About Steven J. Byers


With a career spanning more than three decades, Steve Byers brings both depth and breadth of experience to his client relationships.  His practice encompasses large and small organizations in a variety of fields–cultural, human services, universities and hospitals.  He is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (ret.) and is a past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Mid-America Chapter, which named him Outstanding Fundraising Professional of 2013.


Steve’s career began as an undergraduate at Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) working in the Public Information Office and the Standard student newspaper. After graduating in 1981 with a degree in Business Communication and a minor in writing, he went to work for the Lebanon Daily Record as a reporter.

He entered graduate school in 1983 at the University of Missouri—Kansas City and received his Master of Public Administration degree in 1984. During that time, an internship with Westport Tomorrow gave him his first real exposure to nonprofit organizations. He fell in love with the sector and has devoted his career to serving in it.

In 1984, Steve became Research Director for Kansas City Consensus and worked with citizen task forces to produce reports on issues such as urban redevelopment, health care for the poor, funding for arts and cultural organizations and quality child care.

Steve joined the development staff at Children’s Mercy Hospital in 1987 and spent the next 18 years there in progressively more responsible positions, eventually becoming the Senior Director of Development Administration. During that time, the hospital raised over $200 million. His duties also included oversight of annual giving, direct mail, foundation grants, and several award-winning publications.

In 2005, Steve became the chief development and communications officer for Water.org, where he built a full-spectrum development program from the ground up, tripled their revenue in two years and helped to secure a $4.1 million grant from the PepsiCo Foundation, which resulted in more than 250,000 people getting improved access to water and sanitation through micro-finance loans. He re-vamped the communications effort with an aggressive public relations and marketing campaign, including placements in such high-profile media as the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today online and the cover of the Chronicle of Philanthropy. He also overhauled their Water.org website, which won a Philly Award in 2007 for the best nonprofit website in the Kansas City area.

In 2008, Steve launched his own consulting practice to help non-profit leaders identify and develop opportunities for transformative change. Steve received his Certified Fund Raising Executive designation in 1998 and he is a past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals—Mid-America Chapter. As an AFP member, he adheres to their code of professional ethics. In 2013, he was named the Outstanding Fundraising Professional by the Mid-America Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

A new collaboration with Wide Awake Films was formed in early 2016, adding a whole new dimension to helping clients tell their stories. To find out more, click here. Also, check out this project: The American Artist: The Life and Times of George Caleb Bingham.

In 2017, Steve began offering executive search services through The Moran Company. Searches focus exclusively on the nonprofit sector, specializing in executive directors and development directors.

Selected Awards, Publications & Presentations

2013, Outstanding Fundraising Professional, Association of Fundraising Professionals–Mid-America Chapter, Kansas City, MO.

2013, “Your Impact on Philanthropy,” 2011, High Impact Philanthropy: A 360 Degree View, Nevada, MO.

2012, “Strategies for Engaging Volunteers in Fundraising,” 2012, Mid-America Conference on Fundraising, Sioux Falls, IA.

2011, “Unblocking Your Creativity,” Mid-America Conference on Fundraising, Kansas City, MO.

2010, “Introduction to Form 990s for Grant Writers,” Association of Fundraising Professionals International Conference, Baltimore, MD.

2009, CMH Treasures newsletter, Philly award for best newsletter, sponsored by NonProfit Connect.

2009, Direct Mail from Address to Zip Code, presentation at AFP Mid-America Conference, Cedar Rapids, IA.

2009, WaterPartners Village, category winner for Integrated Communications, North Carolina Public Relations Society of America Silver Inspire Awards.

2008, WaterPartners Village, second place Philly award for mixed media campaign, sponsored by NonProfit Connect.

2007, WaterPartners’ Water.org, Philly award for best nonprofit website in the Kansas City area, sponsored by the Greater KC Council on Philanthropy.

2006, WaterPartners’ brochure, second place Philly award for brochures, sponsored by GKCCP.

2005, What Was Lost: The Chronicles of Japheth published.

2004, “Your Donor Database: The Care & Feeding of the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs,” presentation at the Philanthropy Midwest Conference sponsored by GKCCP.

2003 & 2005, Children’s Mercy Calendar, Show-Me award for best special publication, sponsored by the Missouri Association for Healthcare PR and Marketing.  The 2004 Calendar took third.

2001, The Life of Your Time named one of the Top 10 Christian Novels of the Year by the American Library Association’s Booklist magazine.

1999-2001, CMH Treasures newsletter, Show-Me award for the best in its class three years in a row, sponsored by MAHPRM.  Same publication took second in 1996, 2003, 2004 & 2005.[/list]