About us


Search for Good comes to you with years of experience in achieving mission goals through great leadership, strategic stewardship, and unparalleled passion.

Katherine Defoyd

Katherine DeFoyd


Katherine has helped nonprofits build capacity for 25+ years. In 2004, Katherine founded Growth for Good, a nonprofit consulting firm focused on helping organizations build teams and implement processes for improving fundraising, communications, and programmatic outcomes. Search for Good grew out of the clear need to help identify the talent necessary to carry out the work – the boots on the ground.

She has been involved with every aspect of nonprofit management and fundraising with a special expertise in fundraising planning, strategic planning, communications, board development, staff coaching, special events, fundraising events, government relations, and public competitive grant sources.

Before founding Growth for Good, Katherine was the development director for The Armory Foundation, MOUSE Inc., New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and The Bertelsmann Foundation. She began her career in the Mayor’s Office for Business Development under Mayor Koch, and helped found the Mayor’s Office for Public Private Partnerships under Mayor Dinkins. She directed Constituency Affairs for Borough President Ruth Messinger.

Katherine has a B.A. in Economics from San Francisco State University and an M.P.A. with honors from the New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She is a member of American Fundraising Professionals, CFRE (certified fundraising executive. Katherine is also the author of four cookbooks. In 1998 she received the James Beard Award for best cookbook in the US for Entertaining 101, Doubleday. She lives and works in Maplewood, New Jersey .

Lorraine Leong

Lorraine Leong, a lifelong social justice activist, Lorraine Leong has spent more than 25 years in the nonprofit and public sectors. An outstanding management and operations team member, Lorraine is integral to Growth for Good’s communications, events, and executive search-related projects. Her professional background includes housing, health care, senior citizens, and Asian American Affairs.

She has helped identify and hire hundreds of professionals over her career.  She has also managed hundreds of special events including fundraisers, conferences, workshops, round tables, and press conferences. She has directed many social media and marketing campaigns. She has led grassroots campaigns and been central to citywide campaigns. She has had senior roles with Borough Presidents Ruth Messinger and C. Virginia Fields as well as with the Mayor’s Office of Public Private Partnerships under Mayor David N. Dinkins.

She worked for a decade with the William F. Ryan Health Network. Deeply connected to the Chinese and Korean business communities, Lorraine began her career as a housing advocate for the Asian American community in New York’s Chinatown. She is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese. She attended Sarah Lawrence and SUNY and holds a BA in Film History.

Denise Nelson

Denise brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the nonprofit philanthropic sector, spanning nearly three decades. A seasoned C-suite nonprofit professional, she has engaged in all aspects of strategic planning and development—including execution of $100M+ capital campaigns, events, private and public grants, board development, corporate giving, and major gifts. Her leadership in facilitating multimillion dollar donor collaboratives and executing large-scale fundraising campaigns underscores her proficiency in strategic planning and donor engagement. The success of initiatives such as the $24M annual donor collaborative to support Black entrepreneurs in California and the significant expansion of early childhood education centers in New York City highlights her commitment to advancing social change and addressing systemic challenges. At Search for Good, Denise brings her deep well of fundraising knowledge with a focus on strategic planning using the Appreciative Inquiry framework, retreat and workshop development, and business and fundraising planning.

Denise’s involvement with blue chip organizations like Habitat for Humanity, United Way of NYC, Accion Opportunity Fund, and FPWA reflects her wide-ranging experience. Her focus on facilitating community engagement and amplifying voices underscores her belief in inclusive and participatory approaches to social impact.

Currently serving as a Board Director at ProLiteracy, Denise continues to assist organizations striving for positive growth. With roots in both the East and West Coasts, she brings a diverse perspective to her work. She values her time spent in Los Angeles, where she enjoys the beach with her furry companion, Waffles.

As a PoliSci major from Rutgers University, completion of the Harvard University Business School Social Enterprise Program and her past role as Director of the Association of Fundraising Professionals of the New York Chapter demonstrate her dedication to collaboration within the nonprofit sector and supporting organizational redesign.