Linda S. Davidson

Senior Consultant
Phone: (630) 505-1433


Linda joined Gonser Gerber in 2015 as a Senior Consultant after a 40 year career in advancement at two public universities. Client services focus on:

  • comprehensive campaigns,
  • strategic planning,
  • board and staff development,
  • constituent fundraising,
  • major and annual gift strategies,
  • coaching for academic leaders,
  • prospect identification, and
  • communicating with constituents during times of institutional crisis.

Campaign experience for Linda began in 1980 when she led a successful $3 million National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant fundraising effort. It concluded 31 years later, when as Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs (a position held for 15 years), she provided the leadership for the University of Tennessee comprehensive campaign which concluded in 2011 and garnered $1.3 billion. During her career she built constituency based advancement programs at two land grant institutions and worked with scores of academic deans, presidents and chancellors. Building cultures of synergy between alumni affairs and development, and coaching deans and development officers to maximize the effectiveness of their working relationships has been her professional hallmark. Serving as the Executive Director of the University of Idaho Foundation for seven years provided Linda with great experience on building a strong relationship between a university and their related foundation.

Education & Achievements


  • B.A., Political Science, University of Idaho


  • Delta Gamma Foundation
    Board of Trustees, 2011-Present
  • Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (formerly NASULGC)
    Board of Directors 2008-2010
    Council for Strategic Communications and Advancement
    Chair 2007-2009
  • Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)
    National Circle of Excellence Judging Panel, 1997-2002
    Steering Committee on Institutionally Related Foundations, 1996-2004
    Chair 2002-2004
  • CASE District VIII
    Board of Directors, 1996-1998
    Fundraising Chair, 1994 District Conference
  • Society for Institutionally Related Foundations (SIRF)
    Board of Directors, 1991-1996
    Vice President, 1993
    President, 1994
  • CASE, Association of Governing Boards (AGB), SIRF
    Study Advisory Committee, Foundation Funding, 1998
    (Commissioned a study published by AGB and CASE in 2000. How Public College and University Foundations Pay for Fund Raising)

Regional and Local:

  • University of Idaho
    Alumni Hall of Fame, Inductee May 2012
  • Girl Scout Council of Southern Appalachia
    Woman of Achievement, Inductee April 2010
  • Knoxville Rotary Club, 2000-2008
    Board of Directors, 2007
    Program Chair, 2007
  • Westminster Presbyterian Church
    Elder and Session, 2002-2005
  • Tanasi Girl Scout Council
    Board of Directors 2000-2006