Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner announced Thursday that she has appointed Jim Finnerty as the college’s next vice president for institutional advancement and executive director of the Buffalo State College Foundation. Finnerty, who will officially join the Buffalo State community on July 16, 2018, previously served as the senior director of campaigns for the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation while also holding the title of acting senior director of development for the Foundations of Kaleida Health—Children’s Hospital Foundation/Kaleida Health Foundation.
“Throughout his career, Mr. Finnerty has provided fundraising, campaign, and financial leadership for a variety of clients and organizations,” Conway-Turner said. “I believe his exceptional fundraising and management skills—coupled with his knowledge and passion for our wonderful city and region—make for a terrific fit to lead our Institutional Advancement team as we continue to foster relationships with our cherished alumni, friends, and donors to the college. We look forward to Mr. Finnerty joining the Buffalo State family this summer.”
In his position with the Children’s Hospital Foundation, Finnerty played an integral leadership role in the completion of the $52 million campaign in support of the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, including securing a $10 million leadership gift, which was the largest single gift in the institution’s 120-year history.
As the senior director of campaigns for the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation, Finnerty closed more than $33 million in leadership gifts toward the successful completion of the campaign. He created and led personalized solicitation teams for all leadership gifts, and formed and managed the campaign’s volunteer committee. In 2014, Finnerty also assumed the role of acting senior director of development for the Foundations of Kaleida Health, leading a nine-person development staff. In this role, he led board development efforts, solicited seven-figure gifts, implemented performance improvements for the annual fund, initiated an event management system to drive key performance indicators, and managed process improvements for Raiser’s Edge.
“After completing the campaign for our new Children’s Hospital, I am thrilled to be able to join Buffalo State College and lead the advancement team of another institution that is so vital to the continuing renaissance of Buffalo,” Finnerty said. “President Conway-Turner’s vision of Buffalo State as ‘Buffalo’s College’ and a place where first generation college students can not only access higher education, but truly thrive, is a perfect alignment with my own passions. I am looking forward to being a part of the full richness of the Buffalo State campus and community.”
Finnerty came to Buffalo as a consultant with CCS Fundraising in 2011 to lead the feasibility study for the new Oishei Children’s Hospital. He quickly became a part of the Western New York community and relocated to East Aurora to stay on and complete the campaign.
Before Children’s Hospital, as an executive director for CCS Fundraising, Finnerty prepared leadership at nonprofit organizations across New England for their first or largest capital campaigns. In 2012, he was named director of development for Generate4Schools, where he assisted and engaged public school foundation boards across the country. In both of these positions, he provided campaign counsel for the new Oishei Children’s Hospital.
From 1999 to 2011, Finnerty worked in business development and health-care management for Datawatch, which led to the formation of a private company, the Crito Group. At the Crito Group, Finnerty managed a 50-person office and guided boards of rural and critical access hospitals through financial sustainability assessments, resulting in strategies to increase net revenues, reduce expenses, or increase access to capital.
Finnerty started his professional entrepreneurial career by creating a business called College Financial Aid Consulting (1993–1998). Here, he helped hundreds of first-generation college students gain access to higher education opportunities.
Finnerty earned a B.A. in economics in 1993 from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.