RAISE Podcast: 6 Goals for Annual Giving with Howard Heevner

RAISE Podcast Howard Heevner

Episode 18:

6 Goals for Annual Giving

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On this episode of the RAISE podcast, Brent speaks with Howard Heevner, executive director of annual programs at UC Berkeley. Howard started his career at the Iowa Foundation as a substitute student caller. He’s now a leader in the sector having managed alumni relations, annual giving, advancement services, and managed a major gift portfolio. His dynamic experience has given him a unique perspective on the experience of the donor. He built a custom pipeline health index to measure the trajectory of every donor.

He also developed a 6 goal framework he’s implementing at Berkeley that any leader can borrow from.

  • Increase undergrad alumni donors
  • Decrease the time from first gift to major gift
  • Decrease over-solicitation to donors.
  • Ensure all changes are budget neutral
  • Improve ROI of work
  • Ensure a cohesive giving experience for annual donors.

Howard has worked at Iowa, Michigan, DePaul, Penn State, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Berkeley. 

Howard is also the chair of the CASE Advanced Annual Giving Strategies Conference. 

Howard Heevner

Executive Director of Annual Programs
University of California, Berkeley

About Howard

Howard Heevner joined the University of California, Berkeley in 2019 as the Executive Director of Annual Programs. In his current role, he oversees Annual Giving, Leadership Annual Giving, Milestone Giving, Next Generation Giving, and Parent Philanthropy and Engagement.


With more than 20 years of higher education fundraising experience, he has held a number of roles. Prior to coming to Berkeley, Heevner was the Assistant Vice Chancellor of University Development Programs at UC Santa Cruz, the Director of Annual Giving at Penn State University, the Director of Annual and Special Giving at DePaul University and the Associate Director of Annual Giving at the University of Michigan. He began his career in development at the University of Iowa.


Howard has been a regular speaker at CASE conferences throughout his career and currently serves on the CASE District VII board. He has also worked with more than 30 institutions across the country to review the effectiveness of their annual giving programs.

Heevner earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa and his master’s degree in higher education administration from Penn State.

If you liked this episode of the RAISE podcast featuring Howard Heevner, check out our others.

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