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Episode 49 – Endowment Management,Fundraising, Investing, Spending and Other Key Considerations in Higher-Ed with Dr. Jim Reynolds



When raising funds for a new project, are you factoring in operating costs? What type of board and investment committee members do you recruit? How has spending and investing changed in 2022?

These are just some of the questions nonprofit leaders are asking today.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Dr. Jim Reynolds, president at Millikin University. Having worked in higher education for over three decades, Dr. Reynolds shares his experience in advancing an organization’s mission by adapting endowment management, fundraising, and spending policies to the current environment.

You will learn:

  • Why it’s important to raise for maintenance during capital campaigns
  • The role of higher-ed institutions in bridging the income gap for its students
  • How to build well-balanced committees with diverse members
  • Steps taken by Millikin’s investment committee to improve its ESG efforts
  • And more!

Tune in to unpack key considerations for nonprofit leaders today, in higher education and beyond!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Dr. Jim Reynolds on LinkedIn | Millikin University | Webcast: Mid-Year Capital Markets and Economic Update

About Our Guest:

Dr. James Reynolds is the president of Millikin University, a Decatur-based private institution with a diverse population of about 2000 students. Millikin University consistently receives recognition as one of the nation’s best colleges and is on Princeton review’s Best in the Midwest list, Forbes America’s top colleges rankings, and others. Prior to becoming Millikin’s 16th president in 2020, Dr. Reynolds served as president of Wilmington College in Ohio, where he led the creation of a new campus-wide strategic planning process. Over his career, Dr. Reynolds’ scholarly work has been published extensively and his classroom excellence has resulted in six teacher-of-the-year awards.

 




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Episode 48 – Fundraising Strategies to Increase Donor Engagement with Brian Gawor



Fundraising, both on a small and large scale, can be difficult when markets are down, and there is global turmoil.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Brian Gawor, CFRE, vice president of research at Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL) and host of the Fundraising Voices Podcast. Brian shares actionable strategies to boost donor engagement and achieve better outcomes for fundraising campaigns.

You will learn:

  • Six variables of the “fundraising equation” that nonprofit leaders should know about
  • How higher-ed institutions and other nonprofits can take a data-driven approach to fundraising
  • How this downturn is stocks might impact your fundraising and your endowment 
  • How to use AI-personalization to improve communication with donors
  • The process of turning small-scale donors into major gifters
  • And more!

Tune in to learn how you can improve your organization’s fundraising!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Brian Gawor on LinkedIn | Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL) | Fundraising Voices Podcast | Amplify Your Impact Through Strategic Philanthropy with Caren Yanis (Ep. 36) | How Can Mission-Driven Nonprofits Improve Performance in Today’s Environment? with Sally Blount (Ep. 45)

About Our Guest:

Brian Gawor is the vice president of research at Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL) with a background in student affairs, enrollment, annual giving, and major gifts. Brian leads actionable research and strategy to propel the success of RNL’s 1,900 partner clients. He’s a first-generation college graduate grateful to the donors who made it possible. Considering himself a dedicated giving geek, Brian strikes down myths about fundraising and believes that the best strategy comes from listening to donors at scale. Brian regularly presents at professional conferences, and you can also find him hosting RNL’s regular LinkedIn live broadcasts, webinars, and the Fundraising Voices Podcast.




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Episode 47 – Second Quarterly Quick Take of 2022: Key Market Updates with Brad Long



With high inflation, slowing growth, volatile capital markets, and political unrest in Eastern Europe, it’s time for our second Quarterly Quick Take of 2022.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Brad Long, CFA®, partner and deputy chief investment officer at Fiducient Advisors. They discuss the current and future outlook for capital markets, the U.S. economy, and international trends.

You will learn:

  • Portfolio positioning under current inflationary pressures
  • Market and economic ripples caused by the actions of the Federal Reserve
  • Why consumer sentiment is low despite high employment rates
  • What investors should be thinking about in the current environment (but aren’t)
  • And more!

Tune in for timely market updates as we enter the second half of 2022!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | BRAD LONG BIO | Brad Long on LinkedIn | Fiducient Advisors Insights (Research, Blog, and Podcasts)

About Our Guest:

Brad Long joined Fiducient Advisors in 2012. He is chair of the firm’s Investment Committee and a member of the firm’s Discretionary Committee, Research Forum, Capital Markets Team and Mission-Aligned Investing Committee. Prior to joining the firm, Brad worked in various research capacities at Citigroup and Wells Fargo in New York. He received a BA in Finance and Minor in Economics from The University of Colorado and is a CFA® charterholder and member of the CFA Society of Chicago and CFA Institute. Additionally, he is active with Greenhouse Scholars, a nonprofit providing financial and personal support to under-resourced college students. In his free time, Brad loves cooking and spending time with his wife and young sons.


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Episode 46 – Taking on ESG Initiatives Amidst Global Turmoil with Habib Subjally



Gas prices have spiked exponentially. Inflation is at 40-year highs. World peace is disrupted due to the war in Eastern Europe.

