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The Development Debrief

The Development Debrief

By Kathryn Van Sickle

Podcast by Kathryn Van Sickle *The views on this podcast are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer.
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96. Jennifer Kaplan Burns: Independent School miniseries

The Development DebriefMay 18, 2022

138. Brandon Baker: From 10M to 1B

138. Brandon Baker: From 10M to 1B

This weeks episode explores what is looks like to work for a younger institution and realize exciting potential, the way that our guest combined a variety of skills for his current role, and the critical aspect of leadership along the way.

Brandon Baker is the associate senior vice president for University Advancement at the University of Southern California (USC) where he works across campus on principal and transformational gift opportunities. Baker has experience in launching and leading campaigns and prior to joining USC, Brandon spearheaded the $400 million Tomorrow Demands Today Campaign at the RAND Corporation.

Baker previously served as assistant dean of external affairs at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering. He and his team were responsible for a $250 million goal as part of the school's campaign, a component of UCLA's $4.2 billion effort.

He has more than sixteen years of experience in both public and private higher education institutions. He also served as a development director at Villanova University and Columbia University Graduate Business School. Baker holds an M.A. in higher education administration from New York University and a B.S. in biology from The University of Tennessee Southern.

Dec 05, 202342:05
137. Anna Schlia: Providing a Framework

137. Anna Schlia: Providing a Framework

This week, my guest and I explore the concept of academic research in the field of fundraising. We dig into donor motivation and ways in which scholarly research can help provide framework and clarity of thinking.

Frontline fundraiser, researcher of donor inclinations, and status quo breaker, Anna Schlia is an expert in philanthropy research, principal and major gifts, program building, and executive leadership coaching. Relentlessly inquisitive about nonprofit institutions and the donors who support them, Anna is an emerging philanthropy scholar. She is pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Rochester studying philanthropy for higher education.

Oct 17, 202333:20
136. Anna Dugan: Next Generation Fundraising

136. Anna Dugan: Next Generation Fundraising

This week, I talk with Anna Dugan about her work with next generation donors at Carnegie Hall. Since I knew her there, she has moved on to work at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Anna talks about building a pipeline program, answers why younger donors want more metrics and data, and explains why creating a feeling with events must always go back to the mission.  

Anna Dugan is a frontline fundraiser with a passion for helping people actualize their philanthropic goals. She is currently Senior Associate Director of Development at the Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine, working with a variety of specialties, including Alzheimer’s Disease, Geriatric Psychiatry, Community Psychiatry, Acquired Brain Injury, and DEIB initiatives.

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, she spent seven years at Carnegie Hall in a variety of roles, including individual giving fundraising, stewardship, and events. She attended Columbia University, The Juilliard School, and Manhattan School of Music and performed for many years as a professional musician.

Follow along for more on linkedin and instagram @devdebrief

Oct 03, 202324:01
135. Matt Abrahams: Think Faster, Talk Smarter

135. Matt Abrahams: Think Faster, Talk Smarter

Hello! Today you are in for a treat. The following episode will explore themes of being put on the spot, networking, and sparking connections. Listen to learn how to start and stop event conversations, make a cogent pitch, and understand a tough audience.

Matt Abrahams is a leading expert in the field of communication. As a Lecturer in Organizational Behavior at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, he teaches popular classes in strategic communication and effective virtual presenting and has received the school’s Alumni Teaching Award. Matt also teaches public speaking and co-teaches Improvisational Speaking in the Stanford Continuing Studies Program.

When he isn’t teaching, Matt is a highly sought-after keynote speaker and communications consultant and coach. He has helped numerous presenters prepare for high-stakes talks, including IPO road shows, Nobel Prize award presentations, and appearances at TED and the World Economic Forum. His online talks garner millions of views and he hosts the popular, award-winning podcast Think Fast, Talk Smart, The Podcast. His book Speaking Up without Freaking Out: 50 Techniques for Confident and Compelling Presenting has helped a wide audience manage speaking anxiety and present more confidently and authentically.

To relax and rejuvenate, Matt enjoys hiking with his wife, talking and watching sports with his kids, hanging out with his friends, and being continually humbled at the karate dojo.

Sep 19, 202341:59
134. My First Team Retreat

134. My First Team Retreat

Welcome to Season 12. In today's solo episode, I talk about the process I took to plan our team retreat. Special thanks to Lisa Alvarez-Calderon for guiding me through the planning and execution.

Planning tips:

1. Set your intention- what is the goal?

2. Space

3. Timing

4. Outside inspiration- mentor, volunteer, or donor can share their expertise!

5. Order of information

6. Follow up plan

Sep 05, 202325:31
133. Wendy Sealey: Live Audience, FRDNY, AFP 2023

133. Wendy Sealey: Live Audience, FRDNY, AFP 2023

This episode is the last conversation of Season 11. The episode took place in NYC with a live audience of over 1,000 people. AFP-NYC puts on a fundraising day for fundraisers every year-- we were lucky enough to be the morning keynote. Enjoy the live format featuring Wendy Sealey and thank you AFP-NYC!

Wendy Sealey has over 20 years of non-profit management and fundraising experience, overseeing teams in the areas of leadership gifts, campaign fundraising, annual fundraising, and special events. Currently, she currently oversees a $30 million fundraising program as Vice President for Development at the Guttmacher Institute, a leading research and policy organization committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) worldwide. Wendy is a sought-after fundraising coach, advisor, and speaker who has worked with a variety of nonprofits in New York City. Prior to joining the Guttmacher Institute, Wendy raised funds for the ACLU's Centennial Campaign, East Harlem Tutorial Program’s capital campaign, Bank Street College of Education’s strategic initiative campaign, and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation’s multi-million-dollar grant-making program.

Jul 05, 202342:05
132. Emily Kernan: The joys of Annual Giving

132. Emily Kernan: The joys of Annual Giving

Emily and I talk about preparing for fiscal year end, annual giving trends and changes, and her passion for leadership.

Emily Kernan is the Executive Director of The Penn Fund at the University of Pennsylvania, where she oversees all annual giving efforts primarily engaging undergraduate alumni. She previously led the annual fund team at Rice University and started her career in development at Lafayette College. Emily has remained committed to annual giving throughout her professional life because she loves building relationships with donors and volunteers at every level as well as collaborating with almost every other team across development in some way. She is a volunteer herself as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Philadelphia Ballet and the outgoing Chair of the Annual Giving Directors Consortium (AGDC). Emily holds a BA in English from Binghamton University (SUNY) and an MS in Nonprofit Leadership from Penn's School of Social Policy and Practice. Her instructional experience includes presenting for AGN, CASE, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), teaching about annual giving at Rice's Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, and being a course assistant for a class on human-centered design through Penn's School of Social Policy and Practice. She lives in Philadelphia with her two cats—Alvin and Simon.

