Welcome, James Phelps!

The MNW Board is delighted to introduce James Phelps, Interim ED at Montessori Northwest. With nearly three decades of work with a variety of nonprofit organizations, James brings a wealth of experience to MNW. During his time with us James will help to organize and launch a search for future leadership at MNW. He will apply his development and fundraising knowledge to support MNW in the creation of a long-term development and marketing plan. We will also utilize his expertise and begin another strategic planning process. Montessori Northwest is poised to take full advantage of every opportunity transition offers.  James has already jumped in with both feet!


james Phelps

Interim Executive dirctor


Email James

> Joined MNW in 2017

What I do at MNW
I am a consultant serving as the Interim Executive Director to help MNW through the current transition and to help find a permanent Executive Director who can lead the organization into the future.

What I like about MNW
This is the third Montessori client with which I have worked. I like with people who model grace and courtesy. We could use a lot more of that in the world.

A hobby
I collect antiquarian books. I have a library with more than a 1,000 volumes. My first serious purchase was the Patchwork Girl of Oz when I was 17. I completed my collection of the Oz series in 2008 when I purchased the 41st title in the Oz canon.

Cats or dogs
Definitely dogs. American Eskimos are my breed. My husband and I currently live in a house owned by three of them.

A surprising skill
I’ve studied five languages: Italian, German, French, Spanish and ASL.

I volunteer at
I'm devoted to the idea of nonprofits and fundraising. I have been a volunteer with the Association of Fundraising Professionals since 1999 serving on both the International Board and the local chapter boards and numerous committees at both levels.

TV favorite
My favorite television show of all times was Babylon 5 which was not watched by many. I’m always thrilled to find another fan.


James K. Phelps, J.D., ACFRE is a graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Oregon School of Law. He began his professional development career in 1990. He worked as the Executive Director of Lane County AIDS Hospice Services and Salem Outreach Shelter. He also served as the Library Development Officer at Fort Vancouver Regional Library District, Major & Planned Giving Manager at Planned Parenthood of the Columbia-Willamette and Development Director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon. Phelps started his own development consultant business, JKP Fundraising, LLC, in 2011. He is also an Associate with the Nonprofit Association of Oregon in their Executive Transition Services program.

Phelps is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). He is a past member of the AFP Board of Directors and is a Past President of the Oregon and Southwest Washington Chapter of AFP. He has served on AFP’s Diversity Committee since 1999. He is President of the Board of Directors of the Nonprofit Network Southwest Washington. Phelps acquired his Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) credentials in 2002, recertifying in 2005, 2008 and 2011. He completed the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) in 2011 becoming the 93rd person to complete the profession’s highest certification.