanthropy and nonprofits. She built her career around these passions not only as a frontline fundraiser, speaker, trainer, teacher, consultant and coach but also as a donor, volunteer and board member.
Nationally and internationally recognized, Karen receives invitations from all over the United States and the world. For 18 of Karen’s 41 years in the profession, she served in senior positions at colleges and universities. For the past 23 years, Karen served first as President and now as Senior Strategist at The Osborne Group.
The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) awarded Karen the Crystal Apple for Outstanding Teaching and Public Speaking. In 2014, CASE presented Karen with the Ashmore Award for Outstanding Service to the Profession. Karen is an adjunct faculty member for Johns Hopkins University’s graduate certificate program in nonprofit management. She is also a debut novelist. “Getting It Right,” was published in June 2017.
Robert Osborne, Sr.
Bob Osborne specializes in strategic planning, business management and opinion research and has over thirty years' experience in executive management and consulting. He founded The Osborne Group in 1994 and formerly served as its chairman. Prior to forming The Osborne Group, Bob held several key positions including Corporate Vice President, Trans World Airlines where he managed the $1.4 billion pension plan, aerospace medicine, corporate benefits and market development. Other previous positions include Regional General Manager, Dun & Bradstreet Healthcare Information, and New York State Medicaid Commissioner.
Bob is a former National Trustee of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a director of the Children's Health Fund, and a director and chairman of the Finance Committee for the United Hospital Fund in New York City. He also serves on the Advisory Board of The McKissack Group, a construction management company based in New York City.