Melissa von Stade

Consulting Partner

Melissa joined Marts&Lundy in 2022, bringing more than 40 years of extensive experience helping to advance nonprofits through the design of effective fundraising strategies and strategic planning. Most recently, Melissa served as Director of Development of The Pennington School in Pennington, New Jersey, and she currently oversees an independent consulting practice that works with numerous independent schools in the mid-Atlantic region.

Prior to working at The Pennington School, Melissa served as the Assistant Head for Development at The Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey for five years. While there, she helped prepare the school for a $100M campaign. Her efforts included rapidly building annual fund receipts, recruiting and managing a talented advancement team that grew from 13 to 18, and dramatically increasing alumni engagement.

Before moving to Peddie, Melissa worked at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) for 10 years as the Chief Advancement Officer for two areas of the University: Assistant Dean for Advancement, Alumni Affairs and Communications at the School of Veterinary Medicine, and Director of Development for the Morris Arboretum. In both roles, she was responsible for building and managing an effective advancement team and for significant growth in prospect engagement and campaign receipts. As a senior member of Penn’s advancement team, Melissa worked to prepare for and meet the campaign goals for both the Morris Arboretum ($60M goal) and Penn Vet ($125M goal) as part of Penn’s $3.5B campaign.


Princeton, New Jersey


  • Denison University, B.A.

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