About Us

As a fundraising development firm dedicated to raising funds for institutions, organizations, service agencies, non-profits and churches, nationally and internationally, Cargill Associates has brought philanthropy, generosity and stewardship into sharp focus for worthy causes since 1976. We partner with you to design effective and efficient development strategies and solutions tailored to your unique personality, culture, circumstances and challenges to help you fulfill your vision.

Our consultants and staff include the most prestigious, experienced, knowledgeable and successful men and women in this field. They come to Cargill Associates with ‘other side of the table’ experience. They are experts in group dynamics, skilled problem solvers, and excellent strategists and stand ready to share with you their counsel of professional experience with discernment and integrity.

Our campaign strategies are based on sound fundraising principles and are rooted in a strict code of ethics, protecting the confidentiality of each of our clients and prospects. Since its founding, Cargill Associates has been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and subscribes to their code of ethics and standards of professional practice.

In addition to our long-standing relationship with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), we also hold membership in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Council for Resource Development (CRD), Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), Partners for Sacred Places, the Christian Stewardship Association, and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.

Senior Staff

Stephen W. Cargill, CFRE
President and C.E.O.

Having joined Cargill Associates shortly after the company was founded, Steve has more than 37 years’ experience in pre-campaign planning, capital, comprehensive and major gifts campaigns, development audits, strategic planning and Board training. He developed the Cargill Associates’ Pre-Campaign Survey and has personally conducted over 350 of them. He has provided counsel for private and public universities, major health care systems, social service agencies, museums, family and children services, youth organizations, churches and parishes. Steve has served as the firm’s Chief Executive Officer for 15 years and works with the staff to continue the Cargill Associates’ tradition and reputation as a trusted industry leader with a national and international client base. As a founding member of the Fort Worth chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Steve is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), a member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Council for Resource Development (CRD) and Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP).

Sharon Anderson
Vice President of Business Administration

Sharon joined Cargill Associates in 1984, as Business Manager, during a period of rapid growth for the company. She was named Vice President of Business Administration in 2008, and serves the company by overseeing its financial management. Her duties include all accounting functions, human resources, payroll, financial planning, record keeping, planning and monitoring of the annual budget, and timely reporting of financial data within the company. In the community, Sharon has served as Treasurer and Executive Board Member of a local chapter of Business and Professional Women. She is also active in her church, currently serving as a member of the Stewardship Committee. A native of Fort Worth, Sharon attended Texas Wesleyan University and Tarrant County College.

Sandy Fite
Vice President of Operations

As the Vice President of Operations, Sandy supervises the daily assignments and tasks of the company, directs Cargill Associates’ consultants and support staff, as well as assisting the C.E.O. in any duties that might be required. She collects and organizes all elements of the Pre-Campaign Survey to create a comprehensive plan for the proposed campaign. She earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Kurt Appel
Senior Vice President

Rev. Dr. Kurt Appel is a Senior Vice President for the Church Division of Cargill Associates, and is also currently serving as the Senior Pastor at Asbury United Methodist Church in Petal, Mississippi. Because of Cargill Associates’ reputation for successful church stewardship planning and programming, Kurt joined the team because it enabled him to be in ministry with a broad spectrum of churches seeking to grow in mission and ministry. An ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church, Kurt has spent over a decade in full-time ministry serving large and small membership churches on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. With his background in church development and experience in the local church, his ministry is focused upon helping churches become disciple making congregations. Prior to entering ministry Kurt was an Engineer with Sharp Electric, Inc., a major commercial and industrial electrical contractor. He completed his undergraduate work in Mechanical Engineering at Louisiana Tech University, earned a Master of Divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary.

Roy “Sonny” Banning
Senior Vice President

Sonny Banning is a fundraising executive with more than 25 years of experience working with non-profit organizations in development and administration. His expertise includes planning and developing successful annual and capital fund raising campaigns as well as board development seminars and strategic planning sessions. Before coming to Cargill Associates, Sonny served as Vice President for Development for York College (York, Nebraska), and as President and Chief Executive Officer for Maude Carpenter Children’s Home (Wichita, Kansas). Sonny holds a degree in Theology and, prior to his career in non-profit development and administration, served for 20 years as minister for churches in Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico and Kansas.