Jun 28, 202336:57
131. The Wells Collective: You Can Only See From Where You Sit

131. The Wells Collective: You Can Only See From Where You Sit

The Wells Collective was born out of both necessity and the right amount of mimosas. After six Black women, who worked individually as public and private school educators, researchers, educational administrators, and psychologists, gathered together for a bubbly brunch, the kinetic energy that manifested itself at their table confirmed that by coming together, they could have a greater impact in promoting inclusion in their communities. These women rallied together to identify ways in which they could leverage their individual talents to develop a unique framework that would equip organizations with the tools  to be successful as change agents and architects for liberation. I was lucky enough to hear them speak at a conference last March at Mohonk Mountain House. I knew immediately, that I wanted to share their message on the Debrief. If you want to work with them or learn more, please reach out!

Kalea Selmon, Areas of Expertise: Restorative practices, teacher coaching, social-emotional wellness, assessing school culture for inclusion and anti-racist practices. Kalea hails from the Washington DC area. She is a proud alumna of Howard University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. After undergrad, she began her career teaching and facilitating a youth employment program. Kalea returned to school attending Johns Hopkins University where she earned a Master of Science in Counseling. Later, she transitioned into Independent Schools where she served as a school counselor and then a Director of Diversity and Inclusion where she focused on developing equity programming, providing professional development, curating curriculum, and hiring and retention of diverse staff.

Jenifer Moore, Areas of Expertise: Anti-racist & anti-bias curriculum, teacher coaching, assessing school culture for inclusion and anti-racist practices. Jenifer is the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Key School in Annapolis, MD. Previously, she has served as the Head of School and Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Sela Public Charter School. Jenifer has served children of Washington, DC since 2003 as a teacher, tutor, and school leader. She earned a Master’s degree from Trinity Washington, DC in Educational Administration and a Bachelor’s degree from Howard University.

Akailah Jenkins McIntyre, Areas of Expertise: Anti-racist & anti-bias practices, employee and teacher coaching, assessing organizational culture for inclusion and anti-racist practices, public speaking. Akailah is a native of Charleston, SC who began her career in education at Vanderbilt University. She went on to contribute to multiple education research projects at the institution, resulting in two published works. In this time, she discovered that her areas of interest were racial justice in education, and exploring Black girl joy and freedom in educational spaces. She earned both her Bachelor’s degree, and Master’s Degree from the institution. She now serves as Chief of Staff at a nonprofit.

Dr. Shari Baker, Areas of Expertise: Anti-racist & anti-bias curriculum, teacher coaching, assessing school culture for inclusion and anti-racist practices Shari began her career in education at Duke University. While there, she joined a women’s scholarship group, the Baldwin Scholars, in which she continues to be an active member. Dr. Baker obtained her social studies teaching certificate and went on to teach social studies in Prince George’s County Public Schools for a decade. She has also had extensive training on cultural responsive/sustaining pedagogy and restorative justice in schools. Dr. Baker also has experience implementing and measuring DEI initiatives at both large and small independent schools, notably including her most recent position as Director of Diversity & Inclusion at one of the largest independent high schools in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

Jun 21, 202343:30
130. Marcela Hahn: Women in Development

130. Marcela Hahn: Women in Development

This week, I speak with Marcela Hahn about her role as president of the Board of Directors of Women in Development (WiD). We explore the importance of community and tradition. Marcela Hahn is the Vice President, Development at Bank Street College of Education. For eight years, Marcela Hahn served as the AVP for Strategic Partnerships at CARE, a leading humanitarian organization. In this role she focused on corporate and foundation partnerships. Prior to CARE Marcela was the fundraising lead for Americans for UNFPA, Grand Street Settlement, and Project Reach Youth.

 Marcela served as a Peace Corps volunteer and employee for four years in Senegal; she received an MPA from New York University and a B.A. from Cornell University. Marcela is the president of the Board of Directors of Women in Development (WID), NY. She lives with her family and two cats in Brooklyn and loves to hike, x-country ski and read mysteries in her free time.

Jun 14, 202327:33
129. Andy Rathmann-Noonan: Expand Your Mission

129. Andy Rathmann-Noonan: Expand Your Mission

This week, we learn from Andy Rathmann-Noonan from the perspective of a non-profit CEO. Andy talks to us about changes his organization made to expand their mission and therefore grown their fundraising needs and goals.

Andy is the President of the National Science and Technology Medals Foundation. Over the last ten years, he has been responsible for various leadership and oversight responsibilities, including management of staff and programming, development and fundraising efforts, and ensuring that the Foundation’s mission is evident in all of its work. Andy has a deep personal connection to the foundation and its broader effort to build a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable future in STEMM. He recognizes his privilege and his responsibility as an ally to empower, enable, and serve his team, its mission, and the communities that can be positively affected by the NSTMF’s efforts. Andy earned a bachelor’s degree from Trinity College (Hartford, CT) in 2009. He resides in Silver Spring, MD, with his better half Julia, their son Nolan, and their dog Lulu. 

Jun 07, 202331:06
128. Christine Pina: Engendering Pride in People

128. Christine Pina: Engendering Pride in People

So far I am loving being back in Connecticut. Let’s learn more about Connecticut and this amazing guest’s career. This week, we hear from Christine Pina, Chief Advancement Officer at Miss Porter’s School. Christine and I talk about admissions, graduate work for fundraisers, building a community with pride, and how to educate your communities early about fundraising (especially at an all-girl's school).

Christine Pina is the Chief Advancement Officer, Miss Porter’s School where she is a member of the school’s senior leadership team.  She is responsible for all fundraising and alumni engagement activities and she has more than 25 years of experience in education administration.

See some data about giving to women and girl's here:

May 31, 202339:25
127. Mike Hoffman: The Power of Proximity

127. Mike Hoffman: The Power of Proximity

If you follow me on instagram @devdebrief, you saw that I went out to Annapolis in March. There, I met the US Navy development team and learned about their approach to fundraising. Mike Hoffman is an amazing leader who is growing programs, posting new positions, and argues teams are best built in person.

Mike joined the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation in March 2013 and currently serves on the Foundation’s senior leadership team as the Vice President, Development. Mike began his tenure at Navy as a Major Gifts Officer and grew into a series of roles with increasing responsibility before taking the VP position last year.

As the Naval Academy Foundation builds out a team in anticipation of their next campaign, Mike will lead a staff of 15 on the Development team, which includes the Regional Development program, which is comprised of the organization’s major gifts and high-end leadership annual giving initiatives, and the Planned Giving program. In his role, he also works closely with the Foundation’s EVP, Board of Directors and other organizational leaders to play a central role in campaign planning and execution. Additionally, Mike manages a portfolio of top donors across the country with a focus on principal gifts.

