Mark R. Dollhopf

Mark R. Dollhopf, President of Dollhopf Associates, counsels universities and nonprofit institutions in strategic planning, board and leadership development, volunteer engagement, alumni relations, capital campaigns, major gift giving, and marketing.

Dollhopf was the Executive Director of the Association of Yale Alumni from 2006 to 2015, responsible for the alumni organizations and programs of Yale University’s 180,000 alumni.

Under his leadership – and with a team of inspired volunteers and talented professionals – alumni participation more than tripled through innovative strategic planning, creative programming, and inspirational leadership training.

The AYA annually identifies, cultivates, and engages more than 5,000 volunteers to lead reunions, educational programs, professional conferences, cultural affairs, student mentoring, community service projects, global outreach initiatives, networking, and travel programs. [Click here for more on Yale Accomplishments]


He began his career in 1977 as a fundraising intern for the Campaign for Yale and in 1980 founded the firm of Anderson, Cole & Dollhopf, Fundraising Counsel, which pioneered new fundraising techniques and award winning capital campaign and annual giving programs for over 100 educational, health, social service, political, and religious organizations, including Yale, Brown, Columbia, Duke, Exeter, Andover, and the National Wildlife Federation. Anderson, Cole & Dollhopf employed more than 200 fundraisers in operation centers in New Haven, Boston, and Atlanta. Dollhopf sold the firm to TelecomUSA in 1989 and in 1990 it became a wholly owned subsidiary of MCI.

Dollhopf founded Janus Development in 1993 to offer nonprofit institutions strategic planning counsel to effect breakthrough thinking and change in their organizational culture – specifically to inspire board leadership and major gift giving. Strategic planning clients included such diverse institutions as the Colony Foundation and Knight’s Trust at Yale, the Diocese of Orlando, the United States German-American Committee, Junior Achievement of Central Florida, and Liberty Community Services of Connecticut.

In 2004 the Diocese of Orlando retained Mr. Dollhopf to design and implement its General Synod, a first-of-its-kind two-year strategic planning effort that engaged over 275 professional staff and 1,000 volunteers. The Synod inspired the revitalization of the diocese and the blueprint for the subsequent quarter billion-dollar capital campaign. At Junior Achievement from 2004 to 2006 Mr. Dollhopf facilitated the creation and planning of The JA Academy for Leadership and Entrepreneurship, a pathbreaking partnership between the corporate community and public schools in the state of Florida.


speaker and lecturer

Dollhopf lectures widely on strategic planning, volunteerism, and fundraising. He has been a keynote speaker or guest lecturer for many organizations including:

✱ Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)
✱ Counsel for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)
✱ Ivy League Plus Alumni Relations (Ivy+)
✱ International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU)
✱ International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSC)
✱ Association of Lutheran Development Executives (ALDE)
✱ Direct Marketing Association Education Foundation

A leading expert in alumni relations and institutional advancement, he has been invited to lecture at more than 50 universities in the US and abroad, among them the universities of Amsterdam, Australia National, Beijing, California at Berkeley, Boğaziçi, Cambridge, Fudan, Göttingen, IIT Bombay, Koç, Sorbonne, Tokyo, Tsinghua, and Singapore.

He has authored a number of articles and essays, including “Stumbling Stones of the Steward,” in The Practice of Stewardship in Religious Fundraising, published by Jossey-Bass. He served for ten years as an instructor for the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ certified fundraising executive program.

social entrepreneur, volunteer

Dollhopf has served as an officer and board member for more than 25 educational, nonprofit, and church institutions.

