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The Philanthropy212 Podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

Tune in each week as host Penny Cowden talks with thought leaders in the realm of not-for-profit organizations, and learn how they take their philanthropy to the next level.

Tune in each week as host Penny Cowden talks with thought leaders in the realm of not-for-profit organizations, and learn how they take their philanthropy to the next level.


United States


Tune in each week as host Penny Cowden talks with thought leaders in the realm of not-for-profit organizations, and learn how they take their philanthropy to the next level.




Helping Donors Give with Sybil Ackerman-Munson, President at Do Your Good LLC

Sybil Ackerman-Munson is the President at Do Your Good LLC. They offer online courses, podcasts, and resources to help donors make a difference with their donations. With over two decades of experience, she knows how to establish best funding practices and help donors make a tangible difference in the world. Sybil has helped give away over $45 million in large and small donations throughout her career. She's worked with almost every type of charitable funder and has a thriving career...


Failure Is What It's All About with Steven D. Lavine, Former President of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)

Steven D. Lavine is the longest-serving president of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). The institute was born out of Walt Disney's vision for an art school over 50 years ago. CalArts had become embroiled in crisis until Steven became president, leading it to financial prosperity and international acclaim. When Steven took over the school, their debt was at 1.8 million out of a 16 million dollars budget. Steven served as its president from 1988 until 2017. During this time,...


What Makes People Give? Digital Fundraising with Tim Kachuriak of NextAfter

Tim Kachuriak is the Founder and Chief Innovation and Optimization Officer for NextAfter. NextAfter is a fundraising research lab and consultancy. They work with cause-driven businesses and nonprofit organizations to help them better understand their customers and inspire their donors to give generously. Tim is renowned as a nonprofit thought leader. He is the author of the book Optimize Your Fundraising, lead researcher, and co-author of Online Fundraising Scorecard, Why Should I Give to...


Building and Retaining High Performing Teams with Wendy Wilsker, Managing Partner at Boyden

Wendy Wilsker is the Managing Partner at Boyden, a global leader in executive search and talent advisory services with more than 70 offices in over 40 countries. Wendy has nearly 30 years of experience as a frontline fundraiser, not-for-profit manager, and executive recruiter. Through her, Boyden is expanding its Boston office to have a significant footprint in the social impact sector across the U.S. The company is looking to focus on advancement and C-suite roles for not-for-profit...


Optimize Your Donor’s Giving with Katherine O’Donnell of OP Creative Communications

Katherine O'Donnell is the Co-founder & CEO of OP Creative Communications (OPCC), a communications agency that helps non-profit organizations and high-net-worth individuals optimize their social impact. OPCC also partners with data scientists to assess organizations and create individualized data dashboards that ensure transparency. When Katherine isn’t in the office, she enjoys spending time with family, being outdoors, creating art, traveling, and studying a wide variety of topics. Some...


Leveraging Philanthropy for Social Change with Jay and Shira Ruderman of the Ruderman Family Foundation

Jay Ruderman is the President at the Ruderman Family Foundation. He has focused his life's work on seeking social justice by advocating for people with disabilities worldwide. As President, Jay takes an ambitious approach to leading the foundation. Since then, it has become a national and international leader in inclusion and disability rights advocacy. Jay's emphasis on philanthropy has been instrumental in creating programs worldwide, raising awareness on social media, and making the...


The Transformative Potential of Philanthropy with Jeremy Cramer, CEO of Exponential Philanthropy

Jeremy Cramer is the CEO of Exponential Philanthropy, a fundraising consulting and philanthropic advisory firm. He spent his career supporting and leading not-for-profit organizations to focus on systematic change in healthcare and education. Jeremy started his career by working in the development office at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He then led significant gifts fundraising at the world's first not-for-profit biotechnology company, working to find a cure for Lou Gehrig's...


The Power of Coaching in Philanthropy with Kerry Watterson, the CEO of Fundraising Well

Kerry Watterson is the Chief Executive Officer of Fundraising Well. This firm is on a mission to help not-for-profit organizations and philanthropists develop specific strategies to maximize their collective impact on their targeted causes. He teaches fundraising models and resource development with the University of California Irvine. He also serves on the board of directors for AFP and the US Political Action Committee. His time is spent leading lobbying and advocacy efforts throughout...


Using Data to Improve Fundraising

Jay Finney is the Vice President and Senior Consultant, Fundraising Management at Ruffalo Noel Levitz, LLC. For over 20 years, Jay has worked with a wide variety of not-for-profit organizations, helping them attract, engage, and retain more donors. He has partnered with colleges, prep schools, hospitals, PBS stations, food banks, museums, zoos, military groups, and more. Jay has helped clients move from a single channel, spray and pray approach to fundraising to more efficient and effective...


Changing How Employee’s Give with Marilyn Parker and Jami Wald, the CFRE and Senior Development Director of Benefis Health System Foundation

Marilyn Parker, CFRE, is the Chief Operating Officer at Benefis Health System Foundation, while Jami Wald is the Senior Development Director. Since 1998 the Benefis Health System Foundation has served as the only not-for-profit charitable organization working with donors to drive revolutionary support for Benefis Health System. It exists to ensure that generosity transforms the lives of their patients and families throughout north-central Montana. To that end, 100% of the foundation's money...