Paul Blevins, CFRE
Senior Vice President

Paul Blevins has served as a capital campaign management consultant for Cargill Associates since 1983. As senior vice president, Paul has directed hundreds of successful capital campaigns raising over $400,000,000 for Cargill Associates client partnerships. Paul has conducted numerous development program audits, and provided counsel for the annual fund and the development of boards. His other areas of expertise include identifying and enlisting of volunteers and prospects, writing and preparing public relations materials and foundation proposals, and working with other staff members to implement the total campaign initiatives. He has extensive experience in the field of planned giving and estate planning. In addition to his 31 years of experience with Cargill Associates, Paul also served as chief advancement officer at several other major institutions, planning and implementing fully integrated and successful development programs. He has been a participant in numerous conferences on development and capital campaigns sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Council for Resource Development (CRD), and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). As a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) since 1983, and member of the local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Paul adheres to the professional and ethical standards established by them. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Emory and Henry College in Virginia and a Masters Degree in Education and Counseling from The University of Virginia.

G.C. Brown
Senior Consultant

G.C. Brown is an expert in the fields of stewardship and finance. As a Senior Consultant for the Church Division of Cargill Associates, and with over 25 years of stewardship experience, G.C. is sought-after for his ability to render creative strategies in multiple areas of church development and growth. As an investment banker, G.C. began a career in financial management. He quickly advanced to Bank President and expanded his knowledge of asset administration. With a desire to use his expertise to assist communities of faith, G.C. began offering consulting services to churches. Serving as a Vice President with the B. C. Ziegler Company, G.C. arranged financial packages for churches in need of multimillion-dollar loans. G.C.’s financial and corporate qualifications make him an asset to the clients he serves. Over the last 26 years, he has conducted over 300 capital stewardship programs for churches of all sizes located throughout the country. His reputation as one of America’s most gifted consultants is founded on his ability to present the precepts of Christian stewardship with a personable and spiritual approach. He attended Baylor University and the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin. As a former pilot, he has a passion for aeronautics.

Linda R. Cadigan, M.A., CFRE
Senior Consultant

Linda Cadigan, M.A., CFRE, joined Cargill Associates in 2006 as a Senior Consultant for the Institution Division. She has been a professional fundraiser for 35 years. Linda consults with nonprofit organizations on organizational assessment, development and communications planning, board development, capital fundraising planning and program implementation, and establishing comprehensive philanthropy programs. She is recognized for her expertise on major gift solicitation, volunteer recruitment and training, and planned giving. Linda has worked in upper-level development management for numerous nonprofit organizations, including CHRISTUS Spohn Health System Corpus Christi, Hockaday School Dallas, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and Galveston Community College. She put the “Race for the Cure’ on the road as the first Executive Director for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Linda was named NSFRE Outstanding Fundraising Executive of the Year by the Dallas Chapter. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. She has served as a volunteer and board member for numerous organizations including the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society, the United Way, Mount Holyoke College, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Association of Healthcare Professionals, and the Junior League of Dallas. Linda holds a Master of Arts in Philanthropy and Development from St. Mary’s University Minnesota. She is a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College and has served as a Trustee of the College and President of the Alumnae Association.

Bobby Cobbs, CFRE, CPC
Vice President

Bobby Cobbs brings over 30 years of professional fundraising experience with not-for-profit institutions and organizations. His expertise includes: planning, managing and evaluating fund development programs; establishing and growing successful annual fund campaigns; planning and conducting successful capital campaigns; motivating and training dedicated volunteers and boards; and building motivated and dedicated development teams. Before joining the Cargill team, he served as a senior development staff member with Hardin-Simmons University, the Virginia Baptist Children’s Home and Family Services, Sierra Forever Families, and Christian Brothers High School. Prior to his service in fundraising, he served two years in a church-sponsored assignment similar to the Peace Corp in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa. Bobby holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University, a Master of Religious Education degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work. He is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and a Certified Professional Coach (CPC). He has been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) since 1986. Bobby is a regular presenter at educational conferences throughout the U.S.

