About Barbara Barron

BARBARA BARRON is one of the most respected and highly sought-after independent advancement professionals in the country, having worked with dozens of schools in every corner of the United States.

She has raised over $20 million for schools where she served as the Director of Development. Barbara is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and presenter who currently advises dozens of schools in various capacities. She is considered a thought leader in the world of advancement, with her writing widely shared by professionals in development offices worldwide.

Clockwise from left: Photo by Chaz Cruz, Photo by Chris Littler, Photo by Sam DeCock

Barbara’s life has always been in motion. She was born in El Paso, Texas, grew up in western Massachusetts, and graduated high school in Boulder, Colorado. She attended the University of Hartford, where she obtained a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Communication. She immediately put her gift for positive messaging to work by pouring herself into the world of advertising and public relations for not-for-profits. While raising a family, she co-authored and promoted four books on the uses of Myers-Briggs Personality Type - Do What You Are, Just Your Type, Nurture by Nature, and The Art of Speedreading People - with Paul Tieger. Do What You Are, a bestseller, has sold over a million copies. The sixth edition was released in 2021, with Barbara’s daughter Kelly taking the reins as co-author.

Barbara’s love for advancement work began when she joined the development office at Watkinson School, the independent school in Hartford, CT where her children were enrolled. It was there she fell in love with the work of compelling passionate supporters to financially support a school’s mission and foster a solid culture of philanthropy. She further honed her skills at other schools in CT and NYC and then at Drew School in San Francisco, where she moved in 2011. In 2017, as word of Barbara’s leadership in the independent school world spread, she began her own consulting business, and she has watched her roster of schools blossom.

Barbara’s focus in advancement work over the past twenty years has centered around creating annual and capital campaigns, major gifts and planned giving programs, and fostering donor-centered, stewardship-rich advancement programs that grow and sustain leadership giving. By empowering school leaders to increase their capacity to raise money, she knows she is helping make the powerful work teachers do every day possible and sustainable.

She currently lives and works out of beautiful San Rafael, California with her husband. She delights in spending time with their children and their spouses, and four grandchildren - the lights of her life - whenever humanly possible.

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Newsletter Sign-up

Barbara here! I write and share bi-weekly articles about the topic of advancement in independent schools. It is a wonderful way to stay in touch with my colleagues across the globe, and to share ideas about how we can do better in this business.

As a thank you for signing up, I've created a free PDF download of The Culture of Philanthropy Checklist. This checklist is a fantastic tool that you can send to members of your community to see where you stand as a philanthropic entity.

There are three versions of this PDF - one for Faculty, one for Trustees, and one for Parents. Getting it is easy. You will be sent to the download link for any or all three of these PDFs when you sign-up.