Winkler Group Expands; Opens Bluffton Office

Charleston — As the Winkler Group celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, two veteran fundraisers, Richard Guarino and Meghan Burgess, join the team. Together, they have raised more than $300 million leading capital campaigns and advancement offices for universities and nonprofit organizations.

“The Winkler Group’s commitment to our clients is exemplified by the addition of Rick and Meghan. They understand what it means to inspire philanthropy,” says Tim Winkler, founder and CEO. Mr. Guarino will lead the Winkler Group’s new Bluffton office while Ms. Burgess will be based at the firm’s Charleston headquarters.


Rick Guarino is a seasoned professional with more than 18 years of fundraising experience. Prior to joining the Winkler Group, Mr. Guarino was part of the leadership team that successfully completed a $3 billion campaign for the City University of New York. He organized the institution’s first comprehensive giving day, which raised $2.75 million from a team of 24 affiliate organizations.

Mr. Guarino served as Director of Annual Giving for SUNY Stony Brook, increasing annual revenue from $400,000 to $1.5 million by successfully launching the President’s Circle giving society, implementing a faculty/staff campaign that generated $900,000 annually from 1,200 participants, and securing a $1 million match for new annual donors. Mr. Guarino was part of the planning and execution team for the $300 million Emergence of Stony Brook campaign which, at the time, was the largest successful campaign for a SUNY school.

Mr. Guarino has presented at multiple AFP conferences, delivering best practices and trend observations in academic fundraising. Mr. Guarino earned his B.A. in Business from Hofstra University and an M.B.A. from Dowling College.


Meghan Burgess is an accomplished development executive. She previously served as the Vice President of Development for the Atlanta Police Foundation where she led a team to exceed a $43 million capital campaign goal. Under her leadership, she doubled the number of six- and seven-figure gifts and secured the largest foundation and corporate gifts to date.

As the Director of Development for the American Heart Association, Ms. Burgess increased annual giving 275% by implementing the organization’s first individual giving campaign. Her engagement with corporations and individuals led to significant recurring gifts.

Ms. Burgess is a graduate of the College of Charleston where she earned her B.A. in Arts Management. She is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

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