Fundraising second, Relationships first with Carolyn Russell

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Fundraising second, Relationships first with Carolyn Russell


In this first episode of Almabase Spotlights Podcast, we share a conversation with Carolyn Russell, the Director of the Annual Fund at Greenwich Academy, Connecticut. She talks about her experience as once a student of Social Work and Fundraising at Boston University, and how she discovered her passion to work as an Alumni Relations professional thereafter. From building and strengthening relationships to engagement ideas that have created an impact within the alumni community at Greenwich Academy - this conversation unravels a range of ideas and stories.

The art of adaptability in the space of alumni engagement is one that you cannot miss out on - from direct mails to e-mails and now a virtual setting for all events, we have come a long way. Carolyn shares her experience of being a part of this transition and how she adapted her ideas to overcome the challenges at hand. When it comes to fundraising, Carolyn strongly believes that “Fundraising comes second, it's the relationships that come first”, an ideology that she abides by. Listen to these engagement ideas and a candid conversation ending with a movie recommendation you wouldn’t want to miss out on!

Carolyn Russell
Director of the Annual Fund for over 12 years, Carolyn uses data and analytics to expand engagement of all constituent groups. Using key statistics to forecast giving trends, she is able to apply creative outreach through a variety of channels to obtain the independent school fundraiser’s dream on June 30: meet financial and participation goals. Carolyn lives in Greenwich, CT with her husband, two children and their rescue dog.