Philanthropy Educators assists you through the process of creating your nonprofit/charitable organization.

"You will receive careful attention and consult throughout
the startup process of your passion project and beyond."

Jerry will spend the time needed to establish if you are certain that forming a charitable organization is right for you and if there is a definite need for the service and support that you will be providing to those that you intend on serving. Recreating the proverbial "wheel" is never the best idea when it comes to the nonprofit sector. It is important to understand this and how to best collaborate with other existing 501(c)(3) organizations.

Consult and guidance is also available to those who wish to make financial contributions to the philanthropic sector, but aren't sure what organiztion(s) they could and should support. It is important to clearly understand and establish what your passion is for making a difference; making sure that your time, money and effort are being directed to charitable organizations that operate on the highest principles of governance and compliance standards within the sector.

We are based out of Phoenix, Arizona, but can offer our services nationwide.





Miracles For Heroes

The work that the Miracles do for those who have served and still serve in our military is of the utmost importance to us. When we needed to setup our official nonprofit, Miracles For Heroes, we reached out to Jerry, as we were familiar with his knowledge and vast experience working within the nonprofit sector. He was professional, efficient and forthright with what it meant to form our charitible organization. He knew exactly what it took to commuunicate with the IRS and successfully expedite our application. I would highly recommend him if you are looking to start a nonprofit or need any type of guidance with your nonprofit.
Sydney Justin • Lead Vocalist
The Miracles
~ Mari Justin • Chair
Miracles For Heroes

Phoenix Philanthropists

I highly recommend Jerry Heikens as a nonprofit specialist and expert in his field! Jerry founded and successfully ran Phoenix Philanthropists, which still provides opportunites to volunteers in the Phoenix community and in turn provides talented and vetted volunteers to organizations in need of support. His experience starting and running a successful nonprofit, coupled with his expertise in setting up nonprofit organizations for other individuals makes him uniquely qualified in his field. Not only does Jerry assist in the crucial and precise startup of the organizations, he is also a valuable resource for these individuals regarding education, networking and community involvement.
Robin Wilson • Founding Vice-Chair
Phoenix Philanthropists



Jerry Heikens has a diverse and extensive 28 year background in the nonprofit sector. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Walden University with a BSBA focusing on Public Relations and has served on the Executive Board of Directors for Packages from Home as Vice President of Finance. Jerry has organized fundraisers and events for The Runestone Amphitheatre for the Performing Arts, the Chamber of Commerce, The Runestone Museum and The Listening Ear Crisis Center in his former community of Alexandria, MN. He exhibits an expertise in coordination of events including, logistics, volunteer staffing, sponsorship and fundraising strategies. Jerry specializes in nonprofit startup, governance and compliance, community relations and in developing Case Statements for Philanthropic Support. His experience in the sector has given him a deep insight as to
vetting out charitable organizations to establish whether they are a valid and sustainable cause in which to invest your individual or corporate philanthropic dollars.

Jerry is a former Human Resources Director for Northern Food & Dairy, where he was responsible for all community and public relations and acted as the liaison to the Rabbinical Koshering Organizations. As an Executive Assistant to the owner, prior to the above mentioned position, he was responsible for tracking daily profit & loss statements in relation to the monthly and annual budget.

He has most recently served as the Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator at Unity of Phoenix and then as the Sr. Director of Outreach & Development at First Church UCC in Phoenix.

As a former legislative aide, Jerry has a strong understanding of the legislative process. He is also a 1999 graduate of the Leadership Alexandria program, which was sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce in Alexandria, Minnesota.  

Giving forward to the community is a priority in Jerry's life.  He was the founder of the Phoenix Philanthropists, a tax-exempt organization that promotes philanthropic service, philanthropic scholarships, philanthropy literacy and philanthropic leadership throughout the greater Phoenix metro area. He grew this organization to over 2,000 volunteers serving over 75 nonprofits and facilitating approximately 60 volunteer projects a month.

His work in the nonprofit sector has earned him the following distinctions:

  • Founder of the Phoenix Philanthropists in February 2008
    • Awarded the Star Civic Organization in 2009 by St. Mary’s Food Bank
  • 2009 & 2010 Phoenix Martin Luther King Award Nominee
  • 2010 Points of Light Daily Leadership Award Recipient
  • 2012 Nominee and selected as a semi-finalist for the Hon Kachina Volunteer Awards
  • Arizona LeaderForce Coach from 2010 to 2014. Assisted blue-ribbon nonprofit organizations with special projects in the Phoenix area.
  • Contributed over 5,000 volunteer hours to the Phoenix community since 2008.