Gretchen Upholt

Managing Director
Phone: 212-931-9182

As a Managing Director for the Midwest office at BDO FMA, Gretchen is responsible for the business development and growth strategy of the Midwest region. In addition to her focus on business development Gretchen splits her time between playing an active role as trainer, coach, and curriculum developer for BDO FMA’s cohort training initiatives and as consultant to nonprofit clients across the country, helping nonprofit leaders improve their financial management skills and processes. An experienced staff and program manager, Gretchen has expertise in training, capacity building, research, and program and volunteer management.

Before joining the BDO FMA team, Gretchen served as the head of the Volunteer Department at the Thabyay Education Network in Thailand. In that role, Gretchen developed a strategic plan to improve monitoring and evaluation and program management in her department. She also served on the leadership team for the organization, where she reviewed and approved budgets for the organization’s 22 programs and worked on a plan to restructure the organization’s finance and operations staffing and systems.

Gretchen’s widely diverse nonprofit experience includes working on the corporate citizenship team at the TCC Group, designing and implementing a pilot research study on nonprofit talent costs for the Talent Philanthropy Project, as a project manager with the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, and as Chorus Manager for The Choral Arts Society of Washington. She also served as a Community Development Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine, where she designed project frameworks, wrote grants, and led a committee tasked with making funding decisions for USAID-funded grants.

Gretchen holds a Master of Public Administration in Public and Nonprofit Management from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, where she was a Head Teaching Colleague for the core finance and management classes. After graduation, Gretchen continued her relationship with Wagner as an Adjunct Professor and Teaching Colleague, teaching classes on a variety of topics, including Excel, budgeting, indirect costing, and financial statement creation and analysis.

She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Arts and Cultural Management from American University in Washington, DC and remains active in the arts community including serving as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts’ ArtsWork grants program and has presented at various conferences. She maintains her love of music as a singer with Allegrezza Singers, a Chicago-based SATB choir.

A frequent presenter and trainer, both locally and nationally, Gretchen has presented for organizations as varied as the Alliance for Nonprofit Management, Chorus America, Forefront, and the Axelson Center at North Park University. She is honored to serve as the incoming Treasurer for the National Peace Corps Association.