Apra Reviews: ‘Philantherapy — Tales From Your Fundraising Therapist,' a Podcast by David Garamella

Review by Emma Aguirre, senior analysist, Texas Tech University

What We’re Reviewing: “Philantherapy – Tales From Your Fundraising Therapist,” a podcast by David Garamella, CEO and principal of The Giving Collaborative

How We Learned About It: Sarah Landman, senior vice president of philanthropy services at Insightful, posted in the Apra Listserv that she was a guest on the Dec. 3, 2020 episode, “Sarah Landman discusses Millennial Philanthropy,” where she discusses the topic of millennial philanthropy and how to connect and cultivate millennial donors.

Where You Can Find It: Spotify and PodBean

Summary: Garamella and his guests, leaders in nonprofits, confront challenges in the fundraising industry. Each episode, they tackle a particular problem and work collaboratively to identify potential solutions to the issues, as well as share advice on how to approach these issues when they arise.

Key Takeaways From Select Episodes:

  • “Sarah Landman Discusses Millennial Philanthropy”: Millennials — those born between 1981 and 1996 — are a largely untapped donor base at some nonprofits. Some organizations currently don’t screen for donors that are under 50 years old. Recently, there are reports that there are over 700,000 millennial millionaires and that by 2030, $30 to $70 trillion could end up with millennials. Many high-wealth millennials are looking for organizations that are “winning the problem” and have leadership with a vision. To capture the attention of millennials that may have several time commitments, the key is to ask good questions and tell stories about how your organization’s mission has impacted lives. If there’s an interest, follow up with the donor with tours or events to show them that impact in person.
  • Aimee Marcella and Emily Brady Fundraising After a Controversy”: Most donors are more receptive to transparency with political and financial issues within the institution rather than not being notified at all. In many situations, if a donor is upset enough to talk to a fundraiser about an issue, they care enough that they want you to listen. In terms of the pandemic, there have been two positives that have come from the change of business at nonprofits. The first being that the timeline for cultivating donors has shortened due to most visits being virtual instead of in person. Donors are even willing to meet virtually the same day that a meeting was scheduled. Secondly, because in-person events have been replaced with virtual events, fundraisers are spending less time preparing for events and able to spend more time scheduling meetings with donors.
  • “Healthcare Fundraising During a Pandemic, Featuring Shannon Duval and Robert Faughnan From CommonSpirit Health”: Though the pandemic has changed the way we interact with donors, ultimately the work is still the same as before; the difference is that we’re using different tools to meet with donors. In the healthcare industry, donor wealth has grown in the past year and donors continue to be as generous with their giving as they previously were. Spotlighting the successes of fundraisers in an organization helped other fundraisers within that organization gain the confidence to be bold and reach out to donors using those different tools.

If I could interview Garamella, I would ask… In his opinion, what are the biggest challenges fundraisers and prospect researchers are currently facing? Similarly, what problems does he see on the horizon that nonprofits need to keep an eye out for?


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