Brakeley Briscoe

Committed to customized counseling...


Charles Sumner Ward, the father of organized fundraising in this country, was the first to develop the "YMCA" approach. After its initial success it was adopted by others and the blueprint for short-term, organized fundraising was established. World War I brought new landmarks in American philanthropy, and after the 1918 Armistice, peace was followed by an avalanche of appeals for capital projects, and fundraising firms multiplied.

In 1917 George A. Brakeley Sr. started his career at the Jersey City Journal, later becoming managing editor of the New York Sun. There he developed a close friendship with a young Sun reporter, John Price Jones, who left to engage in fundraising and Liberty Loan work during World War I.

When a young alumni secretary named Robert F. Duncan launched a $10 million campaign an Harvard, John Price Jones directed the campaign. Harvard ultimately raised $15 million and large-scale university fundraising had begun.

Shortly after, George A. Brakeley Sr., Harold Seymour and Chester Tucker joined with Jones and Duncan to form the John Price Jones Corporation. Almost from the start, John Price Jones specialized in large campaigns. JPJC insisted (as we do today) on a custom job for each client.

George A. Brakeley Sr. was executive vice president and remained until 1928, directing many fundraising programs for major universities along the way. In 1927 he spearheaded a successful multi-million campaign for the University of Pennsylvania. He left the firm to become the University's administrative vice president and then vice president for medical affairs. In 1939 he was appointed vice president and treasurer of Princeton University where he played a key role in originating the annual alumni-giving program.

George A. Brakeley Jr. was born in 1916. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1937 he served as a trainee in regional offices of JPJC. During World War II George A. Brakeley Jr. joined the Seventh Regiment of the New York National Guard and rose to the rank of captain in the Corps of Engineers. He was twice decorated for work with the 52nd Chinese Army.

After the war JPJC appointed George A. Brakeley Jr. director for the American Cancer Society's first NY appeal. For three years he alternated between this assignment and one for the Salvation Army. In 1948 he directed a $9 million program for McGill University in Montreal. In 1949 he was assigned to the Harvard School of Public Health as assistant dean. He continued as vice president and director of JPJC and was also vice president and director of the Jones Brakeley advertising agency.

In 1950 George A. Brakeley Jr. formed a joint Canadian subsidiary, and bought JPJ's interest in Canada. Other G.A. Brakeley companies were formed in the U.S. between 1955 and 1958. G.A. Company acquired John Price Jones in 1971.

The new firm—Brakeley, John Price Jones—became one of the largest professional consulting firms in the country, and in 1983 Henry E. Bessire, George A. Brakeley III and Charles E. Lawson purchased controlling interest in the firm. In 1995 Irwin Brod, John G. Kelly and Barry T. O'Hare joined the management and ownership team and George Brakeley III became president.

Marianne Briscoe (in California) and Joanne Hayes (in New York) founded Hayes Briscoe Associates in 1994. Joanne left the company and in 2001 The Briscoe Group opened offices in Southern California, Washington, D.C., and New York.

In 2003 The Briscoe Group and Brakeley Inc. merged to become Brakeley Briscoe, which at the time was one of two wholly owned subsidiaries of the holding company Brakeley, John Price Jones. The leaders of Brakeley, John Price Jones; Brakeley Ltd.; and Brakeley Briscoe eliminated Brakeley, John Price Jones as a holding company in 2006 and developed an inter-company cooperation agreement between Brakeley Ltd. and Brakeley Briscoe.

Today Brakeley Briscoe has emerged as more than just another fundraising consulting firm. A team of senior executives applies a practical approach to each client's needs. We are distinguished by a tradition of caring, sound reasoning, creativity and range of experience.