Ray has more than three decades of nonprofit development experience with expertise across individual and institutional giving, developing strong staff teams, and building a culture of philanthropy. His career has focused primarily on the environmental, conservation, and preservation sector. He has also overseen stewardship, planned giving, digital fundraising, marketing, and communications strategies and has served on executive teams of national nonprofits. Ray has been most effective working with governing boards and developing volunteer leadership for philanthropy, including the successful completion of major campaigns.
Prior to joining Compass, Ray served for ten years as executive vice president of the National Forest Foundation where he oversaw development, marketing, and communications, and was a front-line fundraiser who secured multiple seven-figure commitments ranging from $5 million to $25 million. Ray also served as vice president of development for the National Parks Conservation Association, leading their first capital campaign which exceeded its $125 million goal by $7 million. Additionally, he was the director of the National Cathedral Association, then chief development officer of the Washington National Cathedral. Earlier career work included corporate marketing for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where Ray was one of two staff who launched and built Historic Hotels of America; and director of development at Scenic America, where he doubled revenue, trained state affiliates in fundraising, and represented the organization on the EPA’s “Smart Growth Network.”
A frequent and passionate speaker, Ray has presented at the Public Lands Alliance, International Conference of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Center for Nonprofit Advancement, and as a guest lecturer at University of Virginia, Michigan State University, George Mason University, and other venues. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA and MA in history.
Ray is committed to his community and the nonprofit sector. His board service includes: New Futures, Shrine Mont, EarthShare, Scenic Virginia, Community Appearance Alliance of Northern Virginia, and as a political appointee to the Environmental Quality Advisory Council of Fairfax County. He serves on the Development Committee of the Washington National Cathedral, and earlier served on the Development Committee of Partners for Sacred Places.