Notes from the Board: Shirley Ferguson Jenks
October 19, 2014 | by Shirley Ferguson Jenks, Board Member
Article from the Fall 2014 Newsletter
My interest in preservation predates my graduate schooling at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London where I earned an M.A. in art history, specializing in medieval architecture. When I returned to New York to live and work, it seemed only natural to combine an interest in historic architecture with a love of numbers to become the first director of development at the New York Landmarks Conservancy. Over time, I also worked in leadership fundraising roles at other organizations, including the American Craft Museum and the American Academy in Rome.
More than 20 years ago, I evolved my development expertise into a consulting practice and established my own firm, Jenks Group, LLC. Today the Jenks Group operates in New England, New York, and Bermuda, managing capital campaigns and other fundraising programs as well as strategic planning and executive searches for development positions. Clients include schools, museums, social services, and environmental and health organizations. And there is almost always an historic house or preservation project in the mix.
My initial experience of the Archive Project, like many of us, was the result of attending a Bard Birthday Breakfast Benefit. It was through these wonderful annual events that I was recruited to the Board of Directors in 2008 to help long-time colleagues Anthony C. Wood and Lisa Ackerman grow the organization. One of my key board member initiatives has been the founding and development of the Stewardship Society, a group for higher-level contributors that are treated to special archival tours throughout the City. For me, the Stewardship Society is an easy “ask” for contributions. The Archive Project is such a worthy cause, the people involved are truly wonderful, and the Stewardship Society events are terrifically interesting insiders’ views. You’ll find us quite a welcoming group—so please do join our growing ranks!