Dr. Branson Isley
Senior Vice President

Over the past 20 years, Branson has worked in stewardship development with churches across the United States. He is a gifted stewardship strategist, consultant, teacher and preacher. He has experience in denominational and institutional areas including campus ministry and seminary administration. He is frequently asked to serve as a conference leader or preacher. Prior to joining Cargill Associates, Branson spent 25 years as minister in churches in South Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana and Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, and Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

Tom Stogsdill
Vice President

Tom Stogsdill has over 35 years of professional institutional fundraising experience. Prior to joining Cargill Associates, Tom served at the University of South Dakota Foundation, as Executive Director of Development for Mississippi State University, as Vice President and Campaign Director for Elon University in North Carolina, and as Vice President for Development at Wingate College also in North Carolina. Tom directed the University of South Dakota’s first comprehensive campaign, which had a $60 million goal but boasted a $134 million total. After one year, he was named Vice President for Development, leading all fundraising and development support programs for the Foundation. As a senior consultant for Church Stewardship Ministries and with Cargill Associates, he has directed more than 65 capital campaigns. Tom is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Tom Stogsdill holds a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist University. He earned a master’s degree in music and a master’s degree in religious education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and pursued his doctoral study at the University of Southern California.


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Dr. Charles Florio | President Emeritus, Northeast Texas Community College, Mount Pleasant, Texas

“Cargill Associates provided us with critical information based on their knowledge and expertise in fundraising which put our College on the path of excellence in the area of Institutional Advancement. The beneficiaries – our students, employees and community – will be ever grateful to the Cargill professionals for the leadership they provided.”

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Dr. Ben Elrod | Chancellor, Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas

“If you want to raise money, hire Cargill.”

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Rev. Ann Hultquist | Pastor, Cross of Christ Lutheran Church, Broomfield, Colorado

“Cargill Associates was a great blessing as a partner for our capital campaign! Everything our consultant provided for us was professional and also spiritually based. Our congregation grew in faith and also raised the funds we needed to complete a $1 million dollar building addition.”

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Frank Holmes | Vice President for University Advancement, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas

“Cargill Associates provided valuable assistance for the first campaign in our university’s history, which secured more than $61 million for a $50 million goal. Counsel was with us every step of the way. In addition to funding critical priorities, that campaign positioned Sam Houston to attain even greater fundraising success. Cargill gave us the confidence and support to make it happen.”

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Brent Baker | Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Weatherford College, Weatherford, Texas

“The depth and scope of Cargill’s Survey afforded us a realistic view of the interest, understanding, awareness and financial commitment of our potential leaders and community. It gave us a clear view of the perceptions, misperceptions and obstacles that we would face in our campaign so that we might prepare to address them with our meetings and mailings. From the information garnered through the Pre-Campaign Survey, Cargill tailored a comprehensive “friend” raising and fundraising campaign to meet the unique personality of our college and community. We surpassed campaign goals that quadrupled the largest campaign in the school’s history. I truly believe the “friend” raising was as beneficial as the fundraising. Our partnership with Cargill was key in the campaign’s success. When the time comes to do this again, we will call Cargill Associates.”

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Dr. Andrew Westmoreland | former President, Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas

“I can easily and willingly vouch for the effectiveness of Cargill. They actually listen to their clients, shaping the Cargill program to fit individual needs. I’ve never known anyone with Cargill to betray a confidence, which is an important consideration for all of us who are directly engaged with cultivating and soliciting donors. In addition, they don’t allow their attention to drift to everything in a development office except fundraising.”

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Dr. Will Smallwood | Vice President for University Advancement, Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Oklahoma

“In 2011, Oklahoma Baptist University launched a five-year, $42 million, Vision for a New Century Capital Campaign - its largest in history - to significantly impact every area of the University. Across the board administrative changes and more than a decade since the last campaign demanded a strategic and focused effort. From the feasibility study, to case stating, to development training, Cargill Associates' campaign consulting positioned us for success and enabled us to surpass the campaign goal with more than a year to spare. Without a doubt, Cargill's partnership mattered.”

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Dr. Bob R. Agee | former President, Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Oklahoma

“Oklahoma Baptist University has benefited significantly from our relationship with Cargill Associates. The Cargill approach works.”

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Dr. Michael C. Blackwell | President/C.E.O., Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina

“It's been our great joy to work closely with Cargill Associates on three major Capital Campaigns. All three - Give a Child a Chance, Light Their Way, and Sharing Hope...Changing Lives - far exceeded their goals. Paul Blevins, our consultant on all three campaigns, is illustrative of the top-notch staff at Cargill. Cargill communicates frequently, coaches both staff members and volunteers, and strives with great success to understand the mission and culture of any organization they serve. If we ever do a fourth Capital Campaign, it goes without saying that we will once again turn to Cargill Associates.”

