Approach & Team

While most consulting firms provide their clients with one person to manage all of their development needs, Jeffrey Sobel Consulting (JSC) takes a deeper approach, building customized relationships with our clients.  After conducting a thorough needs assessment, we assemble a team of JSC staff that provides expertise specific to each client’s development requirements.

With over 150 years of combined experience in all areas of non-profit fundraising, our team members can integrate into your organization, share their expertise and  guide your current staff, board and volunteers.

Jeffrey Sobel, Founder and President, has over 25 years of proven success in development activities, strategic planning, and community building efforts. Jeff has the expertise to ensure results for a variety of projects including assisting organizations in designing leadership and major donor campaigns as well as implementing effective planned giving programs. 

An active member of the non-profit and fundraising community, Jeff has raised over $100 million from individual, corporate, foundation, and government sources. He is currently a trustee of the Children’s Support Foundation (and is former board chair and founder), a board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals New Jersey Chapter and an active member of other chapters.

Maureen Prout Alvidrez, Vice President - Maureen brings over 15 years of project management, grant writing, marketing, and fundraising experience to Jeffrey Sobel Consulting, having worked as a Senior Major Gifts Officer for Seton Hall University and as Director of Development for Marylawn of the Oranges Academy.  She has an M.P.A., with a concentration in nonprofit organization management, from Seton Hall University.  Maureen started her career in government providing constituent outreach services before joining a small business, Hypotenuse, Inc.  Maureen is a Trustee of The Summit Conservancy, serves on the Reeves-Reed Arboretum Development Committee, and is a tireless volunteer for the Summit, NJ public schools.

Eleanor Angone, Vice President - Eleanor joined Jeffrey Sobel Consulting in 2014 after 25+ years in sales and management in business to business corporate advertising, digital marketing, and ad technology. Her clients included IBM, HP, and GE. Eleanor’s work with nonprofit clients focuses on managing overall client relationships at JSC, development and solicitation of corporate sponsorships, project management and execution of fundraising events, and developing marketing materials. 

Prior to her career in advertising and marketing, Eleanor taught Special Education to special needs children at the middle school level in the New York City Department of Education. She has worked with JSC clients in several categories covering children’s rights, education, the environment, social justice, and social services.

Elise Revere Lazarus, Senior Director & Chief Business Administrator – Elise began her nonprofit career in high school, volunteering during her summer break for the United Way of Essex and West Hudson and Discovery Charter School. It was there that she fell in love with providing service in areas of need. After graduating with honors from Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism, Elise continued to volunteer for various nonprofit organizations as she pursued a career in media. Her career in media led her from The Star Ledger newspaper in New Jersey, to a publishing company, and eventually to TV Guide Network and Ion Television.

Elise has been with Jeffrey Sobel Consulting since its inception in 2010. She has brought her years of marketing, sponsorship, editorial, and event planning experience to Jeffrey Sobel Consulting and has been instrumental in raising funds through individual, corporate, and event sponsorships. In addition to working directly with clients, Elise serves as the administrative arm of JSC, managing the human resources, finance and accounting, business development, and digital communications aspects of the business.

Joan Leavitt, Senior Director – Joan has been part of Jeffrey Sobel Consulting since its inception and has worked for numerous clients on behalf of the firm. Previously, she was the president and owner of Joan Leavitt Consulting, a small firm offering comprehensive services to the nonprofit health and social welfare sectors, including program development, strategic planning and grant writing. Since starting her firm in 2001, Joan has worked for nonprofit agencies and proprietary groups to assist them in obtaining government and foundation funding. She has assisted groups in raising tens of millions of dollars to develop affordable housing, provide health care services and services to youth and the elderly, and deliver child welfare and services to the homeless.  

Joan has also had a long career in government in a senior position with the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President where she was the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services.  In this role, she and her staff were responsible for the oversight of the delivery of services including health, education, child welfare, substance abuse and services to youth and the elderly.  Most of those services were provided by nonprofit organizations in contract with New York City agencies.

JoAnn Hoppe, Senior Director – JoAnn brings 18 years of experience in the areas of marketing, newsletters and appeal development, grant writing, sponsorships, special events, corporate and individual relationship-building, and manages the day-to-day business for our clients. 

