Your Fall 2020 RAISE Podcast Roundup

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Fall 2020 has been a doozy. Between a global pandemic, back-to-school craziness, and election stress, most of us have had to cut back on podcast time. If you haven’t had time to catch up on the latest episodes of your favorite podcasts, don’t worry! We put together this RAISE Podcast roundup of our most recent episodes to help you jump back in. 

So grab some headphones and let’s get started!

Episode 42:

Angela Wimmer and Stephanie Froehlich, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

“We can’t afford not to keep growing… We owe it to every person out there struggling with cancer.”

We know that healthcare organizations haven’t been able to slow down during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this week, we’ll hear from Angela and Stephanie from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Angela and Stephanie are friends, colleagues, and Auburn graduates working at UAMS. They share lessons they’ve learned throughout their careers and how they’ve worked to manage expectations with donors and prospective donors alike.

Cancer doesn’t stop during a pandemic, and Angela and Stephanie share what it’s been like to keep one foot on the gas, grow their organization, and continue soliciting gifts during the pandemic.

Episode 41:

Megan Doud, University of Michigan

“Philanthropy is the ultimate discretionary spend.”

Megan Doud started her fundraising career at a theater in Fish Creek, Wisconsin where she was quickly immersed in the fundraising world by single handedly running all fundraising programs: from donor relations, to volunteer management, to campaign planning and managing feasibility studies.

She’s now at the University of Michigan, which has a staff of over 500 fundraisers across the institution. Her goal is to plug the holes in their pipeline. And there is no better way to do that than to personalize the experiences of donors. With strategies taken from today’s tech giants, she wants donors to feel like Michigan knows who they are and what they’re interested in. Tune in and hear how Megan is building relationships with donors (amid COVID) at Michigan.

Episode 40:

Carrie Bhada, NC State

“Do you think of the first gift as the beginning of a relationship?”

At North Carolina State University, the focus is always on the greatest opportunity, even when that means building for tomorrow instead of focusing on today. In an environment where there are competing demands, Carrie likes to take things back to basics. The more donors you reach out to and connect with, the more stories you share about your mission, the more people you’re going to engage to support that mission. It’s that simple and it’s that scientific. The science of fundraising says you need to make an ask 8 times before someone gives. But the art of fundraising is the relationship that follows a gift.

NC state recently raised $23 million in their day of giving. Hear how they did it in the short term and how Carrie is supporting future pipeline at NC State in the long term.

Episode 39:

Colin Hennessy, UChicago and Brittany Shaff, UMiami

“We want our young alumni to look back on us and say “You didn’t only ask me for money. There was that time when I needed you most and you were there for me and I’m grateful and I want the next person to have that same experience.’”

The traditional silos between annual giving and alumni relations teams are eroding as a result of COVID-19’s impact on giving. Institutions that were already on the way to building strong partnerships between fundraising and engagement teams are doing so even faster.

According to Brittany at the University of Miami, individuals and teams who understand what their alumni want and react to their needs will engage alumni and generate revenue faster than their peers. Brittany views the relationship between alumni engagement and annual giving as a lead generation engine. She’s creating a digital funnel to ensure that alumni engagement is the first step in building a better relationship with her institution and will ultimately raise more dollars. Starting by  experimenting with augmented reality and gamification of giving this Giving Tuesday.

Over at the University of Chicago, Colin is optimizing the partnership that already exists with alumni relations and the annual fund. He considers himself a fundraiser first and an engagement person second, but it’s not one or the other. Every opportunity to connect is an opportunity to deepen the relationship with the institution.

Episode 38:


Rob Humphrey, LinkedIn

“LinkedIn is the source of truth as it relates to career outcomes for constituents.”

Are you using LinkedIn to its full potential? In this episode, Brent is joined by LinkedIn’s Rob Humphrey. Rob is one of the longest-tenured and most recognized sales professionals at LinkedIn. They talk through the most effective LinkedIn products for advancement shops and admissions offices during the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future.

Rob also shares valuable insights about engaging alumni and providing career assistance by meeting your constituents where they are: LinkedIn.

Episode 37:


Astria Smith, Payton Keith, and Jo Lew, Southern Methodist University

“My story is a story that was lucky enough to be told, but there are hundreds, thousands of people that are just like me. And they need help and support too.”

No one is immune from the realities of quarantine life during COVID-19, but some of us are impacted more than others. Jo Lew is a first-generation college student whose life was turned upside down when campus closed. Without a permanent home, she had to move into a single motel room with her parents. Her story was picked up by the Dallas News and SMU alum, Payton Keith, immediately started a fundraiser to help support Jo. When Astria, Senior Executive Director for Annual Giving and Alumni Relations at SMU, arrived at work that day, the wheels were already in motion to help Jo. 

The next step was to figure out how to take the momentum that alumni and the general public had built for one student, and channel it into programs that could help hundreds of students like Jo. Brent and Astria discuss restricted giving and the benefit of having an emotional appeal when compared to unrestricted giving, and how to find the story to help connect donors to the larger mission. 

It’s not every day you get to hear directly from the fundraiser, donor, and gift recipient all in one episode, so tune in to hear this moving first-hand account about the difference that activism and philanthropy make in students’ lives. 

Did you like this RAISE Podcast roundup? Make sure you subscribe to the RAISE Podcast to get all the updates! Available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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