Latest Episodes

Episode 11 - A list of 70 high impact questions covering the giving cycle stages of identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship

Today's episode of The Philanthropy Podcast provides seventy high impact questions to cover each phase of the giving cycle: identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. With 70 questions you will better know your benefactors, what their values are in life, what they hope to accomplish in their philanthropy, and how your organization's needs align with their hopes.

Also, we launch our Patreon page with a limited time giveaway of an mp3 version of these questions without commentary to allow for you to prepare on the way to your future donor visits. Whether you're flying, driving, taking a taxi or a bus, or walking, you'll be able to listen to these questions and be better prepared to have a meaningful conversation with your benefactor that helps them make a more meaningful gift that has a greater impact on your organization. All this and a chance to contribute your high impact questions and receive a thank you on episode 13's show! For that and today's links click here for more...


Today, our episode of The Philanthropy Podcast is a solo episode where I'll be exploring high impact questions as a tool in a questionning strategy. The ability to ask the right questions and guide someone’s exploration of their philanthropic goals and intentions is a great skill to develop in major gift work, corporate relationships, planned giving, alumni relations, or any other fundraising role where it's important that you connect with people. So I’ll share a few high impact questions, but also we’ll explore why and how you want to use them, some lessons I’ve learned from finding guests for the show, and more…


9 - Interview with Aly Hall, Foundation for Endodontics - Peer to Peer Fundraising, Board and Volunteer Training, Goal Setting, and more

Today, our guest on The Philanthropy Podcast is Aly Hall, Director of Development at The Foundation for Endodontics. Aly helps us dive into a great discussion on Peer to Peer fundraising, goal setting, providing training and mentoring for volunteers and board members, and more. 

Our discussion with Aly provides information about the advantages and disadvantages of a peer to peer fundraising model, the challenges of acknowledging and thanking volunteers who are spread out across the country, how to train volunteers in a way that isn't overwhelming and sets them up for success, and more...



Episode 8 - Interview with Patrick Van Der Tuin, Executive Director, St. Louis Bicycle Works – Retail In Support of Nonprofits, Staffing Issues, Nonprofit Turnarounds, And More

Today, on The Philanthropy Podcast Patrick Van Der Tuin, Executive Director of St. Louis Bicycle Works shares his insights on running a nonprofit and how having a retail operation shapes organizational funding. Patrick discusses the pros and cons of having a retail side of the house, staffing issues that arise, board oversight, benchmarking, volunteer recruitment, and how Bicycle Works is able to generate unrestricted revenue from their retail effort. I think this is a great dive into a nonprofit model that makes a lot of sense for many nonprofits but might not be utilized as widely as it could be. 

Our discussion with Patrick also shows how Bicycle Works and the other BWorks efforts help St. Louis’ youth learn valuable skills and take ownership in the mission of a nonprofit. Patrick also touches on the importance of self-care when you’re a nonprofit executive director and gives his advice for nonprofits thinking of dipping their toes into this space and those looking to dive into the deep end of launching a retail operation and much more...

Artwork lining the Misericordia Halls

Artwork lining the Misericordia Halls

Today, our guest on The Philanthropy Podcast is Pete Cullen Conway, Director of Major Gifts at Misericordia in Chicago. Pete shares with us some great major gift advice including how he utilizes introduction letters to open doors with benefactors, how he handles first visits, when and how to close the file on reaching out to a donor, and how he uses twitter to get supporters to start rowing the boat in the same direction. 

Our discussion with Pete reveals a lot about how Misericordia, an organization with some of the most diverse ways of reaching out to the community, utilizes relationships to explore these avenues. Pete's ideas are great for putting into practice right away and also for simply keeping in mind as we go about our work. Pete shares a sentiment that I believe many of us share "I'm in the development office, but I work for the families" (Click to Tweet) and much more...


Episode 6 - Interview with Kara Buffardi, Craveity Marketing - Digital Marketing including Social Media, Email, and Websites

Have you wondered where the right place is to begin your digital marketing efforts? Do you feel overwhelmed when trying to maintain a presence online? Have you ever felt like your digital marketing could be more engaging and more personal? Then today's show with Kara Buffardi of Craveity Marketing will provide some advice you can put to use right away.


Our discussion with Kara offers some great advice on what you need to do before launching your social media and email efforts, how to create content that tells the story of your organization and the people who make its mission come to life, and how to be sure you're putting content out on each medium that is appropriate and reaches your audience in the way you want to engage with more and find out how to download Kara's free guide to avoiding social media burnout


Episode 5 - Interview with Kelly Klein, Greater Chicago Food Depository - Corporate and Foundation Relations

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Today, our guest on The Philanthropy Podcast is Kelly Klein, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at the Greater Chicago Food Depository.  Kelly shares with us some of the questions she asks to determine how to be a good partner with corporations and foundations, what the GCFD can offer to further engage partners with their missions, and much more. 

Our discussion with Kelly really reveals a lot of great concrete things an organization can do to be a better partner with funding organizations and other nonprofits with whom we collaborate. Kelly's way of viewing their partnership is also important to note as you'll hear her refer to the idea of being peers. This mentality is one that I think will serve nonprofits well and one that challenges us to be sure we're up to a high standard before we claim that more


Episode 4 - Interview with John Chandler, St. Ignatius College prep - The Joy of this Vocation

I'm excited to share with you an interview with John Chandler Vice President of Development at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago which you can find at This is part of a set of interviews which will cover not only perspectives on work in philanthropy, but specifically the question of where do you find joy in your work and joy in making an ask. 

John touches on a number of topics, but I think the thread to listen for is the idea of a man who has found his vocation as he'll put in his own words. John goes into ideas around retention of employees, the joy of gifting, educating board members, and you'll also hear him express an idea about involving people beyond alumni and families which I think has been vital to his success... read more.

Episode 3 - Interview with Katy (Hall) Orenchuk, Newberry Library - The Joy Of Making An Ask

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Today's episode is an interview with Katy (Hall) Orenchuk, Vice President of Development at the Newberry Library, Chicago's independent research library. This is the first of a series of interviews which covers not only perspectives on work in philanthropy, but specifically the question of where do you find joy in your work and joy in making an ask.

Katy shares amazing her thoughts about marketing yourself when looking for new job opportunities, growing into a skill set which might not be natural, taking good notes out of respect for donors, and more and find links here

Episode 2 - My background and philosophy of philanthropy

In today's episode I provide a bit of background about who I am and my philosophy of philanthropy. This episode will provide some context for you about my experiences, beliefs, and biases. The next few episodes will be interviews but I felt that knowing my background will help you not only understand me, but also suggest better show topics, guests for interviews, and provide better feedback for the more and find links here


Episode 1 - Welcome to The Philanthropy Podcast

Welcome to the first episode of The Philanthropy Podcast! Today, we have a brief introduction to me, some of the concerning things I kept hearing from schools leaders and non-profit directors that spurred me to launch a podcast, my vision for The Philanthropy more and find links here