Since 2004, Mike has worked in education at both the independent school and higher education levels, with most of that experience in development positions. Prior to joining the Foundation, Mike was at Johns Hopkins University in their Regional and International Programs development office.

Mike graduated from Loyola University Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. He lives in Annapolis with his wife and three children.  

May 24, 202337:54
126. Making Moves with Christopher Haight

126. Making Moves with Christopher Haight

About one year ago, Christopher Haight started the process of moving from Director of Development, Discovery Team at Cornell University to now Associate Dean for Development at Stanford University.
Today, I will start at Yale University as Director of Parent Gifts.
In this episode, I explain my journey and move to New Haven, Connecticut. Hopefully our stories will inspire you to take the leap you've been dreaming about!
May 15, 202333:31
125. Paul Sullivan: You Just Ask

125. Paul Sullivan: You Just Ask

Hello All, this is the final episode of Season 10! I am closing with this conversation because it offers a fresh perspective on wealth both as a writer and as a donor. Paul Sullivan has had and continues to have an exciting career that we can all learn from. Sit back, relax, and listen to Paul reflect on his journey to date and what money has had to do with it!

Paul is the founder of The Company of Dads, the first platform dedicated to creating a community for Lead Dads. Its mission is to help Lead Dads feel less isolated and more confident that they have made the correct choice to take on the bulk of the parenting and family duties - or at the very least not embrace stereotypes around who does what at home. As a Lead Dad himself, Paul understands intimately the joys, frustrations, isolation and reticence around talking about being a Lead Dad. It’s a role that is growing in numbers but is far from normalized.

Before starting The Company of Dads in 2021, Paul wrote the Wealth Matters column in The New York Times for 13 years. He also created the Money Game column in GOLF Magazine. As a journalist for 25 years, his articles also appeared in Fortune, Money, Conde Nast Portfolio, The International Herald Tribune, Barron’s, The Boston Globe, and Food & Wine. From 2000 to 2006, he was a reporter, editor and columnist at the Financial Times. He got his start as a reporter at Bloomberg and Institutional Investor.

He is the author of two books Clutch: Why Some People Excel Under Pressure and Others Don’t and The Thin Green Line: The Money Secrets of The Super Wealthy.

Paul has been interviewed on podcasts, radio and television programs across America, including NPR, Marketplace, CNN, and Fox News. He has also given key-note talks to audiences from 50 to 500 people in the United States, Mexico and Chile.

Paul lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, with his wife and their three daughters and three dogs. He received degrees in history from Trinity College and the University of Chicago. When not running The Company of Dads or being a Lead Dad, he is an obsessive golfer.

Mar 22, 202341:52
124. Jan Abernathy: Building Your Personal Brand

124. Jan Abernathy: Building Your Personal Brand

Last week, I went with several of my colleagues to the NYSAIS advancement conference at Mohonk Mountain House. NYSAIS stands for the New York State Association of Independent Schools. At the conference, I had the opportunity to speak about building your personal brand for career success with today’s guest, Jan Abernathy. Before we did our talk, we recorded it to share with all of you!

Jan Abernathy is the Chief Communications Officer at The Browning School, a K-12 boys’ school in New York City. Formerly the director of marketing and communications at The Elisabeth Morrow School in Englewood, NJ. At Browning, she is a member of the Health & Safety Team, responsible for managing COVID response, and co-chaired the school’s successful search for its new director of equitable practice and social impact.

She is president of New York City Independent Schools Communications Professionals, a professional association of over 100 members from schools throughout the tri-state area, and the co-founder of Black Advancement Networking Group, which works to gain further representation and greater professional growth of Black professionals in advancement roles in independent schools. Jan is chair of CASE-NAIS 2022, the most prominent international advancement conference in the independent school sector. A journalist by training, she has written for NAIS’ Independent School Magazine on crisis communications (Winter 2019) and the “Black at” movement (Winter 2021).

She is a trustee of Grace Church School, a K-12 school in New York City, and was on the board of Stevens Cooperative School in Hoboken, NJ, for 13 years, spending six years as chair. Her consulting firm, Jan Abernathy Strategic Communications, provides communications and DEI counsel for educational institutions and non-profits.

Mar 15, 202335:16
123. Taylor Wood: Vanderbilt's Regional Hubs

123. Taylor Wood: Vanderbilt's Regional Hubs

The tale is as old as time- do you have regional major gift teams based in the cities they manage, or on campus? Vanderbilt University is rolling out a new initiative they are calling Vanderbilt Regional Hubs. Through these hubs, prospective students, current students, parents, alumni and friends will connect with Vanderbilt through professional opportunities and custom programming. This week, we will learn about how the program has been launched from the leader himself, Taylor. 

Taylor Wood joined Vanderbilt’s Development and Alumni Relations team in November 2018 to manage fundraising for the School of Medicine, including Basic Sciences, and the School of Nursing. In October of 2022, his portfolio has expanded to include oversight of development for the School of Engineering and DAR’s new regional development initiative. He previously served in development leadership at the Syracuse University School of Architecture, one of the top architecture programs in the country, as well as the College of Design at the University of Kentucky. Wood is a native Kentuckian and earned his bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Kentucky and master’s degrees in business administration and sports administration at Ohio University.

**Special shout out to Becca Jensen for suggesting this episode and making this episode possible.

Mar 08, 202334:12
122. Lisa Alvarez-Calderón: The Golden Ingredient to Recruiting, Talent, Retention

122. Lisa Alvarez-Calderón: The Golden Ingredient to Recruiting, Talent, Retention

In this week’s episode, we talk talent, recruiting, and, retention. Lisa Alvarez-Calderón is the founder of Shine Consulting, dedicated to advising leaders on people strategy, global organization effectiveness, leadership development and building high performing, inclusive cultures. Lisa is an executive coach who helps people connect, share and accomplish big things so we can thrive and shine.

Lisa is a dynamic leader with extensive global human resources experience working across diverse sectors and geographies. Lisa was Chief Human Resources Officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, where she worked closely with the foundation’s executive leadership team through the COVID-19 pandemic. Lisa lived in Chile serving as HRVP for BHP in the mining sector and Academic Director for the University of Chile ́s Center for Organizational Engineering. She developed her career in the pharmaceutical sector as HRVP for Johnson & Johnson in the United States and Asia, including living in Singapore and leading HR across 14 countries; and with Bristol-Myers Squibb as HRVP for Research & Development, and HR and talent roles in Latin America and US commercial operations. Lisa began her career as a leadership trainee with CIGNA and spent the first decade of her career as an HR business partner and talent management specialist in the insurance industry.

Lisa serves on the Board of Trustees of Trinity College and on several Advisory Boards including Enspira, a strategic human resources consulting firm; Untapped Potential, a social enterprise dedicated to attracting professionally trained women caregivers (i.e., Moms) back into the workforce; and The Company of Dads, a community platform for Lead Dads and an advocate for more open and productive work environments for parents. Lisa is an active member of the International Women’s Forum, a global network of accomplished women dedicated to advancing women’s leadership and championing equality worldwide.