As a volunteer he founded the Yale Alumni Chorus in 1997, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to changing lives through innovative musical and cultural exchanges with world leading artists. He was the creator and executive producer of six major international concert tours – engaging more than 1,000 singers from Yale and host countries – in collaborations and appearances with artists including:

✱ Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra at the Mariinsky Theater, St. Petersburg
✱ Constantine Orbelian and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra at the Moscow Conservatory, Moscow
✱ Muhai Tang and the Shanghai National Broadcasting Symphony at the Shanghai Symphony Hall
✱ Anton Nanut and the Brazil Symphony Orchestra at the Teatro Municipal, Rio de Janeiro
✱ Jeffrey Douma and the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires
✱ Sir David Willcocks and the Cambridge University Music Society at Ely Cathedral, Ely
✱ David Connell and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London at St Paul’s Cathedral, London

✱ Saim Akçil and the Tekfen Karadeniz Philarmony Orchestra at Halic Hall, Istanbul
✱ Konstantine Orbelian and the Armenian State Philharmonic Orchestra at Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall, Yerevan

In recognition of these efforts Mr. Dollhopf was invited to bring the Yale Alumni Chorus in 2003 to the Kremlin to perform Russian Patriotic Songs of the Great War with Metropolitan Opera baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Maestro Constantine Orbelian and the Philharmonia of Russia. The Yale Alumni Chorus became the first American chorus to perform at the State Kremlin Palace in an unprecedented event that was filmed and broadcast to 98 million people on RTR, the Russian Television Network.



A professional musician, Mr. Dollhopf conducted the University Glee Club of New Haven from 1987 to 2005, and served as guest conductor of the Connecticut Chamber Orchestra, the New Haven Community Chorus, and the Connecticut Shoreline Chorale.

As a baritone he has appeared on stage and in the recording studio with many artists, including the 1997 Sandra Boynton CD Grunt: A Collection of Pigorian Chant, the 1999 Rob Mathes music video I Want to Hear the Bells, and the 1996 Vanessa Williams Christmas CD Star Bright.



He has received a number of awards and recognitions, among them New Haven YMCA Man of the Year (1987), the Connecticut Preservation Trust Grand Prize Winner (1989), the Yale Glee Club Medal (2001), the Yale School of Music Tercentennial Medal (2001), the Yale Tercentennial Medal (2002), and The Yale Medal (2004), the highest honor bestowed by Yale for volunteer service.

In 2013, in recognition of his humanitarian work with the Fante people of Ghana, Dollhopf was named a Fante chief of the village of Yamoransa with the title Nana Kwame Nyansa I – Nana meaning “chief,” Kwame “born on Saturday,” and Nyansa “wise one.”

Dollhopf lives in New Haven, Connecticut with his wife the Reverend Marjo Anderson and their two children, Hans and Conner.

View a Yale Alumni Magazine Article on Dollhopf.

Yale accomplishments

The renaissance of alumni engagement at Yale was based on strong and effective strategic planning – creating a culture of teamwork, collaboration, and mutual respect among diverse alumni constituencies. The purpose of the planning was to identify inspired alumni who would in turn inspire other alumni with their passion, their great ideas, and their willingness to roll up their sleeves and get the work done. Out of this planning came many pioneering initiatives in alumni relations, including:

The Yale Alumni Chorus and Foundation (1997), a performing arts organization dedicated to producing international concert tours and festivals for world class choruses and orchestras.

Ambassadors for Yale (2007), the first volunteer driven strategic plan for the Association of Yale Alumni, more than tripling alumni engagement (measured by attendance).

The Yale Day of Service (2007), an initiative to empower Yale alumni year-round to partner with local nonprofits and NGOs around the world.

The Yale Alumni Service Corps (2007), a “Peace Corps” program giving alumni the opportunity to engage in cultural exchanges to provide social and economic development assistance in developing countries.

AYA Leadership Forums (2007), executive seminars designed to identify, cultivate, and engage volunteer leaders

The Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange (2008), a program designed to share best practices in alumni relations and institutional advancement among world leading universities.

Students and Alumni at Yale (2009), a combined student and alumni organization to foster student engagement and leadership in alumni relations

Ambassadors in Action (2012), the second five-year strategic plan following on the success of Ambassadors for Yale.

The Yale Alumni Schools Ambassadors (2014), delegations of alumni interviewers working in partnership with the US State Department program (EducationUSA) in developing areas around the world to encourage students to pursue a college education and consider a liberal arts degree in the US.

View a Yale Alumni Magazine article on the AYA.