Gail L.Freeman

Founder & President

Gail L. Freeman is Founder and President of Freeman Philanthropic Services, LLC (FPS), a national leader in executive recruitment for the not-for-profit sector, specializing in recruiting leaders for higher education institutions, hospitals, academic medical centers, social service, cultural, performing arts, and advocacy organizations.


Ms. Freeman brings more than twenty-five years of experience as a not-for-profit executive, development professional, executive recruiter, and consultant. Her broad experience and multi-faceted knowledge base bring a complete perspective to FPS’ numerous and diverse clients.


Throughout her career, Ms. Freeman has worked in a variety of capacities in the not-for-profit sector: Prior to founding FPS, Ms. Freeman served as Vice President and Director for a national retained executive search firm, where she led the Institutional Advancement practice. Previously, Ms. Freeman served as the CEO of the Irvington Institute for Immunological Research, a private funder of basic research in immunology; in this role, she managed all aspects of Irvington’s prestigious postdoctoral fellowship program, including the expansion and diversification of funding. As a fundraising professional, Ms. Freeman worked in a variety of roles including: President of a division of the international fundraising firm Brakeley, John Price Jones, Inc.; Director of Development of the private preparatory school, Birch Wathen, in Manhattan; Corporate Campaign Director for the Combined Health Agencies Drive, which serves fifteen national health agencies in San Diego; and Assistant Capital Campaign Director for the YWCA of San Diego.


At FPS, Ms. Freeman has recruited exceptional leaders throughout the not-for-profit sector. She has successfully completed over 600 executive searches, working with renowned not-for-profit organizations and institutions like Harvard University, Harlem Children’s Zone, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Trust for the National Mall, A Better Chance, Weill Cornell Medicine, Hospital for Special Surgery, National Urban League, City University of New York, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. In partnership with her clients, Ms. Freeman has recruited leaders in development, finance, education, arts and culture, marketing, and Presidents/Executive Directors/Chief Executive Officers.


Ms. Freeman is active in her roles as the Chair Emeritus of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University (the leading academic center dedicated to increasing and improving the practice of philanthropy in the sector) and as a founding member of the Board of Visitors for the School of Philanthropy at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (the first school in the world dedicated to improving philanthropy by training and empowering students and practitioners to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change in the world). She has also served as a board member for The New School’s Milano Graduate School and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Foundation for Philanthropy International, and a member of American Humanics’ Nonprofit Sector Workforce Coalition. She has also served on the board of the Greater New York AFP Chapter and was the co chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. She works closely with the Independent Sector’s NGen program, which aims to expand and improve the not-for-profit talent pool by developing the skills and networks of emerging leaders under 40. Moreover, Ms. Freeman has taken on diverse challenges, including serving as a member of the National Steering Committee for Research America. Ms. Freeman was the recipient of the New York AFP Chapter Philanthropist of the Year award in 2000 and received the AFP Founders’ Medallion – the highest award the association gives for service – at the 2010 AFP International Conference in Baltimore.

At the request of People to People International, an organization founded by Dwight D. Eisenhower and AFP, Ms. Freeman was invited to join delegations of not-for-profit executives to meet with Chinese and Russian health, cultural, educational, social service and religious leaders. These delegations led exchanges on building philanthropic support for programs that respond to local needs, an issue of singular importance in the rapidly changing Chinese and Russian economies and societies.


Ms. Freeman frequently speaks, writes, and consults within the not-for-profit sector. She has published numerous articles for leading not-for-profit organizations and co-authored “How to Increase Your Annual Fund” (Fund-Raising Management). As a featured speaker at AFP, AAMC, AHP, Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and the Association of Governing Boards, Ms. Freeman lectures on a myriad of topics ranging from the state of philanthropy and career development to strategic planning. In addition, she has worked with and trained top-level volunteers and staff in fundraising. Ms. Freeman graduated with honors from the Master’s Program in Not-for-Profit Management at The New School.