Lisa is known for building trust and connecting with people to help them perform, learn and grow. She brings passion, courage, authenticity, integrity, asense of adventure and joy to all she does. Lisa knows that If it’s not energizing, it is probably not worth doing.

Lisa received an MBA with Distinction from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Lisa and her husband have raised two grown sons and divide their time between Seattle, Washington and Chincoteague, Virginia.

Mar 01, 202345:16
121. Eric Almonte: A True Partnership

121. Eric Almonte: A True Partnership

This week, my guest Eric and I talk about Reunion and Annual Giving, portfolio optimization, engaging the next generation of donors, and what to say when people ask you why a wealthy institution needs their support. Ultimately, the team at Princeton is building what they call, a true partnership with their donors.

Eric R. Almonte serves as Assistant Vice President for Capital Giving at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ. In this role, he supervises an extremely dedicated and professional staff including; three frontline fundraising teams and the support staff for Leadership Gifts, International Development and the Office of Gift Planning. The Capital Giving team focuses on fundraising to increase access and affordability opportunities, endowed professorships, and research funding to intensify innovation, curiosity and intellectual risk taking at Princeton University.

Feb 22, 202339:18
120. Maria Di Mento: A Conversation about The Chronicle of Philanthropy's Philanthropy 50
Feb 15, 202326:36
119. JD Beebe: The Origin Story of ThankView

119. JD Beebe: The Origin Story of ThankView

If you are listening to this—it is likely you either have access to ThankView through your organization or have at least seen their unicorn logo. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s the cloud-based platform that lets you easily create and send personalized videos to raise awareness, promote events, update stakeholders, and thank those who matter most.

Today, we will talk with JD Beebe, ThankView’s  co-founder and CEO. JD tells us how and why he became an entrepreneur and shares the story of how ThankView was originally created to make completing his wedding thank you notes more enjoyable. ThankView now works with over 1,000 annual partners, including The Boys & Girls Club, Boston University, Cornell, Pepperdine, Miami University and Colorado State University. In November of 2021, ThankView merged with EverTrue, the top-rated data, software, and services solution for fundraisers. He now serves as President of EverTrue (

Before founding ThankView, JD founded New Antisocial, a digital marketing agency, and Beebe's Buttcamp, a fitness studio that was named "One of the 9 Best New Studios in NYC" by He and his team built everything with no outside investment and have successfully generated millions of dollars while staying cash positive. New Antisocial worked with top global brands including Intel and Spartan Race as well as fledgling startups.

Prior to founding New Antisocial, JD was Creative Director for Noise, a digital advertising company in NYC. His work has appeared on CNN, NBC, AdAge, Fast Company, MTV and has won accolades including the Platinum Cannes Lion and top One Show awards.

Feb 08, 202328:15
118. Laurel Richie and Bob Lasher: The Inside Story of Dartmouth's $3.5 Billion Campaign

118. Laurel Richie and Bob Lasher: The Inside Story of Dartmouth's $3.5 Billion Campaign

Today’s episode marks the beginning of Season 10! If you’ve been here from the beginning, thank you for sharing this journey—if you are new to The Debrief, we have been running for just over three years and have content with industry experts in nearly every corner of the fundraising profession.

One thing I have always been curious about is the dynamic between the Chief Development Officer and the Board Chair. How do they talk to one another? Who ultimately makes the call?  But those conversations are often had in private. I am honored to open this season with Bob Lasher, Senior Vice President for Development at  Dartmouth College and Laurel Richie, Marketing, Communications, and Management Executive as well as former Dartmouth Trustee and Board chair.

In the following 45 minutes, we will talk about wins, stalls, pain points, and women in philanthropy all during a multi-billion dollar campaign.

To Learn more-- follow us on instagram @devdebrief and connect on LinkedIn, I can't wait to hear from you!

Feb 01, 202342:58
117. Katy Herbert Kotlarczyk: Checking The Boxes

117. Katy Herbert Kotlarczyk: Checking The Boxes

Hello! I want to close out this season with a heart-warming episode. Today’s guest, Katy, tells us about how she went for her dream job-- and got it. We talk about her rise to Vice Chancellor for Advancement and how this affected her career, family, motherhood, and leadership. She gives great tips for working professionals who are parents, and leaves you feeling inspired.

As Vice Chancellor for Advancement for the University of Colorado Boulder, Katy Herbert Kotlarczyk (cut-lar-chick) oversees all campus efforts related to private fundraising, philanthropic outreach, and alumni engagement. Under her direction, the CU Boulder Advancement team identifies and partners with constituents who contribute their time and talent to advance the university’s mission.

With CU Advancement since 2010, Katy previously served as Assistant Vice President for Central Advancement and led CU’s gift planning and annual giving efforts. Prior to her time at CU, Katy led fundraising for a scholarship program at Georgetown University that supported first-generation, low-income, and diverse undergraduate students. She also served as a director of Orr Group, a fundraising and strategy consultancy for nonprofit organizations.

A life-long learner, Katy is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education degree in leadership in educational equity, with a focus on higher education. She completed her MBA at DePaul University. She has both an undergraduate and master’s degree from Stanford University, where she served as captain of the women’s gymnastics team.

When she’s not working, Katy serves as a Boulder County court-appointed special advocate for youth struggling with truancy. She and her husband enjoy exploring Colorado with their three children.

Dec 06, 202237:47
116. Maddie Hansen: What is the impact?

116. Maddie Hansen: What is the impact?

Today’s episode is nostalgic I sit down with an old friend and fellow fundraiser, Maddie Hansen. We share a few memories from our time singing together in our College a cappella group and analyze what skills we learned there that we can apply to fundraising. We then learn from Maddie about her grateful patient fundraising and how she has built an authentic voice and path finding meaning in her work.

Madeleine Hansen is a Senior Associate Director of Development for Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center. In this role, Maddie works closely with physicians, scientists, and grateful patients to support diverse research and patient care programs for women’s cancers. This includes Penn’s Breast Cancer Program, 2-PREVENT Translation Center of Excellence (TCE), Ovarian Cancer Research Center (OCRC), and Gynecologic Oncology Clinical Research Unit. Maddie also serves as a point person for fundraising for diversity, health equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the Division of Hematology Oncology.

Maddie is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut where she received her BA in American Studies.

Nov 29, 202230:53
115. Adam Doyno: Who is "Frontline"?

