Show cover of Fundraising Voices from RNL

Fundraising Voices from RNL

This podcast features conversations with fundraisers, researchers and thought leaders to help propel your fundraising results.


Gift Officer On The Road: Mike Herdlick from Tiffin University
I've always wanted to grab a gift officer right in the middle of donor visits and ask "how's it going." On this episode, Mike Herdlick from Tiffin University joins the podcast, live from a Hampton Inn. He was a professor, a Dean, and now he's a fundraiser. We talk about how relationships matter in getting appointments and boosting excitement about giving. And, how student affairs and teaching experience apply to our work in philanthropy. Check out Tiffin University
21:48 2/10/22
Board Diversity - Key Strategies for Furthering Inclusion with the GHJ Foundation
Our boards, who give us advice, guidance and often, big gifts, are an important area of support in our advancement efforts. But we're not doing great with diversity on our boards. Just 22% of board members nationwide coming from underrepresented backgrounds. We have work to do. GHJ and the GHJ Foundation have been hard at work on this issue, and we got on the line with Donella Wilson and Derrick Coleman from GHK to talk about key strategies to build an inclusive and engaged board. Find out more about the GHJ Foundation Meet Derrick Coleman Meet Donella Wilson
20:43 12/15/21
Crypto donations with Endaoment: crowdfunding the constitution, or just giving to your favorite charity
Crypto donations have become a hot topic in philanthropy. The incredible growth in crypto token popularity and value, along some significant incentive give in order to manage taxes means we’re all going to see more crypto donors in the coming years. And the cool thing is, these donors often work together. That’s what happened when a diverse group of donors participated in the largest charitable crowdfunding campaign ever, Constitution Dao, and raised over $40 million to bid on one of the 13 original copies of the constitution. Their representative was Endaoment, and I’m excited to welcome Robbie Heeger, President and CEO to the podcast to talk about the effort, and to get some insights into how we can embrace this growing group of entrepreneurial, social and action-focused crypto donors. Find our more about Endaoment  
37:11 12/10/21
Bob Westfall - Creating Great Donor Event Experiences
Creating great donor event experiences can go a long way toward inspiring philanthropy. Bob Westfall at Westfall Gold has helped inspire over $1B in gift commitments with their unique event strategy. Truly inspiring donors with the opportunity to make a transformative impact, giving them time to reflect, including great experiences, and surrounding donors with a community of like-minded givers is key. Bob breaks it down in this conversation. Find out more about Westfall Gold.
25:17 12/3/21
Fundraising Leadership: Creating a Psychologically Safe Environment - Maryann Kerr
Creating a positive environment for our fundraising teams is crucial to our success. How inclusive we are, how we behave as leaders, and how we value and support members of our teams makes a big difference. Maryann Kerr, a fundraiser with a ton of experience, has just released a groundbreaking new book, Tarnished, on this topic. It combines research, the experiences of fundraisers, and Maryann’s own story to ask key questions about how we can do better in how we treat members of our teams and networks. I got on the line with Maryann to preview the book, and get her take on how we can 'untarnish' fundraising in the future. You can order Tarnished here.
33:32 11/2/21
Operation Smile - Changing Lives, and Changing Fundraising
Donors want to make an impact. And when we think about transformative interventions, cleft palate and cleft lip surgery has incredible impact – literally changing lives of the recipients. Operation Smile has been around almost 40 years, providing this life-changing care. We got on the line with Joanne Bowers, Lauren Lemmons, and Amber Leonti from Operation Smile, and the team shares how they have transformed donor engagement, kept engaged during the pandemic, and even made the decision to accept cryptocurrency donations. Find out more about Operation Smile
33:17 10/25/21
What's an Engagement Center Manager?
That thing we used to call phonathon has changed. It’s now about engagement, and the place where that happens is the engagement center. Every day, hundreds of locations across the US and Canada (with a lot of remote activity too), fuels the philanthropic outreach for great institutions. And the people driving the engagement are our engagement center managers, who organize texting, video, calling and other outreach with student engagement ambassadors. We got four of these rockstar fundraising engineers on the line to talk about what it’s like to run a modern engagement center, and tech-enabled engagement program. Here’s the conversation with David Fullenwiley, Lucy Heady, Savannah Lammers, and Joe Arra who are right on the front lines. A job where you get to be part of a couple of teams, motivate young people, use data, new technology, and all for a good cause? We always have ECM positions available, across the country. So, if you or someone you know is up for this sort of challenge, check it out. It could be the next step in a great career with challenge and purpose. Head over to and check out these and other great positions, and maybe join the team. We’ll be watching for your application.
