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Have You Met Russell Goldstein?

Although he’s on the Advisory Board for multiple nonprofits, Russell Goldstein reserves a special spot for the Planned Giving Roundtable. “I’ve been President of the organization for two years, and feel that we do an outstanding service in providing education and engagement to the nonprofit community! We are a group of over 100 nonprofits in the area. We meet monthly to discuss pertinent topics that affect nonprofits from many different aspects of philanthropy focused on Planned Giving. And this June we’ll have our 21st annual Summer Forum where we will bring in many national speakers from the field of planned giving.” Topics for the Summer Forum include Mastering the Many Roles of Gift Planning, Charitable Gift Annuities, Advisory Council best practices and Ethics around Gift Acceptance and Stewardship.

Planned Giving Roundtable is an association of individuals seeking to enhance their expertise in charitable planning. “We facilitate relationships between philanthropic leaders, development officers, board members and professionals focused on charitable giving.  We also oversee the Leave a Legacy Program in Arizona.” Aside from his presidency with the Planned Giving Roundtable, Russell is one of only 120 BoardSource Certified Governance Trainers throughout the country. “My work with BoardSource is focused intentionally to educate, engage and inspire nonprofit boards.  Exceptional boards drive significantly more impact in our communities than dysfunctional boards.  It’s a challenge-- the more dysfunctional a nonprofit’s board is, the fewer people they will impact. But a strong, inspired and effective board will help and serve exponentially more people in the community!”

A native New Yorker, Goldstein has lived in Arizona for the past 17 years. “I moved to the Southwest when a friend of mine decided to relocate here. It has been a great experience for me, and I even met my wife here! My favorite aspect of the area is the warm weather, and the ability to enjoy outdoor activities year round. It’s amazing that we’re in such close proximity to other exciting places such as Aspen or California. I also appreciate that we have a genuine sense of community here. You feel like you can really make a difference in this community.”

Russell frequently goes off-roading in his Jeep. “I took up this hobby since moving here, and love to go out into the desert near Sedona or Moab.” A fitness buff, and with a degree in Sports Medicine, Goldstein participates in EXOS Boot Camp.  The EXOS system transforms how you perform, feel, and look through the steps of mindset, nutrition, movement and recovery.

He also has a philosophy that “Ten percent of life is action, and ninety percent is reaction; we can take the bad stuff that life flings at us and lose focus, or we can expect the unexpected and make the best of each situation!”

A thoughtful and thorough executive specializing in solving complex financial issues for philanthropists, foundations and nonprofits, Russell Goldstein brings these strengths to the charitable community. “I’m on the advisory board for many nonprofits, and our role as a board member is to provide direction and a clear vision for the organization.  It’s also important that we incorporate strategic planning that insures the best use of our resources.  I believe that if you are going to be part of an organization, you need to be their best advocate and ambassador!”

What are your local volunteer activities?

President of the Planned Giving Roundtable Arizona

Advisory Board – Musical Instrument Museum

Advisory Board – Phoenix Fashion Week

Advisory Board – Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

Advisory Board – Salvation Army

Professional Advisory Board – Arizona Community Foundation

Bank of America Charitable Foundation committee 

Who inspired you to give back to your community? The Salvation Army – Christmas Day Dinner at the Convention Center 10 years ago was the first time I was exposed to how much need and also how many willing volunteers there are in the community 

Which fundraising event is your favorite? I chair an event through Phoenix Fashion Week called “Fashionably Pink” Celebrity Runway Show, which raises money for a local breast cancer awareness organization.  My sister just finished 6 months of chemo treatment and surgery for breast cancer.  It drives me everyday to be kind and find ways to make a difference 

Favorite restaurant? Phoenix Public Market 

Whom do you most admire, and why?  My wife LeAnna is a kindergarten teacher.  Every day I am amazed at how hard she works, and how passionate she is to positively affect, teach and build a culture of learners in her kindergarten class  

If your life were a movie, who would you want to play your part?  Pierce Bronson from The Thomas Crown Affair

Do you have any pets?   No 

Favorite TV show?  House of Cards, Law and Order 

When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you?  Interesting, involved, warm, comfortable, eclectic, artsy place where moments and memories were created 

What was your first job? Paperboy 

What is your greatest indulgence? Cupcakes 

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Still writing this chapter….. 

What is your most treasured possession? Deep desire to leave the world a better place 

What is the quality you most like in people? Transparency, kindness, a willingness to help others 

Favorite books/writers?  Conscious Capitalism (John Mackey & Raj Sisodia) & Give Smart (Thomas Tierney & Joel Fleishman) 

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Disregard for conflicts of interest 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? EXOS Action Performance Boot Camp, reading about food and philanthropy, off-roading in my jeep, hiking and Netflix sessions with my wife 

What would we be most surprised to know about you? I am a “Governance Geek” and a BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer.  I believe if we have exceptional nonprofit boards we will impact so many more in need  

What is the best advice you have ever received? Discover your passion; be true to it and build a career around that…it won’t ever feel like work and everything else will fall into place 

What are some challenges facing nonprofits? Sustainable funding model, diversified funding sources, highly engaged and exceptional boards, balance between now and later funding, the disconnect in the philanthropic conversation, keeping talented development staff, misperceptions in fundraising ratios and how they should spend capital, keeping the board forward thinking vs. buried in operations and the past




I am very impressed with Russell Goldstein. I enjoyed reading about him. He inspires me to be a better person.
alisha nelson

I am very impressed with Russell Goldstein. I enjoyed reading about him. He inspires me to be a better person.
alisha nelson