Katharine DeShaw


Katharine DeShaw is a consultant and teacher devoted to best practices in philanthropy and nonprofit management. Ms. DeShaw has led successful grant- making programs and delivered record-breaking fundraising campaigns for arts, health, and social service-related causes throughout her career. She has proven expertise working with international leadership from the fields of philanthropy, technology, business, politics, and entertainment. She has experience in all areas of nonprofit philanthropy, including crowdfunding. She is currently writing a book about her life in philanthropy to be published by the web platform NationBuilder in 2015.

Current/recent clients: The Actors Gang (founded by Tim Robbins); The Actors Fund; Advertising Research Foundation; AltaSea; American Song (a radio play series featuring Sigourney Weaver, Frances McDormand, David Hyde Pierce, among others); Arts for LA; CicLAvia; Fractured Atlas; the Getty Leadership Institute; Headlands; Heal the Bay, Kravis Leadership Institute; Moss Family Foundation; Los Angeles Arts Center (a partnership of The Actors Fund, Artspace and L.A.’s Department of Cultural Affairs); L..A. Dance Project (founded by choreographer Benjamin Millepied); Museum of Latin American Art; Susan and Leonard Nimoy Foundation; Shakespeare Central; Street Poets; and the Youth Policy Institute, which recently secured a Promise Zone designation from President Obama, a potential $500M investment in L.A.’s poorest neighborhoods.

From 2005–2013, she served as the Founder and Executive Director of United States Artists (USA) and its crowdfunding site USA Projects (now HatchFund). She has held senior positions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Walker Art Center, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, and Twyla Tharp Dance.

Zack Avshalomov
Director, Product Management


Zack is passionate about building impactful products that leverage technology for social good, and has done so for over a decade. Most recently, he led a cross-functional team to deliver end-to-end development of the LRNG platform – seeded with $25M from the MacArthur Foundation to transform how youth access learning and connect to career pathways. 

Equipped with expertise in consumer web, social enterprise, and platform strategy, he has worked with digital consulting firms Integral Interaction and Quor Studio to help organizations including Participant Media, American Express, Intel, Disney, Maker Media, Hewlett, and PG&E to create more compelling products, programs, and services. Prior, he played a pivotal role in the creation and development of USA Projects (now HatchFund), an innovative crowdfunding platform for America’s finest artists, resulting in over $12M raised to date.

He serves as an active board member for Music-COMP, as well as an advisor to COVO, Shakespeare Central, and the Artists Rights Coalition. Zack is also a fourth generation professional musician from a long line of classical composer / conductors, and has been involved in music and the arts his entire life. He received his Bachelor's degree in Jazz and Environmental Studies from Ithaca College in New York and currently lives in California where he actively performs and records.

Kira Shewfelt
Director, Client Services

Kira Shewfelt joins Philanthropology with a wealth of experience in social media driven fundraising. As part of the start-up team for USA Projects (now Hatchfund), she worked with over four hundred artists in building and executing individuated online campaigns.

She holds a B.A. in Literature from Yale University, an M.A. in Art History from USC, and M.F.A. in Studio Art from New York University. Through her academic career, she has worked with galleries, institutions, and alternative art spaces across the country. She has also spoken widely on the subject of new media tactics in development, including at events sponsored by the Center for Cultural Innovation, The Museum of Fine Art Houston, and Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. As a creative with rounded analytical experience in the arts, Ms. Shewfelt brings dynamic and aesthetically driven solutions to her development strategies.

Monica Heath
Director, Prospect Research


Monica is a fundraiser specializing in Advancement Services, Donor Relations and Prospect Management with over 25 years of experience in nonprofit management. Current and recent clients include the City of Los Angeles-Office of the Mayor, Palomar Health Foundation, and Harvey Mudd College. Previously she spent 10 years in advancement services leadership roles at the Marshall School of Business and the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California developing best-practice donor databases, establishing prospect management and stewardship programs, and managing large-scale university conferences and fundraising events.

Preceding her fundraising career, Monica spent a decade as the Executive Director of the AIGA-LA, the professional association for design and the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles. In partnership with volunteer boards, she developed educational programs, established fundraising and sponsorship events, doubled membership, mentored artists, and produced major exhibitions and catalogues. She holds a Bachelor of Art in Fine Arts from California State University Northridge, and a Master’s degree from University of Southern California.

Laura Ferretti
Strategic Counsel


Laura Ferretti’s Impact Philanthropy builds more effective nonprofit organizations through strategic planning, fundraising advising, and executive search services as well as by providing grantmaking counsel to family foundations. Founded in 2000, Impact Philanthropy has partnered with local, national, and international organizations with an approach that is results- oriented making clear the connection between mission and money, and the respective roles that staff and Board members play in building resilient organizations.

Laura Ferretti’s community philanthropy experience brings together strategy and impact. A cum laude graduate of Smith College, Laura also holds an MBA from The Anderson School at UCLA and began her career working for a Washington D.C.-based Presidential Commission and national foundation. Laura went on to hold senior fundraising positions at the Fulfillment Fund and United Way of Greater Los Angeles, both nationally known organizations undergoing significant change during her tenure. She has firsthand knowledge of building diversified revenue streams, growing individual giving, and engaging Board members and staff in fundraising to achieve organizational goals.

Laura is also the President of the Los Angeles Chapter of Advisors in Philanthropy (LA-AiP), and has made feature presentations on capacity building issues at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, USC’s Marshall and Public Policy Schools, Community Partners, and the William Morris Endeavor Foundation.