Founded as Smith Beers Yunker & Company in 1995 on the principle Helping Others Make a Difference®, The Yunker Group offers guidance to volunteer leaders to help them govern more passionately, choose C-level executives more strategically, and steward funds more effectively. Team members provide behind-the-scenes coaching and advice to nonprofit staff, helping them make a greater difference in their vital roles.
We believe remaining behind the scenes is imperative in providing nonprofit executive search and fundraising counsel. We never seek recognition or take credit for the successes of those who devote their lives to making a difference in their communities. Whether assisting seniors, educating children, caring for the poor or disabled, sustaining the arts, protecting the environment, or any other worthy endeavor, it is their work we strive to further and their reputations we seek to enhance. We are proud to be associated with and eager to be of service to all who are involved in the noble work supported by philanthropy.
Organizations turn to us to help develop CEO succession plan and guide comprehensive CEO and CDO searches.
Our seasoned Group provides pre-campaign planning and capital and endowment campaign counsel.
Our experienced Group coaches boards on strategic leadership issues, facilitates retreats, and assists in scouting new talent.
Nonprofit leaders look to the Group’s expertise in guiding participatory planning exercise resulting in practical and actionable recommendations.
As experienced volunteers ourselves, our Group helps volunteer leaders build confidence in carrying out leadership duties including raising funds.
No Case. No Cash. Our Group’s professional writers help tell your compelling stories and work with designers to promote your organization.
We take seriously our mission Helping Others Make A Difference®. Check us out with organizations we have helped in a variety of ways and learn we’ve developed a reputation for telling leaders what they need to hear, not necessarily what they want to hear. We like Teddy Roosevelt’s admonition, “People Don’t Care What You Know Until They Know How Much You Care.” You will learn we care!
"Linda Ault was fantastic. You could tell that she’s an expert in her field and knows the landscape of multiple fundraising environments and best practices. She’s definitely full of ideas, and whenever we were presented with roadblocks, she helped us think things through and was very solutions-focused."
"They were so reliable and provided a much-needed sounding board for when things weren't going absolutely perfect. They were great at helping us work through any challenges that arose and always helped us get back on course."
With The Yunker Group, you get a very finely tuned - very thorough, very carefully orchestrated - process that helps to ensure the very best match."
"As a candidate I felt the process allowed me to show the search committee who I am in a full 3-dimensional way. The tools and methods The Yunker Group uses ensured that the committee members knew not only my technical skills and experience but also the type of leadership I would bring to the job. I have no doubt that this is what created a great match for both the organization and for me!"
“They jumped right in and got to know our community and the key players in it. They not only brought back insightful and useful information from prospective donors, but also helped us work through some internal challenges that were not directly related to the fund drive. Their knowledge and experience with other governing boards was quite valuable.”
"As chair of the search committee tasked with selecting a new executive director, I turned to The Yunker Group for help in making the most important decision our organization had made in almost three decades. Having come out the other side, it is apparent that we would not have succeeded but for Jim Yunker's savvy leadership and guidance. His role was indispensable.”
“I was a little apprehensive about the fact that the firm was in the Cincinnati. I was hoping we could find someone more local to us, but I actually found the distance not to be an issue at all. Jim Yunker was always available when we needed him, and the geographic distance just wasn’t a factor.”
"Their assignment was to identify, qualify and assist in the interviewing and hiring process for a Legacy Development Officer. They were very thorough and professional throughout the process utilizing several effective methodologies to highlight strengths and weaknesses of the candidates and then working closely with us during the interview process to make certain the key questions were answered and assessment was made."
“The Yunker Group served as a true partner in understanding our needs, guiding the selection process, and providing an outstanding candidate experience.”
"Jim’s extensive knowledge of non-profit organizations, coupled with his warm personality and keen sense of humor, made the process a wonderful experience for me as a potential candidate. I could not be happier in my new role and I have The Yunker Group to thank for helping make the perfect match.”
"We quickly learned that we could not have gone through the hiring process as effectively, efficiently and professionally without the work and counsel of The Yunker Group.”
"The case statement was well done and we appreciated being able to influence what was said. A donor actually complimented us about the professionalism and completeness of our campaign materials."
“They were able to get our constituents to disclose their feelings with incredible candor. I believe the ability to evoke confidential information reflects on their very professional interviewing skills and their personal integrity.”
“It felt as if Jim Yunker was a part of our team. We were very comfortable with him. He conducted one-on-one coaching with each member of the staff and they all agreed that his advice was something they could use immediately. Although we like to think we are visionary and creative, Jim was able to show us new ideas from an outsider’s perspective."
“My experience with them reinforced for me the value of engaging highly specialized professionals for such a need and, then, listening to the advice they provide. In addition to their experience, knowledge and discipline, the most valuable contribution they shared was their professionalism and persistence in supporting a primarily volunteer organization.”
"If you're going to be effective in this business, you need to know what people are trying to do - and Jim Yunker understands that. He also has a wealth of experience and expertise that he can draw from, and that's essential. Jim also respects confidentiality. When you have a conversation with him, you can trust that information won't go any further, and that's important."
“During the pre-campaign planning phase, The Yunker Group gave us an honest assessment of our project’s potential for success and, in fact, recommended we shelve a few of our projects. This direction was based on experience and knowledge of the community which was very helpful.”
“After interviewing a few other consultants, we believed that Smith Beers Yunker offered the most balanced, reasonable approach to the strategic planning.”