David McFarland is a global philanthropy advisor to individual philanthropists and leaders from a variety of sectors, including nonprofit/cause organizations, social enterprises, entertainment, sports, business, technology, policy, government, NGOs, and foundations to tackle pressing social and development issues. McFarland’s career has been dedicated to promoting social responsibility and youth-serving initiatives.
As the former chair, board of directors, executive director, and CEO of The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBT youth, he led a new strategic plan resulting in growing the organizations budget from $2.2 million to over $5 million in 2011 with a program investment of 81% insuring sustainable and responsible growth for national and international expansion. Under McFarland’s leadership, The Trevor Project was honored by the White House as a "Champion of Change" for being a leading innovator in suicide prevention in the U.S. He served as the co-chair of the LGBT Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention to help revise the U.S. Suicide Prevention plan. He also worked closely with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. State Department, and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to improve the lives of LGBT youth domestically and globally.
In addition to his accomplishments in the non-profit sector, McFarland was instrumental in directing national and regional strategy for entertainment conglomerates MTV Networks/Comedy Central, Lifetime Television, and Fox Family Worldwide. He was a partner in a new venture launching Studio 4 Networks, the first family of video-on-demand/on-line television networks in the U.S. & Canada providing trusted, high-quality educational, health and youth-focused programming. McFarland is sought out by media outlets for his innovator leadership in philanthropy and as an expert spokesperson for suicide prevention, bullying, and mental health issues to the public and the media. Interviews have included ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, Fox News, MSNBC, MTV, the Associated Press, PBS, NPR, and various regional and local broadcast and cable news outlets. Published and online articles and interviews have included The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, The Advocate, Yahoo, and numerous blog and social media outlets.