115. Adam Doyno: Who is "Frontline"?

Happy Thanksgiving! I am grateful for all of you this week. Thank you for listening, sharing, and supporting the Development Debrief! This week, Adam Doyno and I debate about the meaning of the term "frontline fundraiser". Should we continue to use it? Or is this a problematic term? We polled all of you on the @devdebrief instagram and learned that 63% of you identify as a frontline fundraiser, 29% of you do not, and 7% of you don't know. We asked you if the term was necessary and 46% of you said yes, 33% of you said no, and 21% of you weren't sure. Take a listen, and talk about it with your teams. We would love to hear your thoughts. 

Please see Adam's article that inspired the conversation here:

Adam M. Doyno, a Certified Fund-Raising Executive, is the Founding Executive Director of the CUNY SPH Foundation and Inaugural Director of Development for the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. Since 2018, he has been an essential catalyst in the graduate school’s achievement in becoming an independent, accredited, top-ranked public health authority in New York City and the nation. In his role, he is the architect of the school’s fundraising operations and drives forward development activities that support CUNY SPH students, the 500,000+ students and continuous learners within the CUNY system, and New York City broadly.

Active in the fundraising community, Adam serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals-NYC Chapter as co-Vice President of Member Engagement. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the 125th Street Business Improvement District in Harlem. In 2021 he was honored by NYNMedia Nonprofit as part of their annual 40 Under 40 Class.

Adam earned a BA from Hofstra University and an MPA from CW Post, Long Island University. He lives on Long Island with his wife and two young children.

Nov 22, 202232:03
114. Shanna Hocking: One Bold Move A Day

114. Shanna Hocking: One Bold Move A Day

What if I told you, you can’t plan your life, but you can make small moves each day to ensure a strong, healthy, and authentic path? What if I told you that letting go is actually the way to realize your dreams? This is not my message, but it’s one that I believe in and it’s delivered by today’s guest.

This episode is close to my heart as it marks the launch of my dear friend, Shanna Hocking’s book, One Bold Move A Day. Shanna has been working tirelessly on this book and it shows as it has gained early praise from Adam Grant and several other influential leaders. This conversation gives a sneak peek into the book and shares the story of Shanna’s writing process as well as more about her career story. We talk momentum building, dreams realized, and lifestyle decisions.

Connect to continue the conversation on instagram @devdebrief 

Nov 15, 202232:26
113. Connor Adams: Leadership From a Fresh Perspective

113. Connor Adams: Leadership From a Fresh Perspective

This week I talk with Connor Adams, Senior Director of Development- College of Engineering and School of Architecture at University of Miami about returning to his alma mater in a leadership position. Connor is re-imagining a team that supports two Deans. We talk about how he manages his goals and plans to build his team, ways he has stewarded donors, and his view on zoom vs. in-person relationship building. 

As an experienced University and education fundraiser, Connor is passionate about the power of education as a key pillar of growth, success, and life, particularly its ability to serve as an agent for social change and the creation of collaborative communities. After earning his Masters degree in Student Affairs Administration from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR, and Bachelors of Science in Education from the University of Miami, Connor began his career at the Portland State University. From there, he moved to New Mexico to be a Director of Development at the University of New Mexico Foundation, then later on to the land grant institution of New Mexico State University. As of early 2022, Connor began as the Senior Director of Development for the College of Engineering at his alma mater, University of Miami and was recently promoted to oversee the School of Architecture in addition to Engineering. Connor professionally describes himself as trusted advisor, change maker, relationship manager and impact consultant. On a non professional side he is a father, husband, golfer, and a coffee aficionado.

Follow @devdebrief to learn more behind the episode! 

Nov 08, 202228:23
112. Karen Osborne: Board Diversification and Impactful Stewardship

112. Karen Osborne: Board Diversification and Impactful Stewardship

Almost a decade ago, I met Karen Osborne at my first ever CASE conference. Today, I have privilege of picking her brain on two very important topics—board diversification and stewardship. Karen and I agree that the overall thread we continue to pull in this episode is about being planful with everything you do.

Karen believes in the power of philanthropy, generosity, and service. She built her career around these passions not only as a major and principal gifts officer, vice president, speaker, teacher, consultant, and coach, but also as a donor, volunteer, and board member.

For eighteen of Karen’s forty-four professional years, she held leadership positions–Director of Major Gifts, Director of Development, and VP for College Advancement–at colleges and universities. For the past 26 years, Karen served first as President and now Senior Strategist at The Osborne Group, an international management, consulting, and training firm.

Karen enjoys a rich volunteer life. The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) awarded her the Crystal Apple for Outstanding Teaching and Public Speaking, and the Ashmore Award for Outstanding Service to the Profession. In addition to volunteering for professional organizations, she serves on the governing board of Easterseals Florida.

Karen is a suspense and mystery writer. Getting It Right, Akashic Books, published in June 2017. Award-winning and best-selling Tangled Lies, Black Rose Writing, launched July 22, 2021. Reckonings, Black Rose Writing, released June 16, 2022. Her weekly video Vlog, What Are You Reading? What Are You Writing? showcases authors and other creatives.

Nov 01, 202238:14
111. Patrick Schmitt: Planned and non-cash Giving Strategies

111. Patrick Schmitt: Planned and non-cash Giving Strategies

This week’s episode is steeped in data thanks to Patrick Schmitt, co-CEO of FreeWill. I ask Patrick about bequests, effective stock giving, crypto—he tells us about ethereum, QCD’s, and some data points on inheritance and millennial giving trends. This conversation is face paced, exciting, and informative!

Patrick Schmitt is co-CEO of FreeWill, which he and fellow FreeWill co-CEO Jenny Xia founded at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in 2016. FreeWill’s charitable giving platform makes it easier for nonprofit fundraising teams to unlock transformational gifts, and to date has generated over $6.6 billion in new gift commitments for thousands of nonprofit organizations. Patrick hosts FreeWill’s popular webinar series, educating thousands of nonprofit fundraising professionals each month about planned and non-cash giving strategies.

If you missed it, we did an "instagram live" with Patrick which you can find on my instagram @devdebrief. Feel free to find that and watch for more tidbits and information.

Oct 25, 202236:07
110. Steve Grimes: Prospect Research

110. Steve Grimes: Prospect Research

Welcome to Season 9! I am thrilled to open with a conversation focused on Prospect Research, featuring Steve Grimes. In our conversation we talk about the important role both researchers and fundraisers play as they work together towards a common goal. Steve reflects on experiences throughout his career and shares how they have shaped his approach today.

Steve is the Associate Director of Data Insight at the Helen Brown Group. Most recently he was the Assistant Director of the NYC Mayor's Office of Data Analytics (MODA). Here, he provided guidance and supervision to the Office’s data scientists and analytic portfolio. As the City's center for data analytic excellence, he regularly interacted with City leadership, other Mayor’s Offices, City agencies, and NYC’s data science community.

Previously, he was the Director of Development Analytics and Strategy at Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) producing reporting and analysis needs for senior leadership. Before JALC, he joined the ACLU as the Prospect Research Analyst working with the Principal Gifts team in the national office at the beginning of the Trump administration.