Collaboration and Innovation in the Not-For-Profit Sector with Alex Davison, the Executive Director of the Arthritis Foundation for Louisiana

Alex Davison is the Executive Director of the Arthritis Foundation for Louisiana. Alex has a master's degree in public administration from the University of New Orleans, where he serves on the Alumni Board of Directors. He was raised in South Lake Tahoe, California, and graduated from Cal State San Marcos before moving to New Orleans. He lives with his wife Ashley, his son Cooper, and two rescue pups: Abby and Bernie. In this episode… A lot of collaboration is going on in the private and...


Investing in the Next Generation with Shelley Davis, President and Executive Director of the Forest Preserve Foundation

Shelley Davis is the President and Executive Director of the Forest Preserve Foundation. Shelley has over 25 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector and has moved from frontline crisis intervention counselor to policy advocate and foundation grantmaker. The Forest Preserve Foundation’s aim is to invest in Chicago's climate and next generation. In this episode… Climate change is upon us, bringing less snow and more storms without enough trees to absorb the water. Undoubtedly, we...


Digital Strategy for Not-For-Profits with Steven Aguiar, Founder of Good Goes Further

Steven Aguiar is an experienced Full-Stack Digital Marketer. He is the Founder of Good Goes Further, where he helps not-for-profit organizations create and execute a plan for digital growth. Steven is also the Founder of BlueWing, a marketing agency that has helped dozens of clients grow and activate a digital audience. After graduating from Brown University, Steven oversaw digital marketing transformation at MTV, The Fader, and The Players’ Tribune. In 2016, he launched BlueWing, which has...


Unlocking the Public Longing to Give with Gina Bria, Founder and Executive Director of the Hydration Foundation

Gina Bria is the Founder and Executive Director of the Hydration Foundation. She’s an anthropologist and was named Real World Scholar with the World Evolved Lecture Series. She has opened a new conversation on what hydration is beyond just liquid consumption. Some of her greatest work has been documenting the process of hydration in desert communities. Seeing how desert communities were using water locked inside plants, she was led to breakthrough water science, opening a new phase of more...


Life Balance for Not-for-Profit Leaders with Cynthia Gregory, Executive Coach

Cynthia Gregory is an author, life strategist, executive coach, and Certified Co-Active Coach. She’s the Communication Director for the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the International Coaching Federation, a Member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Golden Gate Chapter, and the California Writers Club. Cynthia is a not-for-profit leader with more than two decades in the field. She knows all too well that no one works harder and deserves more validation than not-for-profit...


Hyper Philanthropy with Russ Hodge, CEO of The Hodge Group

Russ Hodge is the CEO of The Hodge Group, one of the fastest-growing fundraising consulting firms in the nation. Russ has over 35 years of fundraising experience, using a hands-on management style and innovative fundraising techniques that have helped The Hodge Group raise more than half a billion dollars. Russ is often sought out as a key speaker at fundraising conferences locally and nationally and previously presented at Candid on how board culture leads to hyper philanthropy. Russ is a...


The Art of the Introductory Email with David Williams, Chief Development Officer for the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue Research Foundation, Purdue University

David Williams is the Chief Development Officer for the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue Research Foundation, Purdue University. For over 15 years, David has been responsible for designing and implementing a comprehensive advancement program for ten academic units that comprise the College of Liberal Arts. In this episode… Something fundraising officers find most difficult, but crucial, is setting up the donor visit. How do you schedule successful donor visits? Some opt for phone calls,...


Digital Impact for Not-for-profits and Social Impact Organizations with Eric Ressler of Design by Cosmic, Inc

Eric Ressler is the Founder and Creative Director at Cosmic Inc., a social impact creative agency. Cosmic empowers social impact organizations to catalyze real-world change by helping them nail their impact story, brand awareness, and inspire action. Eric got his start in design from a young age. He left a design program in San Diego early to pursue freelance work. He organically built a strong roster of clients and soon discovered a passion for the social impact and philanthropic space...


All-in-One Virtuous CRM Automates Your Marketing with Gabe Cooper, Founder and CEO of Virtuous

Gabe Cooper is the Founder and CEO of the all-in-one nonprofit growth platform, Virtuous. Virtuous is a responsive fundraising platform designed to help nonprofit organizations build lasting relationships with all their donors. After serving in a leadership role at a large nonprofit in the early 2000s, Gabe went on to help build a series of successful products in the nonprofit and profit-focused sectors, including multiple Apple award-winning mobile apps. Gabe’s drive stems from a passion...


Principles of Good Governance in Not-For-Profit Organizations with Philip Purcell, Consultant & Adjunct Faculty at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Philip Purcell is a Consultant and Adjunct Faculty at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, where he teaches nonprofit organization law and planned giving. He is also Adjunct Faculty at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, where he teaches law and philanthropy, and nonprofit law. Philip is the Editor of Planned Giving Today, and a Senior Consultant in Legacy and Estate Planning at Heaton Smith Group. He is Lead Counsel for the Community Foundation Legal Help...