19:29 10/19/21
Ohio University - Crowdfunding to Fuel Donor Engagement
Jim Harris, Assistant Director of Annual Giving at Ohio University joins the podcast with RNL's Theresa Jubert to talk about the power of crowdfunding to engage donors. Jim brings a wealth of experience and insights as a marketing and communications expert. Ohio U set records for alumni engagement last year, and one part of that was the creation of Bobcats Give, launching with 16 initial campaigns. Check out Bobcats Give at Ohio University, powered by RNL ScaleFunder.
24:54 10/18/21
The Myths and Science of Fundraising
One of the world’s top giving expert, Dr. Russell James from Texas Tech University joins MarketSmart’s Greg Warner to give a rundown on how some of the key research on donor decisions impacts our work as fundraisers. A key goal in our donor engagement is tell the donor’s story, or better yet: let the donors tell their own story. Research shows that this is a key component in increasing giving, and it provides greater joy and a better donor experience. Dr. James has a new book series out that explores these concepts. You can find out more at:
52:23 10/6/21
Applying for Advancement Jobs and Working at RNL
RNL's AJ Pennington offers insights from two decades of experience in talent management. AJ offers advice on how to assemble and submit a good application, key tips for the application process, and what it's like to work at RNL. Check out the latest job postings at RNL
14:21 8/13/21
The Fundraising Coach - Marc A. Pitman
Marc A. Pitman, CSP®, The Fundraising Coach, joins the podcast to talk about how we've all adapted this year, the power of investing in your personal development, and key things fundraisers need to do as we transform donor engagement going forward. Marc says: It's about finding your unique style. His new book, "The Surprising Gift of Doubt," challenges the ways we look at fundraising. Marc says, the questions you're asking may be as important as the answers. We're pulled in many directions as fundraisers, and our doubts tell us things about how we can best engage donors. Find our more about Marc at
36:10 6/24/21
Greg Warner at MarketSmart - Engaging major and planned giving donors the right way
Greg Warner at MarketSmart is known for challenging the norm. In this conversation, we talk about the best ways to find major and planned giving donors. Spoiler alert: it's not moves management, or relentlessly sending gift officers at them. We talk about the value of engagement, crafting a great donor experience, and how data is changing the way we work with donors. Check out MarketSmart at
34:33 6/24/21
Transforming Alumni Engagement: Gary Toyn and the VAESE
Fundraisers and alumni relations professionals are increasingly working together. As we’ve said before, it’s about treating alumni as more than walking ATMs--and truly investing in the value of a lifetime experience with our supporters. Gary Toyn, senior researcher at Access Development, and one of the creators of the VAESE survey of alumni relations professionals, joins the podcasts to break down the trends, challenges and opportunities for alumni engagement in 2021. Check out some of Gary’s blogs Get the results of the latest VAESE survey
25:56 4/20/21
Faith-based Fundraising - Matt Bond and Andrew Robinson
Religious centers at our universities have been part of the student life experience for decades. What happens when the pandemic means that we can’t be next to students in the same way? Well, enterprising faith leaders come up with new ways to stay connected to their students, and to donors. Andrew Robinson, owner and president of Petrus Development, works with great faith leaders every day, and he got on the line with Matt Bond, director of development at the St. John Catholic Student Center at Oklahoma State University to talk about how they are adapting during the pandemic, and to provide advice for faith-based fundraising in 2021. Check out Petrus Development Check out the St. John Catholic Center at Oklahoma State University
34:49 2/26/21
The Neuroscience of Relationships - Megan Marcus and Kelley Munger fro FuelEd
Alright podcast listeners, here’s a tip. If you want to get invited to be on Fundraising voices, be sure to put something like the “neuroscience of education” in your email to me. That’s what my new friends at FuelEd, who have used their experience as researchers and therapist to help educators transform their relationships with students, did. They got my attention. I got on the line with Megan Marcus and Kelley Munger on the FuelEd team to talk about relationship-driven education, the science behind emotional intelligence, and what it means for us as we engage students and donors. Check out FuelEd online Check out the book, The Social Neuroscience of Education
25:52 2/25/21
Diversity, social justice and your grant-seeking strategy - Shavonn Richardson
There's no doubt that applying for and getting grants is a key priority for your organization. Shavonn Richardson at Think and Ink Grant Consulting has made it her mission to help nonprofits, especially those who are serving diverse communities, to maximize their grant success. I got on the line with Shavonn to talk about the environment for grant seeking in 2021, how to get it right and succeed, and how these resources impact our crucial goals of equity, inclusion and social justice. Check out Think and Ink Grant Consulting online.
