Michelle Blackford, CFRE

Executive Director of Corporate, Foundation, and Principal Gifts

Michelle Blackford


As Executive Director of Corporate, Foundation and Principal Gifts, Michelle Blackford focuses primarily on fostering and strengthening relationships with public and private foundations, corporations, and individuals. Michelle is also responsible for leading Hiram College’s major gift program.

Michelle brings over 20 years of development experience to the Development and Alumni Relations Office. Prior to joining Hiram College, Michelle served as a Philanthropic Strategy Advisor for the Cleveland Foundation, helping organizations, corporations, and individuals fulfill their charitable goals. Prior to working with the Cleveland Foundation, Michelle served as the Assistant Director for the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at Messiah University in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, where she played a significant role in advancing the fundraising efforts of the school.

Michelle is a Certified Fund Raising Executive and a certified trainer in Family Philanthropy through 21/64. She earned her Graduate Certificate in Philanthropic Studies from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Eastern University in St. David’s, Pennsylvania.


  • B.A., Psychology, Eastern University