Elevate Philanthropy ™

Conversations Shaping the Future of Philanthropy


Bringing together philanthropy scholars and fundraising practitioners to bridge the gap between theory and practice

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About the Make Mission Podcast

The first six episodes of this podcast will examine how large-scale societal shifts such as the pandemic and the Great Resignation are impacting the world of philanthropy. We’ll explore how emerging technologies such as cryptocurrency are changing how nonprofits fundraise and the efforts nonprofits are taking to become a more inclusive workplace.

Listen to the trailer below and subscribe today.

Episode 1

Who runs the world? Women philanthropists and why they matter

What causes are women paying attention to and how does their support manifest? How are girls and young women today building philanthropy into their whole-self development? How are women particularly fulfilled by their philanthropic activity and motivated to create change? And most of all, how can they best be served by the organizations they wish to support?

Full Episode

Megan Murphy headshotMegan Murphy
Executive Director
The International Coalition of Girls’ Schools


Beth Gillespie headshotBeth Gillespie
Assistant Professor
Department of Public and Nonprofit Administration, University of Memphis

Sally Bryant headshotSally Bryant
President and CEO
Bryant Group


Dr. Mandi Stewart headshot

Dr. Mandi Stewart
Associate Professor, School of Public and International Affairs
North Carolina State University


Episode 2

When One Door Closes: Maximizing nonprofit leadership transitions

Research shows that board leadership is crucial, especially during an executive transition. During this time, what does a supportive, engaged board look like? What do board members most need as they stretch their capacity to assess the needs of the organization and identify and onboard a new leader? What results can stem from this preparation, or lack thereof? Based on the preferences and priorities of board members during the hiring process, how can a burgeoning nonprofit executive position themselves for a leadership position?

Full Episode

Episode 3

Who Gives a DAF: Understanding Donor-Advised Funds and their users

With the increasing use of Donor-Advised Funds in the modern philanthropic landscape, understanding how people give is becoming just as important as understanding why people give. However, the relative newness of this giving vehicle can cause anxiety among even the most seasoned of fundraisers. And like many nascent subjects, research on its function and the qualities of those who use it is relatively limited.

Full Episode

Dr. H. Daniel Heist
Assistant Professor of Public Administration and Nonprofit Management
George W. Romney Institute of Public Service and Ethics at Brigham Young University

Heather Engel headshotHeather Engel
Associate Vice President for Gift Planning
University of Virginia


Michael Jones headshotDr. Michael Jones
Kautz-Uible Professor of Economics
University of Cincinnati


Joel Rivera headshot

Joel Rivera
Assistant Director of Development, Z. Smith Reynolds Library
Wake Forest University


Episode 4

Tales from the Crypto: Futurism and Philanthropy

Can you prepare your nonprofit for a future that looks wildly different from the present? It’s a future with a blockchain’s worth of new words, definitions, and approaches to understanding futurist donors who have deep passion and pockets for new, disintermediated technologies.

Full Episode

Episode 5

Controlled Chaos: What makes TikTok different for nonprofits?

There’s a new kid on the block when it comes to nonprofit messaging: TikTok. And as a result of its frenetic short-form videos, artificial intelligence, and relative ease of video creation and amplification, it is changing the way organizations relate to their audiences.

Full Episode

Darcy Porter headshotDarcy Porter
Associate Director of Communications and Content Strategy
SUNY Brockport


Kim Wiley headshot

Dr. Kimberly Wiley
Assistant Professor of Nonprofit Leadership and Community Sciences
University of Florida Department of Family, Youth, and Community Services


Dr. Erynn Beaton headshotDr. Erynn Beaton
Assistant Professor
John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University

Karen Isble Headshot

Karen Isble
Vice President for College Advancement
Kalamazoo College


Chelsey Megli headshot

Chelsey Megli
Chief of Staff for Advancement
University of Oregon

Episode 6

Safe and Supported: Combatting Sexual Harassment toward Fundraisers

Sexual harassment within the nonprofit sector, often perpetrated by donors, is an uncomfortable yet very real experience for fundraisers. But researchers and fundraising leaders are bringing light to this darkness – and they’ve joined us for this important episode.

Full Episode

About the host

Anna Schila | Graham-Pelton

Anna Schlia

Vice President

Status quo breaker, frontline fundraiser, and researcher of donor inclinations, Anna Schlia is an expert in principal and major gifts, collaborative ask strategy and management, program building, and solicitation team leadership. Relentlessly inquisitive about nonprofit institutions and the donors who support them, Anna is completing a Ph.D. on the topic of donor motivations and is a noted presenter on the topic.

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Graham-Pelton is the fundraising consulting firm chosen by leading nonprofit organizations worldwide.

Our mission is to elevate philanthropy so nonprofits can flourish.