In a previous life he pursued academia as a doctoral fellow at Rutgers University, focusing his research on labor relations, intimacy, and visual sociology. When the time allowed, he taught various courses on social inequality, social research, and the sociology of emotions.

He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from SUNY at Old Westbury, a master’s degree in sociology from St. John’s University, and a second master’s degree in media studies from CUNY at Brooklyn College. He currently sits on the board of the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, he is director for NEDRA, served as a director of APRAGNY and on various  APRA committees, and was co-host of a now defunct podcast on prospect research.

He is a fan of video games, nature, and history.

Oct 18, 202230:47
109. Leah Heister Burton: Circle in a World of Squares

109. Leah Heister Burton: Circle in a World of Squares

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. I am excited for the fall season as we close out the summer and season 8. This week, I chat with Leah Burton, the Deputy Director and Chief Advancement Officer at the Guggenheim. It has been a little while since we have had an arts and culture leader here. We talk about their pandemic response, handling times of crisis, plans for the future, and learn about Leah’s background and personal journey near the end of the conversation. I used a quote from Leah to title the episode—a circle in a world of squares. This is talking about the museum itself, but I also like the idea of being different and thinking out of the proverbial box.

Leah joined the Guggenheim in September 2019. Burton oversees the planning, management, and execution of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation’s strategic engagement with current and prospective donors regionally, nationally, and internationally. Burton comes to the Guggenheim from CCS Fundraising, a strategic consulting firm where, as Vice President, she advised nonprofit clients in the art and culture, higher education, healthcare, and social services sectors. She has worked as a consultant for the Guggenheim since 2016. for ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in New York, where she oversaw fundraising initiatives for the greater New York and New Jersey area in support of the hospital. She previously was the Director of Development for St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children, where she managed a prospect portfolio, developed strategies for donor solicitation and cultivation, and prepared the organization for campaign readiness. She serves as an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University in the Master of Nonprofit Management program, where she teaches fundraising fundamentals. She graduated from Knox College and received her Master of Science in Nonprofit Management with a focus in fundraising from Columbia University. A member of the Columbia University School of Professional Studies Alumni Council, Burton is also a board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, New York City, and received the National Young Professional of the Year Award from AFP.

This is the final episode of season 8. I will be taking a short break and would love to hear from you in the interim. Check out my linkedin page or the instagram @devdebrief. I would love to hear how you are exploring being a circle in a world of squares, and what thoughts and ideas this episode brought up for you.

Sep 06, 202239:35
108. Gauri Manglik: Building Instrumentl
Aug 29, 202222:59
107. Michael and Megan: There is Hope

107. Michael and Megan: There is Hope

I want to start this episode by thanking Jim Livengood for making this episode happen. Jim, who is the Assistant Director of Development at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Medicine, reached out to me and said that our community must hear from Michael and Megan. Michael Hibler is Executive Director of Development for the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins and Megan Ward is Director of Development for the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.

Jim said, “Some of my colleagues recommended seeing if it might be possible to have both Michael and Megan come speak with you as “co-guests.” They work very closely together, and you might get a better feel for how their partnership captures the higher-level big picture stuff and maybe some of the more in-the-trenches aspects of this type of work.” Thank you, Jim- because this episode is dynamic and authentic in a way that can’t be planned or staged.

We talk about the true meaning of being mission driven, Understanding the complex nature of the healthcare center, goal setting, retention, hiring tips, team building, and so much more!

Aug 22, 202241:08
106. Debbie Rosenberg Bush: CFR Career Journey

106. Debbie Rosenberg Bush: CFR Career Journey

Debbie has focused her career on fundraising from corporations and foundations. This week, she tells us how she has made career decisions through relationship building and networking, which confirms my hunch that work in CFR is not so different from working with individuals. 

Debbie Rosenberg Bush is director of corporate and foundation relations at Columbia University School of General Studies, which she joined in March 2022 as the first person to hold this newly created position at the School. She previously served in a similar role for nine years at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.  Prior to Columbia, Debbie was senior director of development for the Cancer Support Community, director of corporate and foundation relations at Gilda’s Club Worldwide, director of foundation support at the American Museum of Natural History, and director of development at the New York Academy of Sciences.  Before her career in development, she worked at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as director of publications and was an editor at Random House, The Sciences, and Consumer Reports.  Debbie has a Bachelor of Science from Yale University and is active in the governance of the Yale Club of New York City. She was also on the board of Women in Development New York.

Aug 15, 202233:27
105. Orr Group: Mega Gifts, Crypto, ESG, oh my!
Aug 08, 202233:47
104. Amanda Pulawski: Setting the Table

104. Amanda Pulawski: Setting the Table

Do you wonder what really needs to be done in preparation for an ask? I talk with Amanda about the work she has done in the last year plus in her role created and designed to work with all parts of the advancement team. Amanda has had success keeping constituents engaged at all levels. She compares her work to setting the table before a meal. 

Amanda Pulawski is Director of Constituent Engagement at The Taft School, an independent boarding school in Watertown, Connecticut. Prior to her current role at Taft, she was a member of the Annual Fund team and served as Director of Special Events. A passionate and creative professional, she works with each part of their Advancement team to connect the schools constituents to the institution through events, communication, engagement, and stewardship. Amanda works closely with volunteers of the school to ensure that their practices are relatable and engaging across generations and relationships. She is a volunteer herself, working as an advisor to The Red Rhino Fund a 9-student board tasked with raising funds to grant awards to local organizations in support of education, literacy, and the arts, is a member of the Connecticut Community Foundation Women's Giving Circle, and serves as Board President at her children's school. She graduated from Albertus Magnus with a degree in Humanities and attended Boston University's Center for Professional Education for Fundraising. She and her husband, Artie, have two boys Jack (5) and Owen (3).

Subscribe to my website or follow for more info on instagram @devdebrief 

Aug 01, 202229:50
103. Herb Soles: Culture Beats Strategy

103. Herb Soles: Culture Beats Strategy

This week, Herb Soles and I talk about independent school fundraising. We cover working with trustees, the value of a feasibility study, and what is means when we say "culture beats our strategy every time". Herb Soles is a consultant for ISM.

Independent School Management is dedicated to advancing school leadership to enrich the student experience. Rely on 45+ years of research and insights to strengthen your school and deliver your mission with excellence. From numerous virtual and in-person workshops to weekly webinars and newsletters, our resources ensure you’re doing what’s best for your faculty, staff, and students. Join a community of 900+ private schools to develop new skills, explore research-based approaches, and feel confident in your role as a private school leader. Learn more at

Herb provides consulting services in the areas of development and fundraising, with expertise including extensive knowledge of endowment and planned giving as ways to increase donors’ capacity to give at leadership levels.