22:02 2/25/21
Diversity and Social Justice in Advancement - Nneka Allen and Birgit Smith Burton
We have a lot of work to do in diversifying our teams, and truly supporting professionals from diverse backgrounds. Nneka Allen, Co-editor and Author of Collecting Courage: Joy, Pain, Freedom, Love and Birgit Smith Burton from Georgia Tech joined the podcast to discuss this important topic. They’ve assembled the experiences of diverse professionals, in their own voices, in this incredible book. They share some takeaways, and talk about how we can do better to embrace diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice in our advancement work. Find out more about Collecting Courage and get a copy The African American Development Officers (AADO) Network
25:06 2/22/21
Diversity and inclusion in advancement: Tanya Rumble and Mariya Yurukova
Diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice are important priorities for charitable organizations. Tanya Rumble and Mariya Yurukova are passionate about the topics of diversifying our fundraising teams, and our donor base. They come at the issue from different backgrounds, and with a wealth of experience in the non-profit world. They’ve been writing and presenting on the issue significantly in the past year, and I got on a call to welcome Mariya back to the podcast, meet Tanya, and hear their great insights on key steps to take for social justice as fundraisers. Here is a link to their article in AFP Advancing Philanthropy - Swept Under The Rug: The Issue of Diversity in Our Sector  And also, Ring the alarm: It's 2021 and the nonprofit sector does not have a plan for engaging with diverse donors And this great series on supporting BIPOC colleagues in the non-profit sector: Part 1: Part 2: Part 3: Part 4: Part 5:
46:46 2/16/21
Kevin Collins - Engaging Athletics Donors
Kevin Collins, Associate Vice President and Assistant Athletics Director for athletics development at the University of Iowa is part of a fundraising family. And he's been engaging donors for decades across a wide range of institutions. We talked with Kevin about the incredible generosity of athletics donors, even when they can't see competitions or be at events in the same way during the pandemic. College athletics has faced a lot of challenges in this pandemic, and it’s great to hear from Kevin how donors have stepped up to support the teams, coaches and students they love. As Kevin describes, Patience, persistence, and giving people the flexibility to innovate in this challenging time are a big part of why the Iowa team is having success. It turns out we can engage donors, even when we can’t be next to them physically. Thanks to Kevin, and the two other members of the Collins family that we’ve featured, for the great insights. Check out the Hawkeyes and the great ways they engaging athletes and donors  
35:20 2/4/21
Tanya Ramos - Pencils of Promise
It’s one thing to talk about access to education, and it’s another thing to live it, to make transformative change for a diverse and global population of students. Tanya Ramos, CEO of of Pencils of Promise, is doing just that. I got her on the line to talk about the mission of Pencils of Promise, how they’ve supported the building of over 500 schools worldwide, and how we can lead as philanthropic innovators in this challenging time. Here’s our conversation. Tanya offers some great advice – focusing on relationships, getting current with the newest tech, and demonstrating impact-- maybe even hands on. All will increase the response and loyalty of donors. And Tanya shares how providing clear goals and milestones to new advancement leaders that you bring on board is a key way to recruit top, diverse talent, and to keep it. The challenging times we’re facing have impacted education across the globe, and It’s great to hear what Pencils of Promise is accomplishing. Find out more about Pencils of Promise Read Tanya’s great job posting
27:23 2/4/21
Susie Harder - Junior Authors builds active engagement in philanthropy
In the face of tragedy, we all want to do something. That's the case for Susie Harder, a speech pathologist whose community was changed forever by the California wildfires. So, after she donated, she started on something new - to both help kids with the healing process and to raise more funds to support them. The result is the Junior Authors program, where kids make a book, voting on each component. This is a great example of the shift to what we're calling "participatory philanthropy," where people do along with their giving. Susie describes this new way to contribute, and why it's been successful. You can find out more about the Junior Authors program and see examples at their web site.
