Walter Collins

Senior Consultant
Phone: (630) 505-1433


Walter joined Gonser Gerber in 2019 as a Senior Consultant and provides advancement consulting services to higher education institutions, schools, healthcare systems, cultural, social service, and other non-profit organizations.  His areas of focus include advancement; alumni relations; annual, capital, major and planned gift programs; strategic planning and visioning; campaign planning and execution; and other aspects of institutional advancement.

Walter Collins brings more than 18 years of fundraising experience in a variety of senior leadership roles.  Most recently, Walter served as Vice President of Advancement for San Francisco Theological Seminary, helping the Seminary dramatically grow its annual giving, major gifts, leadership giving, and foundation giving support.  Under his leadership, the Seminary received some of the largest major gifts in the Seminary’s history, and completed a successful capital campaign.

Prior to his time at the Seminary, Walter served as the Vice President for Advancement, Alumni Relations and Asset Management at Pacific Union College, where he led one of the first successful capital campaigns in College history, grew leadership and scholarship giving, and increased alumni participation in the annual campaign by over sixty percent.

An avid advocate of the arts, Walter served as Executive Director of the California Symphony Orchestra, where under his leadership the Orchestra doubled its number of donors, increased ticket sales, and reduced operating costs.  The Orchestra also received a National Endowment for the Arts award and a Getty Foundation/League of American Orchestras award for its Sound Minds program, a groundbreaking music education and tutoring program.

Also experienced in the health and human services sector, Walter served as President and CEO of United Way of the Wine Country where he increased revenue and led the strategic transformation of United Way into the community impact model as the leading public policy and advocacy United Way in California.

He began his management career as the Executive Director of the Redlands Symphony Orchestra in Southern California.  In each of these positions, he has a solid record of notable achievements in the areas of strategic planning, visioning, advancement, and alumni relations.

Education & Achievements


  • B.A., Political Science, University of California, Berkeley


Residence: Napa Valley, California
Family: Married to Amy, 3 children