Jim Husson has seen it all in his 30+ year career in fundraising. He started his advancement career as the Assistant Director of the Annual Fund at Northfield Mount Hermon. He is currently the Senior Vice President of University Advancement at Boston College, where he’s spent the past 18 years.
One of his early projects at Northfield Mount Hermon was to run the phone-a-thon. One phone-a-thon happened to be the night of one of the largest stock market crashes in US history, Black Monday. With a room full of volunteers waiting to get started, he had to make a decision on how to proceed. They decided to use the phone-a-thon as an opportunity to check in on their alumni and let them know they were there to support them. They ended up raising more money in that one night than any of the others they ran, ever.
That experience set the tone for how Jim managed relationships throughout his career. Every conversation, initial outreach, or visit starts with, “How are you doing?” and, “Tell me what you care about.” It’s with that mentality that he measures success for his team. It’s not just about the dollars in the door, it’s about the experience the donor had when they made the gift. “Do they feel good about it?”
We can’t end any podcast without asking about the most memorable gifts. Jim’s got a great story about a benefit concert hosted at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park. We’ll give you two hints: Jim was on fire about the concert. He was born to run advancement shops. Know who it was? Listen to find out!
Senior Vice President for University Advancement Boston College
Jim Husson is the Senior Vice President for University Advancement at Boston College, overseeing the university’s development and alumni relations functions. He joined the development team in 2002 as the Vice President for Development and was promoted to his current position in June 2004. He and his colleagues spearheaded “Light the World,” the university’s 150th anniversary campaign, which concluded in 2016, having raised a record $1.6 billion in gifts from more than 140,000 alumni, parents and friends.
Jim has more than 30 years of experience in educational advancement and has served as the Vice President for Development for Brown University and as the Director of Major Gifts for Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Jim is a graduate of the University of Rochester and Northfield Mount Hermon School.