On this week’s episode of the RAISE Podcast, Brent talks with Kimera “Kim” Way, President of the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Foundation, and Executive Director of University Advancement at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. (Tough to fit that all on a business card!)
Juuust before Brent joined this podcast conversation with Kimera, he was on an EverTrue team call with one of our star Customer Success Managers, Jen Zacher. Jen shared with Brent that her parents met at UW Eau-Claire, so Brent invited Jen to join him as co-host on this podcast episode.
Meanwhile, on Kimera’s end, right before joining this conversation, she sent this personalized ThankView to all prospects in her portfolio. So, her inbox was buzzing with donor replies throughout the podcast convo.
Basically, this episode is super fun. Catch some highlights and listen to the full conversation here.
“I did it all.” After two years at Cottey College, Kimera transferred and ultimately graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in journalism. After graduation, she returned to Cottey to serve as their one-person Public Relations shop in charge of news media, publications, and photography.
“This is a job I think I can do.” After Cottey, Kimera found her way to the PR office at Emporia State University in Kansas. When asked to fill in as interim head of the Foundation, she accepted. With no experience whatsoever in fundraising, she had to learn the ins and outs of the industry on the fly. Kimera learned so much through the support and patience of her colleagues, and eventually came to love advancement work.
“I didn’t know anything about managing people.” Kimera reflects on some aspects of her early career that she wishes she had done differently. As a new manager, she feels that she couldn’t fully appreciate the talent and skills of the folks on her team. But, those early lessons have made her wiser and more aware.
“The power of collaboration is great.” Kimera learned two big things while working on the amazing Pablo Center project at UW-Eau Claire. The first is that true collaboration and partnerships are hard work and require extra time and effort. The second is that it is so important to keep the folks who will be impacted by the project at the forefront of every decision.
“My goal is to always have joyful donors.” Kimera believes that the most humbling experience is when donors thank her for providing opportunities for them to fulfill their philanthropic dreams. Now, Kimera says that she has the best job in the world.
“We have to reach people in new ways.” Kimera says that if we are using certain mediums to stay connected with family and friends, then we should use those same platforms to stay in contact with our alums. She suggests finding the people on your team who are well versed in technology and trusting them to help your organization communicate effectively.
(Hot tip: send personalized ThankView campaigns around fun holidays – like this one that Kimera sent to all prospects in her portfolio right before recording this RAISE Podcast episode.)