27:46 2/3/21
The Next Generation of Fundraisers - Emily Collins
Fundraising is a challenging and rewarding profession. And it seems like some people are just born to it, that engaging donors and amplifying philanthropy just come naturally. That’s the case with Emily Collins here at RNL. She’s part of a fundraising family – and I got her on the line to talk about why she joined the field, how she mentors young people to look at this career, and how things are going with student engagement ambassadors in today’s remote environment. Find out more about the remote-ready RNL Digital Engagement Center, which keeps your donors engaged across integrated calling, texting, and personal video. And it can keep your student ambassadors working and driving to your fundraising goals.
18:32 2/2/21
Shira and Jay Ruderman - The Ruderman Family Foundation
Shira and Jay Ruderman from the Ruderman Family Foundation join the podcast to talk about their efforts to advance a more inclusive society. The Ruderman Family Foundation has dedicated the past two decades to enhancing awareness of, and providing programming and services in, the field of disability inclusion. And they are growing to support more needs. Jay and Shira connected to talk about how the make funding decisions, how you can best engage a foundation, what happens when a foundation speaks up on key issues, and what they see coming for the future of philanthropy. The Ruderman Family Foundation Jay’s Podcast: All Inclusive with Jay Ruderman
38:16 1/29/21
Pamela Barden - It's time to stop complaining
2020 was a challenging year for all of us. But there were also opportunities brought about from the shifts we all made in the pandemic, and Pamela Barden recently wrote: it's time to stop complaining and get back to serving donors. In this podcast, we explore what fundraisers can be doing proactively to provide great donor service, even when we can't be next to each other. Read Pamela's article in NonProfit Pro. Check out Pamela's web site.
25:45 1/25/21
Chris Collins at Vanderbilt Medical
Chris Collins, Vice President for Development at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, talks about engaging donors during the COVID pandemic, the impact of generous gifts to fuel vaccine research, and what's special about working to support a higher education and healthcare partnership.
25:34 1/4/21
Hyper Philanthropy with Russ Hodge
Engaging mega-donors is key to any campaign, and to the long-term future of your organization. Russ Hodge, CEO and Founder of the Hodge Group says focusing on the right prospects, listening to their passions, and connecting with their key influencers is important. It can unlock something he calls "hyper philanthropy." Here's our conversation about engaging principal givers, even in this challenging time. Find more about the Hodge group at:  
24:15 12/14/20
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Advancement: Farzana Nayani and Christina Hall
As fundraising leaders, we have an important commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in how we channel philanthropy. The national focus on social justice has caused many of us to think critically about where the money comes from, where it's going, and how our actions as leaders build an environment for inclusion with both donors and the recipients of charity. This conversation with Christina Hall of California State University, Long Beach, and Farzana Nayani. an acclaimed DEI consultant and educator began when Christina sent me a chat message during our recent Advancement Innovation Summit. In the podcast, we unpack the "why" of DEI efforts in advancement, how you actually get started, and the important role that uncomfortable conversations have in moving us forward. Check out Farzana at her site:
33:56 11/16/20
How Do You Help Others? New Donor Survey - Newport One
Americans are generous, but who wants to give of their time and who wants to give money? What are the similarities of those that give one or both? What are the differences? And how can nonprofit organizations engage them? Newport One, along with some other top industry experts, surveyed over 2,000 donors prior to the pandemic, and gained some insights into how and why people help others through giving. I got on the line with Craig DePole, president of Newport One, to unpack the survey and what it uncovers for key personas in our giving base. Download the survey here.
14:37 10/26/20
Carlos Maestas - The Power of Storytelling
Telling your organization's story - and your personal story, is key to connecting with supporters. Who could be better to help us do that then a former standup comedian turned professional storytelling consultant for major non-profits? Carlos Maestas, Founder & Chief Storysmith @ Key Ideas, and author of Mommy Lied to God joins the podcast to talk about how you can best tell your authentic story to engage greater support.
20:13 10/6/20
Jessica Elmore - Diversity and Student Advancement
Investing in your students, while they are still on campus, is crucial to your advancement mission. Research tells us that philanthropy is a learned behavior, and your students also have a lot to offer in engaging donors directly and authentically. Jessica Elmore is Associate Director of Diversity Programs for the Kansas State University Alumni Association. She’s passionate about engaging a diverse group of students to help further the University, and that’s why she’s also chairing the CASE Diversity and Student Advancement Seminar, online, October 15-20. RNL is excited to sponsor this special event. Hear Jessica break down the power of an inclusive student advancement program and what you'll hear more of at the Seminar. Register today for the CASE Diversity and Student Advancement Seminar.
18:20 9/21/20