Herb has coached advancement teams that have been recognized twice by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education in the Achievement in Mobilizing Support Award competition. He has received seven other national awards for alumni participation, publication improvement, and fundraising management.

Herb has also been a member of the CASE Alumni Relations Commission, the Development Advisory Committee for the National Association of Independent Schools, and the Development Steering Committee of the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington. He is a former Program Chair and President of the Planned Giving Study Group of Greater Washington. In Helen Colson’s book, Philanthropy in Independent Schools, Herb authored the chapter on planned giving.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Virginia and has done graduate work at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Jul 25, 202230:36
102. Lydia Fenet: Command an Audience and Sell your way to Success

102. Lydia Fenet: Command an Audience and Sell your way to Success

Hello! It’s great to be back. Season 7 was a whirlwind of landmarks for the Development Debrief. We surpassed 50k downloads and 100 episodes, we are officially an LLC, and along the way, I have been working on a partnership with EverTrue which will last the duration of FY23. I am so excited to be part of EverTrue Studios- aligned with colleagues I respect and trust.

My partnership with EverTrue is the reason I am currently at the CASE Summit in Chicago. Check out my instagram @devdebrief for live updates on my story and posts of the amazing leaders who are convening as you are listening now.

I wanted to start Season 8 with Lydia Fenet because her story transcends industries and generations. As I read Lydia’s book and knew I wanted to share her story with all of you. Lydia is a global thought leader and Christie’s Ambassador who has led auctions for more than six hundred organizations raising over half a billion dollars for nonprofits globally. Lydia is represented by CAA and travels internationally as a keynote speaker helping people unlock their sales potential and empowering women in the workplace. She was named one of New York’s most influential women by Gotham magazine and has been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Crain’s, and has appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair and Town & Country. Her widely acclaimed book, ‘The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You’ was published by Simon & Schuster and optioned for TV by Netflix. Lydia’s second book Claim Your Confidence will be published in March 2023.

To learn more, you can find me on LinkedIn or get in touch through my website. I look forward to hearing from you! 

Jul 18, 202236:53
101. Demystifying The Ask

101. Demystifying The Ask

This episode recounts my experience attending AFP’s NYC chapter of Fundraising Day on 6/17. I talk through the questions I was asked on a panel with Adam Doyno, Leigh Reid, and Stan Smith titled "Making The Ask and Demystifying the Process". I share how I do individual giving outreach, work to get a meeting, prepare for a meeting, and important rituals for the day of the ask. At the end, I share a few "pro tips" that have served me over the past 1,000+ visits I have conducted. 

Ultimately, this session will either be a refresher, or provide some new ideas for you as you prepare for/continue solicitations and building relationships.

Please connect with me by liking the LinkedIn page, following the instagram account @devdebrief, rating and reviewing the podcast on Apple or Spotify, or sharing your favorite episode with a friend. 

Jun 22, 202221:33
100. Amplify, Sunset, and Create

100. Amplify, Sunset, and Create

Let's Celebrate 100!! We've made it so far. Over the past 100 episodes, we have had over 60,000 downloads. Our listeners are 90% in the US with the most popular states being New York, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Massachusetts. However, people are listening to the Debrief in all 50 states and over 60 countries!

In this episode I reflect on what inspired this podcast as well as why it is so important to me. I also feature a conversation with my Dad, Fred Van Sickle-- Vice President of Alumni Affairs and Development at Cornell University. We talk for about 20 minutes about what we would like to amplify, sunset, and continue to create in our respective institutions. I close with some hopes and visions for the Development Debrief in the future. 

More to come on my brand new website: please also follow us on instagram @devdebrief

Special thank you to all of the amazing guests who gave their time to this project. I am grateful for the connections and support and will continue delivering fresh content your way! 

Jun 15, 202228:45
99. Rich Goode: Pro Tips in Planned Giving

99. Rich Goode: Pro Tips in Planned Giving

Well, we couldn’t have 100 episodes without having one dedicated to planned giving! So here we are at Episode 99. Rich Goode tells us about how he manages a planned giving portfolio and how he prioritizes his time. I really agree with a lot of his tips and hope you enjoy!
Rich Goode has two degrees from the University of Notre Dame, a bachelor of arts and a law degree. After practicing in downtown Chicago, Rich left the practice of law in 1995 to devote his energies to fundraising in the area of planning giving. Rich worked at the Archdiocese of Chicago and Lurie Children's Foundation before joining the team at DePaul University in 2017. Rich was the president of the Chicago Council on Planned Giving from 2005-2007. Rich has spoken on planned giving topics and published articles, including in the Journal of Gift Planning.
See you next week for an extra special Episode 100!
Please connect with us on instagram @devdebrief
Jun 08, 202232:19
98. Amy Eisenstein: Capital Campaign Toolkit

98. Amy Eisenstein: Capital Campaign Toolkit

This week, we hear about the Capital Campaign Toolkit from Amy Eisenstein. Amy created a support system for non profit leaders to empower themselves within their campaign work. Amy talks about why her business model has always been online, and how she supports her clients.

Amy Eisenstein, ACFRE, has been a development professional and fundraising consultant for more than 20 years. She is also the CEO of the Capital Campaign Toolkit. Recognized as a leading expert in her field, she helps small and large nonprofits alike raise millions of dollars through major gift and capital campaigns.

Amy received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management from the Wagner Graduate School at NYU and her Bachelor’s Degree from Douglass College at Rutgers University.

Jun 01, 202225:34
97. Thom Lockerby: Independent School miniseries

97. Thom Lockerby: Independent School miniseries

Join us tomorrow—May 26th at 3pm ET for a webinar on the future of Major Gifts. Here is there registration link:

Welcome to the final episode of our Independent School miniseries. We wrap up with some big questions such as, how does culture inform the strategy? And how do leadership transitions impact teams? Especially during the pandemic. This week's guest, Thomas P. Lockerby is the Secretary of the Academy at Phillips Andover. He leads the alumni engagement, development, and communications initiatives for the school. 

Thom has spent his entire career working in and consulting with charities, focusing on major and planned gift fund raising as well as organizational leadership. Prior to joining Andover, Thom was the Vice President for Development at Boston College and directed its $1.5 billion comprehensive campaign. Previously, Thom served as Director of Gift Planning at Dartmouth College, Relationship Manager at Kaspick & Company, Vice President at PG Calc Incorporated, and Director of Development Relations at Harvard Business School. Thom serves on the Board of William James College, an independent graduate school of psychology based in Newton, MA. He is also a former Board Chair of Polaris, a leading organization fighting to eradicate human trafficking in the United States and abroad; a former Board Chair of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning; and past President of the Planned Giving Group of New England. Thom is a graduate of Harvard College.

