RAISE Podcast: Dan Allen, DePaul University

On this episode of the RAISE podcast, Brent breaks it down with Dan Allen, Senior Vice President of Advancement and External Relations at DePaul University in Chicago. Check out this recap featuring our favorite takeaways from the episode, and how to tune in yourself!



Dan will be a Loras College Duhawk for life but is currently thriving as a DePaul Blue Demon after making a few stops on the journey in between. Dan and Brent dig into some really important questions during this conversation. Is higher education really leveling the playing field? Why do many talented, academically-prepared students not apply to institutions for which they’re qualified and would likely do very well at? What is the relationship between preparation and privilege in college choice? (Dan completed his PhD on this topic, so he has lots of wisdom to share.) As soon as COVID hit last year, Dan and the leadership team at DePaul decided that if they didn’t raise more money in FY21 than FY20, it sure as heck wouldn’t be because they didn’t try. Tune in to hear how Dan and his team are bucking national trends in donors in dollars through a proactive and hyper-focused commitment to DePaul’s students.

Here are some highlights from the episode…

While working as a student caller in the Loras College telefund, Dan secured a $1K gift from a first-time donor. He asked if he could hand-deliver the receipt to the donor’s house. That donor is now a member of the Loras Board of Trustees.

Dan learned a lot from the grind of the Admissions and Recruiting cycle during his first job at Loras: quick-thinking, story telling, building relationships based on trust and mutual investment. He reminds us that our colleagues in Admission deserve a big thanks and a whole lot of respect.

Dan’s dissertation, completed at Loyola University – Chicago, is titled The Locus of Preparation and Privilege: College Choice and Social Reproduction. He shares some important takeaways from his PhD studies. 

Dan believes that higher ed advancement is over-investing in print materials and big events. He’s willing to spend money on things that work. But do either of these engagement channels really offer the type of personalization that is needed to build and deepen relationships with our donors? What can we learn from the for-profit world about personalization that is less resource-intensive than glossy brochures and 300-person galas?

DePaul recently celebrated its most successful Giving Day. His annual fund team gifted him a poster (autographed by the Annual Giving staff) of a Michael Jordan quote that accurately describes Dan’s commitment to fundraising for the Blue Demon family.

Want to work with Dan? DePaul University is hiring! Keep an eye on their job postings, connect with Dan on LinkedIn, or pick up the phone and give him a call!

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