Michael Hammerschmidt is vice president, philanthropy, at the Science History Institute, which was formed by the merger of the Life Sciences Foundation (LSF) and the Chemical Heritage Foundation. He was previously vice president for development at LSF, a position he held from 2013 until his appointment at the Institute in December 2018.
Michael has worked with a range of start-ups, established educational institutions, and health-care organizations over a 30-year career in development. He served as associate vice president for development and executive director at the University Foundation at California State University, Northridge, where he built and implemented a new campus-wide development program while serving as a member of the university’s earthquake recovery team; assistant dean for external affairs at Tulane Law School, where he managed the $15 million campaign for a new building for the law school as part of a university-wide $300 million campaign; and director of regional development and director of annual giving at Brandeis University, where he managed the regional major gift program of the university’s $200 million campaign and spent a year as interim head of alumni relations. Working under contract as executive director for North America at the National Institute for Psychobiology in Israel, he created and implemented their “American Friends” organization.
Michael is an expert in fundraising strategy and management. Prior to joining LSF, his consulting practice included conducting feasibility studies, campaign planning and preparation, strategic planning, providing campaign counsel, developing strategies for and managing major gift programs, and conducting development audits. As principal of PhilanthropyGlobal, and prior to that as managing associate in the health-care practice at the national fundraising consulting firm Bentz Whaley Flessner, his clients included, among others, Advocate Charitable Foundation (Park Ridge, Illinois), Boston University Hillel, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston), Center for Great Apes (Wauchula, Florida), Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Children’s Hospital and Medical Center (Oakland, California), Columbia College Chicago, and Hope Heart Institute (Seattle). His highly valued expertise resulted in his being engaged for ongoing major gift, campaign, and other consulting services, and he became a trusted adviser over several years of providing counsel for many of his clients.
Michael has been a panelist and speaker at many professional forums and has a particular interest in senior management issues and institutionally related foundations. He has published several articles on development issues, including one that won a national award in the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy journal.