Hi, I’m Suzanne.
I went to the ends of the earth to create Hammer & Associates and discover a passion for philanthropy and foundations. In my case, the end of the earth was an invitation to work a long, cold winter at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. While working that winter I had a lot of time to think and plan. I also had a front-row seat as one of 211 fellow “Winter Over” residents (meaning we were adventurous enough to spend the winter in Antarctica!), raising $10,000 for charitable groups in Christchurch, New Zealand. The beneficiaries included an orphanage, rape crisis center and an exhibit about South Pole exploration.
That got me thinking about what Margaret Mead once said: “Never underestimate that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.” Our group at McMurdo might not have “changed” the world entire, but we did make a difference.
The change I want to make in this world is helping people uncover what it is they stand for. What are they passionate about? Angry about? What issues drive them to action? Everyone can be a philanthropist, and everyone can make a difference.
I started Hammer & Associates to connect communities so that they can help each other.
I didn’t come into this arena without experience, having spent more than a decade managing multi-million dollar businesses—plus nearly a half-dozen years in the non-profit arena. That background helps me bridge the gap between corporations, communities and non-profit agencies, worlds with different languages, cultures, goals and objectives.
I stay current with the latest news thanks to my membership in Exponent Philanthropy (formerly the Association of Small Foundations), National Center for Family Philanthropy, Philanthropy Roundtable, International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy, and the Colorado Philanthropic Network. I’m also a certified cross-generation facilitator with 21/64 and Treasurer for the World Affairs Challenge.
I provide full-circle services. I help create new foundations, or manage the one you’ve got. I facilitate meetings, help you plan ahead, and provide cross-generational communication, legacy and succession planning.
Philanthropically, I focus on children and education locally as an active member of The Rotary Club of Denver Southeast. Internationally I work on development projects, specifically clean water and sanitation issues.
And I make sure to balance work with personal time, especially with my husband, Ritchie, in our Denver home. (OK, I might dote on our cats Odette and Odelie, too.) While I enjoy spending time with one (or many) of my 15 nieces and nephews, Ritchie and I also make sure to squeeze in plenty of our favorite things, especially backcountry skiing, hiking, camping, cycling, and golf.
I listen first. I’m not an advisor who jumps in with 20 solutions before even hearing what it is you need. I ask questions, collect data, and offer options with pros and cons, so that together, we can find the right one for you.
STEPHANIE HILL (Stephanie Hill LLC):
Stephanie Hill is an administrator and bookkeeper who bolsters the work of small businesses and nonprofits in Denver, as well as internationally. She started working in the nonprofit sector six years ago when, by happenstance, she sat next to the founder of nonprofit who needed help managing the day-to-day of the organization. Stephanie was hired and built out their donor management system and more—taking the organization to the next level in systems and sophistication.
Today, Stephanie works closely with Hammer & Associates giving families accurate, reliable, and timely support, freeing them up to focus more on their philanthropic missions. She has a B.S. in International Business from the University of Colorado at Denver and has lived and worked in Taiwan, Antarctica, and Mexico.
ELAINE GAST FAWCETT, MS
Elaine is a writer and consultant to grantmakers who helps people and organizations tell their story to move their mission forward.
A skilled listener and master synchronizer, Elaine has interviewed 1000+ family, community and corporate foundations, high net worth individuals, entrepreneurs and leaders. She has worked in philanthropy for 15 years, authoring seven books for grantmakers and countless white papers, articles and tools for foundations, families and next-generation donors. Elaine has served as the lead consultant on statewide grantmaking initiatives and national fellowships, and worked with long-time clients including The David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Exponent Philanthropy, and the National Center for Family Philanthropy and Exponent Philanthropy. She is a founding member of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers.
Elaine believes that story is a profound way to understand and connect with ourselves, our families, and our work in the world. She is committed to helping philanthropists share their most important story—the one that leads them to their legacy.
My clients tell me they appreciate the deep trust they have in me. I make sure every family member is heard and respected, and bring a level of integrity, credibility and a forward-thinking approach to my work and relationships.