Michele Alongi, Senior Director – Michele joined the Jeffrey Sobel Consulting team in 2013. Prior to joining Jeffrey Sobel Consulting, Michele served as the Director of Community Relations for the New Jersey Nets. In her position of Director of Community Relations, Michele also managed The Nets Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the organization. She brings 15 plus years of experience to the team in the areas of professional sports marketing and special events, sponsorship, and corporate partnerships.

Michele is an instrumental member of the Client Support Services Team, providing overall support to clients including marketing, creative, research and event support. In addition to the Client Support Team, Michele also works on the administrative side of the organization in the areas of human resources, marketing, finance and accounting and digital communications.

John H. Linder, Jr., Senior Director - John joined JSC in October 2016 and brings more than 17 years of nonprofit fundraising and management experience working with local, national, and international organizations on a variety of critical issues, including: LGBT equality; child welfare & foster care; arts & culture; and, international health & development. John’s expertise includes: nonprofit management; strategic planning; fundraising planning, implementation, & evaluation; grant-writing and grants management; event planning; communications and branding; major donor solicitation and stewardship; individual and institutional prospect research; volunteer recruitment and support; board development and recruiting; impact investing; and, financial management and budgeting. Prior to joining JSC, John served as the Director of Philanthropy for the Population Council – an international health research organization, where he focused on building an individual giving program. John has served as the Chief Development & Communications Officer for the Center for Family Representation, where we managed CFR’s fundraising and communication efforts.John has served on the boards of the University of Washington Alumni Association and the Board of Governors for the Human Rights Campaign, and currently serves on the Association of Fundraising Professionals NYC Chapter Board.

Gerardine Luongo, Senior Director - Gerardine is a 30-year veteran of the nonprofit community where she has worked at all organizational levels including executive leadership, program management and evaluation, and in senior development positions. Gerardine has worked on issues including homelessness, HIV-AIDS, child welfare, early childhood development, and international humanitarian aid. Her work has brought her to countries across Africa, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Afghanistan giving her tremendous insight into working within and across diverse cultures. She has secured and managed more than $17 million in US government grants supporting healthcare and medical/nursing educational programs throughout the developing world. Gerardine has designed and implemented organizational assessments, program evaluations, strategic plans for public child welfare organizations, nonprofit child-serving agencies and international health organizations.

Gerardine also has served as adjunct faculty at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, Center for Child Welfare Training.  She has published work in professional journals and on the blog sites of magazines dedicated to social justice.

Gerhard Sanchez, Senior Associate - Gerhard brings over 15 years of marketing, project management, special events and digital communications experience, having worked with non-profit organizations, public school districts and universities as a teacher, administrator and coach. Gerhard founded The Fundamental and Life Skills Sports Camps in 2007. The camps are offered in the summer, free of charge for students in grades 3rd-12th in Irvington, Newark and East Orange, New Jersey.

Patrick Raftery, Senior Associate - For over four years, Patrick worked as a philanthropic consultant with Changing Our World, Inc. During his time there, Patrick had the opportunity to lead multi-million-dollar capital campaigns, run feasibility studies, provide annual fund counsel and overall strategic counsel with organizations in the religious, education, and human services sector. Previously, Patrick also spent time with the FDNY Foundation in Brooklyn and the Fairtrade Foundation in London, UK.

Ilene Winters, Senior Associate - Ilene began raising money for various charitable organizations over 30 years ago, while she was still enjoying a sales and marketing career on Wall Street.  She fell in love with non-profit work, left Wall Street, and started a wellness center with a $400,000 annual budget that offered free support, education, and hope to people with cancer and their loved ones. After Hurricane Sandy, she helped two friends start a non-profit that raised over $1.5 million for the residents, businesses and town infrastructure of Sea Bright, New Jersey. Ilene has worked for the Diabetes Foundation, Inc., as well as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Monmouth County, assisting both organizations in strategic development.

Ilene is well versed in all aspects of non-profit management, and is a critical, big-picture thinker and an inherent problem-solver. Her areas of expertise are development, strategic planning, board development, marketing and communications, and start-up.