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Cherilyn Parsons

Cherilyn Parsons's picture


Cherilyn directs all fundraising for the Center for Investigative Reporting, including California Watch. She also helps develop CIR’s overall strategy and new projects. She has more than 20 years of experience in fund development, with an emphasis on large foundations and individual major donors. For the past 10 years, she has built a specialization in fundraising for nonprofit journalism and media organizations – combining her own experience as a writer with her passion for social justice and philanthropy. Cherilyn graduated magna cum laude from UCLA with a bachelor's degree in English and earned a master’s degree in professional writing from the University of Southern California. She taught in USC’s School of Business Administration for several years and worked with journalism, communication and health/medicine faculty on writing multimillion-dollar grant proposals. Her consulting company, Strategic Communications Inc., served nearly two dozen clients, from KCRW Public Radio to the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, a former U.S. secretary of state and the Nepal Youth Foundation. Along the way, she created a full-service development department for USC’s Independent Health Professions, then was recruited to become USC’s director of foundation relations, where she was part of USC’s $2 billion campaign in the 1990s. Her feature articles and photographs have been published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Online Journalism Review and other outlets. She is a regular book reviewer for www.truthdig.com and has traveled extensively. Her philosophy on fundraising is matchmaking – bringing together people with shared commitments and complementary resources to create great work.

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