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Melanie Ulle, Founder And CEO


Visionary and Founder of Philanthropy Expert, Melanie views development as a true vocation. Melanie previously worked as Senior Development Director at one of the largest foundations in the country. In her more than seventeen years of professional experience in development she has raised upwards of a hundred million dollars, impacting a broad range of organizations. Melanie has run major fundraising enterprises for political organizations and nonprofits as well as guided the philanthropic efforts for foundation, corporations, and families. 


Sharing her knowledge and giving back to the community have always been important aspects of Melanie’s life. She currently co-chairs the Curriculum Committee for a university-led leadership program, the Institute for Leadership in Development.  She serves on the Advisory Board for A Little Help and the Board of Directors for AXL Academy.

She has been featured on the Today Show and Fox News, and in the Associated Press, the Denver Post, the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, on Martha Stewart and dozens of other national and international news outlets. Melanie received her Bachelor of Arts in International Political Economy from Colorado College and has a nonprofit leadership certificate from Notre Dame.  Melanie works hard to support her community, her family, and to enjoy travel adventures with her husband and two daughters, Clementine and Marishka.



Erin Eidsness, VP Client Services


Erin brings a diverse international background to the company, but has since shifted her emphasis to local and state-wide issues. Since the start of her fundraising career, she has run numerous successful fundraising campaigns at the local level. Her professional experience includes working for the State Department at the United Nations, providing district office support for a U.S. Congressman, hands-on work with development organizations in Peru, and many years of service industry experience. 

Passionate about finding new ways to impact local and international nonprofits, Erin graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts in international affairs, with an emphasis in Latin American studies and international development. She has worked at Philanthropy Expert since its inception in January 2012.



Bill Bottoms, Board Chairman


Bill has more than 10 years of experience at the President and CEO levels of a group of Private, Post-Secondary Career Colleges. Under his leadership, the individual schools and the collective group experienced significant growth and profit. In addition to being appointed by the Governor of Colorado as Chairman of the State’s Private Occupational School Policy Advisory Board, Bill also filled leadership roles in National and State educational associations dedicated to the improvement of the career school industry.   ​

Throughout his career, Bill has worked closely with the School Board and Superintendent of Jefferson County on strategic and financial matters. For fifteen years, he worked at a top aviation and business innovation-consulting group as Executive Vice President & Principal serving in Project Management roles on projects targeting Operational, Strategic, Technical Support and Certification activities. ​

Bill received a Master of Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix and holds a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering degree from Georgia Tech.


Liz Mueller, Director of Client Services


In her role at Philanthropy Expert, Liz provides support to clients through event planning and implementation, research on corporate, foundation and individual prospects, and creation of strategic plans, in addition to other administrative and strategic input as requested.

Her previous professional experience includes major gift development work at one of the largest universities in Colorado. In her role as Assistant Director of Development, she strategized with faculty partners to plan and implement strategic fundraising goals and objectives for designated programs; managed a portfolio of major gift donors, which included gift cultivation, solicitation and stewardship; and facilitated productive relationships between constituent groups. In addition, her past experience includes successful event planning, board development and management, and strategic planning as a program assistant at a research institute for women’s health. Liz’s passion for people has allowed her to provide creative insight on how clients can have the greatest effect on their local communities.


​Joann Asakawa, Operations Coordinator


Jo is a passionate art-lover and has a Master of Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University.  She runs the internal functions of our operation for our clients and our team.  She is a world-traveling, Broncos-loving rock star.

About Us


We see the big picture when it comes to philanthropy, including all of philanthropy’s players—corporations, nonprofits, foundations, and families—and provide services tailored to each player’s specific needs and goals. Our insider perspective and holistic view of philanthropy ensures every philanthropic effort our clients engage in is purposeful, strategic, and rewarding. 


Our Team 


Philanthropy Expert offers a team of experts experienced in all facets of philanthropy. Our team’s experience and success across a myriad of industries enables us to leverage philanthropy in groundbreaking ways to maximize implementable, creative and lasting solutions.