Who We Are

Alter Advising offers independent guidance to increase the effectiveness of your giving and improve your family’s philanthropic experiences. Together we can design and implement a giving plan that aligns with your core passions and values. We’ll help you create a lasting legacy.


Dr. Alison B. Alter

Dr. Alison Alter is an independent philanthropic advisor who helps individuals, families, and foundations create a lasting legacy through their philanthropy. However one seeks to improve the world, Alter Advising customizes an approach to bring meaning and focus while magnifying the impact of one’s giving. Providing impartial research and guidance, Alison coaches clients to connect what they care about to high performing partners, seeding transformative outcomes.

Alison draws on over 20 years of experience working in higher education, the nonprofit sector and through public-private partnerships. She is an experienced teacher and facilitator having taught at Stanford, Harvard, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has served in management and planning roles at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Alter excels at grasping connections across complex challenges or disciplines and helping others to capitalize on these possibilities. She has identified opportunities and facilitated learning and action in multiple settings across a wide spectrum of endeavors: social entrepreneurship, education, leadership development, food security, energy, global governance, international law, arts and sciences, community organization, public policy, and child development. She has developed particular expertise related to giving in the fields of higher education, parks and the environment, public media, and nonprofit capacity building. She is a 21/64 certified multi-generational philanthropy consultant.

Alison earned her Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government at Harvard University and her B.A. in Public Policy from Stanford University. She is married with two children and lives in Austin, TX.

Active in her community, Alison currently serves on the City of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Board, leads local park renovation fundraising efforts, facilitates grants innovation and philanthropy education efforts for multiple local giving circles, is a graduate of Leadership Austin and a member of the Planned Giving Council of Central Texas.

Connect with Dr. Alter online or call (608) 381-5445.

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