On this episode of the RAISE podcast, Brent sits down with Laura Day, Director of Annual Giving at Williams College. Laura’s first experience with advancement was volunteering for Williams as head agent to develop fundraising skills to help support her resume. During her first year as head agent, her class broke 70% participation. She was a natural fit for Williams, which boasts one of the highest participation rates in the US. Six years into her tenure at Williams, she is constantly asking how to improve and striving for 100% participation.
Laura is involved in many initiatives to increase future donor pipeline and increase the rate of leadership giving among women at Williams. She’ll share the impact of that work, the strategy around focusing on donors vs dollars, and why young alumni help build pipeline for the future.
Want to hear more? Hear Laura share tips for managing Volunteer programs with Millbrook School.
Director of Annual Giving
Laura Day is director of annual giving for Williams College, where she leads a team of ten staff members and 1,600 volunteers to run the college’s Alumni Fund. After graduating from Williams in 2004, Laura moved to New York and began working in arts administration. In 2010, she completed her MBA from Fordham University and decided to gain some practical fundraising experience in order to advance her career even further, and so she began volunteering for Williams as a class agent in her spare time.
That decision turned out to have been a pretty good one. In 2012, Laura returned to Williams in a professional capacity, working with the 30 oldest classes on their annual campaigns. In the fall of 2013, she became director of annual giving. Under Laura’s leadership, the Williams Alumni Fund has introduced multiple new initiatives around engagement and giving, and the fund itself has grown from $10M to over $13M while sustaining ~55% participation.