May 25, 202232:09
96. Jennifer Kaplan Burns: Independent School miniseries

96. Jennifer Kaplan Burns: Independent School miniseries

This week, we hear from Jennifer Kaplan Burns, Assistant Head of School, Advancement and External Affairs at Solebury School in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Jenn provides our first parent perspective within the world of independent school fundraising. She tells us about the history of Solebury and about her current campaign which is breaking historic records!

Prior to her current position at Solebury, Jenn was the Director of Advancement at Wilmington Montessori School. She also spent nine years as the Director of Philanthropy at the Nature Conservancy.  Jenn is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross. She is also a dedicated CASE volunteer having served as the committee co-chair for CASE District II for five years.

This is episode 3 of a four-episode miniseries in partnership with CASE. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is the global nonprofit association dedicated to educational advancement professionals who share the goal of championing education to transform lives and society. Now let’s get started.

Please connect with the debrief on instagram @devdebrief. I would love to hear from you. Next week will be our final episode spotlights at Independent School Advancement leader. See you then!

May 18, 202231:15
95. Harold Brown: Independent School miniseries

95. Harold Brown: Independent School miniseries

This week, Harold Brown, Director of Advancement at Cranbrook Schools, talks to us about the multiple elite institutions he has served and what he has learned along the way.

Harold previously served as the Director of Development at Salisbury School, a boys college preparatory boarding school for 325 students in Salisbury, CT. Before joining Salisbury, Harold served for 25 years in various roles in the Office of Institutional Advancement at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH. As Executive Director of Alumni Relations and International Gifts, Harold led a program serving more than 21,000 alumni and 5,000 parents, strengthening ties to the school and one another.

Before dedicating his career to the world of education, Harold was in the financial sector, where he held various positions including Vice President at Connecticut Bank and Trusts, and the Bank of New England, both in Hartford, CT.

This is episode 2 of a four-episode mini-series in partnership with CASE. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is the global nonprofit association dedicated to educational advancement professionals who share the goal of championing education to transform lives and society. 

Follow and learn more on instagram @devdebrief 

May 11, 202231:01
94. Emily Stone: Independent School miniseries

94. Emily Stone: Independent School miniseries

Hello listeners! I am thrilled to announce a four-episode mini-series in partnership with CASE. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is the global nonprofit association dedicated to educational advancement professionals—in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing, and advancement services—who share the goal of championing education to transform lives and society.

The next four episodes will feature Independent school advancement leaders. I couldn’t be more excited to kick off with Emily Stone, Director of Development at the Spence School. Emily works at an all-girls independent school just blocks from the one where I work. I have known her for a while through our alma mater’s alumni network. You will hear Emily talk about how important those networks are and her career trajectory. She has worked in alumnae relations, and can keenly analyze the differences between working with alums and parents. Emily is high energy and filled with good ideas.

Follow us on instagram @devdebrief or connect on LinkedIn for more information. 

May 04, 202238:34
93. Colin Stewart: Work Smarter, Not Harder
Apr 27, 202233:54
92. Margaret Kaufmann, Jonah Nigh, Alex Tapnio: Be a Pathmaker, not a Gatekeeper

92. Margaret Kaufmann, Jonah Nigh, Alex Tapnio: Be a Pathmaker, not a Gatekeeper

The Final episode of our Impact and Innovation season is extra long. It may be because I’m just not ready to end these amazing conversations we’ve been having over the past 8 weeks. The good news is, we will have a Webinar next week on March 29th at 11am (ET) to recap these episodes and dig even deeper. 

You can learn more via this registration link:

This week's conversation is with several leaders within the New School Office of Development and Alumni Engagement. This conversation grapples with some hard questions and focus on three main themes; hiring diverse applicants, handling micro aggressions on the front line, and building affinity groups and cohort fundraising. Jonah Nigh, Meg Kaufmann, and Alex Tapnio are incredibly inspiring as they talk about their work advancing the New School with a diverse team and brilliant set of perspectives.

Connect on instagram @devdebrief

Mar 23, 202240:09
91. Rob Scott: The Force Multiplier

91. Rob Scott: The Force Multiplier

Rob Scott and I talk about his role at MIT that evolved out of an idea. Rob actually wrote the job description for his role and has been able to live out his vision. Rob gives great advice on working with senior leaders and explains how he has executed his ideas and goals.

Robert D. Scott, senior advisor to the Chancellor for Academic Advancement at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is a career fundraising professional, advancement leader, and veteran of four multi-billion-dollar campaigns. He has held various leadership positions in resource development at MIT during the past twenty years, and before coming to MIT Scott served New York University as a development professional for five years. He entered the fundraising field in 1989 at Cornell University, his alma mater.  Over the course of his thirty-year career, Scott has held national and international volunteer leadership roles within the professional advancement community.

If you want to continue this conversation, please join me and James Barnard of BWF to talk about this innovation series with a larger group of professionals. We will be hosting a webinar on March 29th at 11am ET. Please reach out if you would like more information or have questions you would like us to address. Next week is our final episode of the season. See you then!

Mar 16, 202231:20
90. Ashutosh Nandeshwar: Artificial Intelligence For Good

90. Ashutosh Nandeshwar: Artificial Intelligence For Good

Dr. Ashutosh Nandeshwar is the Assistant Vice President, Relationship Management and Data Sciences at the University of Southern California. He also is a Data Scientist. Consultant. Speaker. And Process Innovation leader. We talk about Ashu’s recommendations for portfolio management as expectations have changed since the pandemic. We discuss the pros and cons of activity comparison amongst gift officers as well as how Ashu thinks AI can advance our industry. This is a wonderful conversation about data from the research perspective.

Author of Tableau Data Visualization Cookbook, Ashutosh R. Nandeshwar is one of the few analytics professionals in the higher education industry who have developed analytical solutions for all stages of the student life cycle (from recruitment to giving). He enjoys speaking and ranting about data professionals' chase of "interesting" things (example: He received PhD/MS from West Virginia University and BEng from Nagpur University all in industrial engineering.

Learn more about Ashu's work here:

Mar 09, 202233:19
89. Karl Clauss: Leading Alma Mater and Campaign Momentum

89. Karl Clauss: Leading Alma Mater and Campaign Momentum

This week we revisit the on-going conversation about working for one’s alma mater and building momentum for campaigns. Karl Clauss, the Vice President for Advancement at Colgate University and I talked about what it has been like for him to return and lead the Development team at his alma mater, and the exciting new plans they have for their upcoming campaign. Karl is currently partnering with President Casey, Colgate faculty, and board leadership to engage alumni and parents and secure the resources that will make their newest campaign- The Third-Century Plan a reality.

As of this week, we have surpassed 50,000 downloads on this podcast. Thank you for listening, sharing, and contributing to this vital community. Thank you as well for celebrating with us on social media. If you don’t already follow, you can find a page on LinkedIn called The Development Debrief and our Instagram page is @devdebrief.

Mar 02, 202232:50