Who We Are

Trish Tolbert, senior development strategist, national embed program team

Trish TolbertPatricia (Trish) Tolbert was “that kid who brought home all the stray and injured animals,” so it’s not surprising that her professional and personal life has been focused on furry and feathered friends.  Trish has served as the executive director of the Memphis Zoological Society, associate director of The Nature Conservancy’s Philanthropy Learning Center, and coach/consultant/trainer to client organizations as varied as the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, World Wildlife, Catholic Charities, Special Olympics International, the University of Massachusetts and (Australian) Trust for Nature.   

While most of her career has been spent raising funds (or helping others learn to fundraise), Trish has also served on the grantmaking side of the desk and led discussion groups, training task forces and mentoring initiatives across state and international borders.  She joined the national shelter outreach team in 2018, participating in shelter assessments, training academies and national conferences. She is now part of the national embed program team, assisting embed partner organizations with fundraising and creating learning resources for both nonprofits and municipal shelters. 

Trish earned her master’s from the University of Manchester in Manchester, UK, and her bachelor’s at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN, where she graduated as co-valedictorian.  She holds certificates in nonprofit management and documentary arts from Duke University affiliates and lives near Chapel Hill, NC, with her zoo vet tech husband and multiple community cats.