Our History

Armstrong McGuire was launched in 2004 by our founders Bert Armstrong and Tom McGuire. Originally named Philanthropic Advisory Group, the firm began operations with a focus on preparing clients for the rigors of major capital campaigns. We listened to the aspirations of nonprofit leaders and studied their alignment with their organization’s mission, vision, goals, and fundraising activities. We analyzed the critical components of organizational readiness necessary to manage a campaign and to sustain the related expansion in programs, operations, facilities, and community expectations. We listened to inquisitive donors to understand their level of interest in campaign priorities and we assessed the likelihood they would invest at necessary levels to ensure campaign success.

The more we learned, the more we grew in our appreciation for holistically addressing an organization's leadership development, organizational planning, and resource development efforts. These remain the pillars of our work today as we help clients recruit great professionals, train and equip board members and staff, facilitate planning efforts, build strong donor relationship strategies, and craft effective fundraising campaigns.

Tom McGuire in September 2018Tom retired from the firm in 2014 but his interest in, and influence on, our work and our community never diminished as he continued to graciously share is intellect, creativity, and generous heart. Tom died suddenly on September 4, 2018, while on a much-anticipated pilgrimage to hike the Camino de Santiago (El Camino) Trail in Spain. He is greatly missed but his influence on our values and our work remains with us.

In 2019, we celebrated the firm's 15th anniversary of serving North Carolina’s nonprofit community. (See excerpts from Bert Armstrong's public comments at our 15th anniversary celebration event on April 11, 2019.) Moving forward, we remain steadfast in helping nonprofits do great things by strengthening their human and financial capacity, encouraging and celebrating philanthropic investments big and small, and fostering a vibrant, diverse, equitable nonprofit sector.