Brad Layland, CEO, first learned the principles and practices of Taking Donors Seriously® as a college student in 1993, while seeking to raise personal support as a part-time staff member for Young Life. Over the course of 20 years at Young Life, he developed his passion for and expertise in relational fundraising, to the point where he was asked to train other area directors around the country, and eventually became the Chief Development Officer for the entire organization.
Brad joined The FOCUS Group in 2012 as a Senior Consultant and became the owner and CEO in 2015. In 2013, he launched the Taking Donors Seriously® e-learning and coaching program to make the firm’s expertise accessible to individuals and smaller nonprofits.
Brad’s expertise providing high level fundraising counsel to nonprofit organizations incorporates major donor strategies, training workshops, planned gift marketing, and capital campaign counsel. In recent years he has led capital campaigns for Intervarsity Christian Fellowship ($81 million), Union Rescue Mission ($83 million), The Bowery Mission ($27 million) and Veritas School ($5.3 million). He serves on the board of the Society for Classical Learning.
Brad received his B.A. in Communications from the University of Florida and his M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Wendy reside in St. Augustine, Florida and have four children. Brad enjoys running marathons, skiing, investing in real estate, entrepreneurship, and traveling with his family. Over the past 20 years, he has completed 45 marathons and recently completed an Ironman Triathlon.
Brad is the founder of Endless Summer Realty, the largest residential real estate brokerage in St. Augustine, closing over $170 million in transactions in 2020. He is a founding parent and board member of Veritas Classical School, which has grown to over 110 students in three years, and launched an annual “Giving Day” in St. Augustine, which has become a platform for local nonprofits to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars and establish relationships with new donors. His entrepreneurial success has allowed Brad to experience the joy of generosity, and gain a special understanding of the mindset of a major donor.