Jason D. McNeal, Ph.D.

Phone: (630) 505-1433
Email: JMcNeal@GonserGerber.com


With over a decade of institutional advancement and higher education administrative leadership, Jason joined Gonser Gerber in 2008 and was elected partner in 2012. He serves as consultant to colleges, universities, schools, hospitals, and other nonprofit organizations nationally.

Jason provides counsel in these key areas:

  • Major gifts
  • Capital campaigns
  • Planned giving
  • Annual fund donations
  • Board development
  • Admissions and financial aid
  • Coaching for chief executive officers
  • Strategic planning, public relations, and integrated marketing

Prior to joining Gonser Gerber, Jason served as Vice President for Advancement and Community Relations for Maryville College (TN), where he led all aspects of the comprehensive development program, including an $80+ million campaign, and the implementation of a performance metrics program.  Institutionally, he provided leadership to College-wide integrated marketing efforts and to the institution’s Enrollment Management Team.  Prior to serving as a Vice President, he held the positions of Associate Vice President, and Director of Annual Giving, where he established the Calvin Duncan Society, one of the first lifelong annual giving societies at any institution in the country.

Before his service at Maryville College, Jason held the position of Director for Advancement at East Georgia College, a two-year University System of Georgia institution.

Education & Achievements


  • B.A. in History and Education from Salisbury University (MD)
  • Masters of Science in Education, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Masters of Science in Human Ecology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Completed Harvard University’s Higher Education Management Development Program


  • Presentations: Jason presents regularly in the U.S. and Canada on advancement topics.  He has appeared as a presenter for Academic Impressions, Council for the Advancement and Support for Education (CASE), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), Association of Lutheran Development Executives (ALDE), and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
  • Writing: Jason blogs regularly at the Far Edge of Promise on topics related to leadership and institutional advancement. In 2015, Jason also wrote the book Writing Meaningful Contact Reports: A Handbook for Fundraisers, published by Academic Impressions.

Residence: Alcoa, Tennessee


The two most valued roles that Jason plays are that of husband to wife Heather and father to their two children, Shelby and Sam.  In addition, to enjoying vacations at the beach (in which he attempts to stay barefoot as much as possible), he likes to run, read, and root for the University Tennessee Volunteers – Go VOLS!