Stephen C. Ragan
Dr. John S. Lore Award for Outstanding Fundraising Executive
Nominated by ASG Renaissance, Oakland University, SAY Detroit, and Rose Hill Center
Stephen C. Ragan is one of Southeast Michigan’s most experienced nonprofit executives, having led and consulted for many of the region’s most impactful organizations, as well as those operating at the national level.
Ragan most recently served as Executive Vice President for Hope Network. Previously, he was the Senior Vice President of Development & External Relations for Southwest Solutions, a position he held from 2015 to 2019. Ragan joined Southwest Solutions from Focus: HOPE, where he led the successful conclusion of their $100 million capital campaign. From 2009 to 2017 he served as Chief Development Officer and then senior advisor to Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation. He was the Vice President and later Senior V.P. for University Advancement at Lawrence Technological University, where he led their first capital campaign, and was V.P. for Development and Community Affairs at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra during the Great Recession.
Earlier in his career he directed Eastern Michigan University’s first comprehensive campaign. Ragan has served as a consultant and advisor to numerous local and national nonprofits in education, anti-poverty, and arts and culture sectors. While working with Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation, he organized the largest single night fundraiser to benefit Hurricane Katrina recovery, A Night to Make It Right, which raised more than $7 million. While at Lawrence Tech University, his team was recognized by CASE as one of the nation’s most improved university programs and by AFP with the first-ever AFP International Award for Innovation in Online Fundraising.
Ragan also served for as a publicly elected trustee and chairperson of Schoolcraft College, where he was the nation’s youngest college governing board chairman. He is a past president of the Association for Fundraising Professionals for Greater Detroit and also serves on the boards of the All Saints Literacy Center and Advantage Health. Steve dedicates significant time and effort to mentoring and supporting young fundraisers, reflecting his deep passion and respect for the profession.
He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and is a graduate of Harvard University’s Institute for Management and Leadership in Education.