Douglas M. Lawson, Ph.D.

An ordained United Methodist Minister, Dr. Douglas M. Lawson began his fundraising career in 1966, as Vice President for Development at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia.  He later joined John Gardner's staff at the National Urban Coalition as Financial Development Officer.  In 1969, Dr. Lawson and Walker A. Williams Jr. founded Lawson and Williams which subsequently became Lawson Associates, Inc., a fundraising and management consulting firm which, to date, has served hundreds of clients throughout the world in raising hundreds of millions of dollars.


In his earlier professional life, Dr. Lawson served as a College Professor, Chaplain, Dean of Students and Vice President for Development.  He has had considerable speaking experience before hundreds of civic, educational, social and religious groups and has conducted fundraising workshops in numerous cities throughout the world.  These workshops have been sponsored by professional organizations, such as the American College Public Relations Association, the National Catholic Development Conference, Moton Institute (with the Ford Foundation), the Association of Fundraising Professionals, CASE, the National Association of Healthcare Philanthropy and the Joint Strategy and Action Committee of the National Council of Churches.  They have also been conducted for such organizations as Junior Achievement, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, CARE, and Baylor University.


Dr. Lawson held three academic degrees:  a B.A. from Randolph-Macon College, a B.D. from Drew University, and a Ph.D. from Duke University.  He was a member of three honorary fraternities:  Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Pi Gamma Mu.


Dr. Lawson served on the Advisory Board of The Yale University Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut and on the Advisory Board at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. He served on the Campaign Committee for Duke University’s $3.4 billion campaign.”  He served on the Board of Directors of Fleetwood Enterprises, located in Riverside, California, and was a member of The Charitable Giving Task Force of the Million Dollar Round Table in Chicago and as a Board Member of the Joffrey Ballet in New York. 


Dr. Lawson was the author of the award-winning bestseller GIVE TO LIVE:  How Giving Can Change Your Life, ALTI Publishing, California, 1991,  GIVE TO LIVE: A Stewardship and Development Program for Your Church, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1995,  Volunteering, 101 Ways You Can Improve The World And Your Life, Alti Publishing, California 1998,  MORE GIVE TO LIVE:  How Giving Can Change Your Life, Alti Publishing, California, 1999, and FAITH IN THE FUTURE, Templeton Press, Pennsylvania, 2004.   He has written numerous articles for national publications such as Fundraising Management, US Air, Southern Bride, and Servant Leadership.  He has been the publisher of a monthly newsletter: Philanthropic Trends Digest and eight editions of The Foundation 500.  Dr. Lawson has produced numerous audio and video tapes including "The Artful Asker", "Give to Live", and a "Basic Fundraising Course".

Dr. Douglas M. Lawson, PhD, a long-time resident of Dallas, Texas, passed away peacefully in his sleep the morning of December 26, 2020, after living an impactful life and career in fundraising. Arrangements for Dr. Lawson's memorial service will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests you kindly honor Dr. Lawson's legacy of philanthropy by donating to or volunteering for your favorite charity.