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Wini Klein | President of the Congregation, First Christian Church, Fort Worth, Texas

"We at First Christian Church have just completed our main portion of the Capital Campaign which was ably assisted by Cargill Associates. Our consultant made the experience an exciting and rewarding one. He led us every step of the way to success, making all of us feel good about our efforts, our church, our stewardship and our faith. We had set our goal at $600,000 and are at $800,000 with more still coming in. Our congregation is now energized in many ways above and beyond just repairing our 100-year old building.”

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Jeff Cathey | Divisional Director of Development, The Salvation Army Texas Division

“I have worked closely with Cargill Associates on a couple of recent projects. They have a strategic focus, work with extreme integrity, and have successfully accomplished the goals of each project with high professionalism. You know what you are getting when you work with the Cargill team.”

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Dr. Michael L. Hanes | former President, Georgia Southwestern State University, Americus, Georiga

“The staff at Cargill Associates provided valuable guidance during critical periods of planning and implementing our institution's major campaign. Much of the great success of our campaign can be attributed to the solid foundation that Cargill Associates helped us establish early on in the campaign.”

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J.C. Mauldin | former Stewardship Committee Leader, Hillside United Methodist Church, Woodstock, Georgia

"Cargill did a terrific job for Hillside and I was proud of our partnership with them."

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Jim Alexander | Senior Pastor, Cheyenne Mountain Presbyterian Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado

"Ministry has been in full swing since we rejoiced over moving into our new building and community. Attendance is up over 40% in three months and giving is starting to reflect the fact that new members are catching the vision. We received over 112% of our pledge during our Cargill-led campaign, and we've received over another $15,000 in the six months since our campaign ended."

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Lori Christiansen | Executive Director, Lutheran Association for Special Education, St. Louis, Missouri

“Cargill Associates provided the professional expertise our organization needed to launch our first major gifts campaign. We have found their team to be personable, competent, organized and knowledgeable in guiding us through the campaign process. The Cargill staff were prompt in responding to our questions, easily accessible, and genuinely interested in our mission and ministry to children with special learning needs. I am pleased that we chose Cargill for professional counsel in our fundraising efforts.”

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Dr. Lanny Hall | former President, Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, Texas

“Cargill Associates has been a partner with Hardin-Simmons University in the planning and implementation of several capital campaigns. During these campaigns millions of dollars have been raised, buildings constructed, main campus renovations completed, endowments grown and scholarships established that may not otherwise have been possible. I am pleased to recommend Cargill Associates for your consideration.”

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Mark Deffenbacher | Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Fresno Pacific University, Fresno, California

“We were facing tough economic times and had an overcommitted staff. Cargill Associates provided valuable counsel in utilizing volunteers, in broadening our donor base, and in launching the most ambitious campaign in our 64 year history. With increased confidence and skills, our advancement team is now positioned to create significant growth into the future. Cargill Associates delivers accountability, advice, structure, experience, and team work.”

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Vicki Pugh | Vice President for Development, Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Florida

“By working with Cargill Associates, we were able to successfully run an $18 million campaign from start to finish. Our Trustees valued the structure and strategy that our consultants brought to the process. Thorough pre-campaign interviews, goal setting and timeline review, Cargill Associates helped us develop the confidence that we needed to start our campaign strong and surpass our goal. Our consultants were with us every step of the way. Calls, visits and reports kept us on plan, even during the most hectic times in our academic calendar. We are truly blessed to have Cargill Associates as our campaign partners.”

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Rebecca Pennington, Ph.D., CFRE | Vice President of Development, National Multiple Sclerosis Society

“During my 22-year career in higher education Development, I have worked as Campaign Director with Cargill Associates on three separate capital campaigns at three different institutions; Nunez Community College, Southeastern Louisiana University, and Nicholls State University. From the pre-campaign survey to the recruitment of leadership volunteers and the implantation of each campaign, Cargill provided the needed support and guidance that insured success. All three institutions exceeded the challenge goals established for their respective campaigns. I highly recommend Cargill and its team of professionals to any institution considering a capital campaign. It will be a decision and investment that you won’t regret!”

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