Amidst all of this global turmoil, how should investors think about  ESG investing? How can organizations advance mission-aligned initiatives?

Find out in this episode, as Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Habib Subjally, senior portfolio manager and head of global equities at RBC Global Asset Management. Habib shares thoughtful insights and strategies for effective ESG integration within an organization your organization and yoru portfolio.

You will learn:

  • Why the current momentum in ESG investing is here to stay
  • How ESG investing can lead to greater commercial success and financial returns
  • Ways to navigate the complexities of the current ESG landscape (and some trending investment themes)
  • How portfolio managers can adopt ESG initiatives despite a lack of standardized industry data
  • And more!

Tune in to learn more about incorporating ESG into your current investment process!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Habib Subjally on LinkedIn | RBC Global Asset Management | Fiducient Advisors’ Guide to Mission-Aligned Investing

About Our Guest:

Habib Subjally is a Senior Portfolio Manager and the Head of RBC Global Equity at RBC Global Asset Management, where he leads a team of 11 global sector specialists. Prior to joining the firm in 2014, Habib spent eight years managing global equities and building his team to its current structure. Previously, he held lead positions in small- and mid-cap equities as well as global and North American equities at other asset management firms.


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Episode 45 – How Can Mission-Driven Nonprofits Improve Performance in Today’s Environment? with Sally Blount



Every organization must take the time to stop, reflect on its performance, and ask, “Are we doing the best we can with our current resources?”

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Sally Blount, president, and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, one of the largest human service providers in the Midwest serving more than 500,000 people annually. Sally sheds light on the current environment for nonprofits and strategies to advance your charitable mission.

You will learn:

  • The process of re-evaluating and enhancing your nonprofit’s performance
  • Caveats to keep in mind while scaling your organizational services
  • Factors that lead to effective governance and ideal committee structures
  • The importance of aligning your investment portfolio with your core values
  • And more!

Tune in to learn how you can help your organization prosper in the current environment!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Sally Blount on LinkedIn | Email Sally | Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago | Episode 42: “Investment Considerations, DEI, Nonprofit Leadership and More with Mellody Hobson” | Nonprofit Fundraising and Cryptocurrencies

About Our Guest:

Sally Blount is president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Moreover, she is the professor of strategy at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she is also a proud alumna and former dean. An internationally recognized thought leader in management and business education, Blount is a highly rated professor and sought-after speaker on leadership development, board governance, and organizational transformation. From 2004-2010, Sally served as dean of the New York University undergraduate College of Business and vice dean of the Stern School of Business. In both deanships, Blount was a record-setting fundraiser, partnering with and leading teams that completed two capital campaigns that were transformational for their institutions, together raising more than $550M. Blount also sits on the board of two Fortune 500 companies, Abbott Laboratories and Ulta Beauty, as well as the boards of the Joyce Foundation and the Economic Club of Chicago.


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Episode 44 – Nonprofits in Higher-Ed: Current Outlook, Opportunities, and Challenges with Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich



This can be a challenging environment for nonprofit organizations, especially those in higher education, contending with investments, revenue, operations, and more.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich, president at Concordia University-St. Paul. They discuss the current outlook for higher-ed organizations, including major opportunities and challenges facing them today.

You will learn:

  • Latest trends in enrollment, operations, and advancement in the higher education space
  • Reasons to focus on sustainability and long-term results while overseeing endowments
  • The impact of rising interest rates on an organization’s finances
  • Tips to help achieve greater alignment among committee and board members
  • And more!

Tune in to learn about the current opportunities and challenges for nonprofits, especially in higher education!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Brian Friedrich on LinkedIn | Email Brian Friedrich | Concordia University, St. Paul | Endowments & Foundations Consulting at Fiducient Advisors

About Our Guest:

The Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich is the 10th president of Concordia University, St. Paul. Prior to returning to his alma mater, Friedrich served as President of Concordia University, Nebraska from 2004-2019, holding several positions in development and administration. He was appointed as vice president for institutional advancement in 1997 and was named the president of Concordia Foundation, Inc. in 2003 before being named president in 2004. Friedrich is a vice president of the Concordia University System, member of the Colloquy Committee of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, trustee of Mill Neck Foundation and Lutheran Friends of the Deaf boards, a director of the Council of Independent Colleges of Nebraska, a director of the National Association of the Council of Independent Colleges and Universities, a member of the Seward Rotary Club and St. John Lutheran Church.

 


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Episode 43 – Nonprofit Governance: How to Effectively Build Committees, Craft Policies, and Fill Gaps with Julia Boisvert



Effective governance is key to a nonprofit’s success. It provides strategic direction to your organization.

There are multiple factors to consider — board and committee structures, decision-making authority, and investment policies, to name a few.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Julia Boisvert, a member of Murtha Cullina LLP’s Health Care and Tax-Exempt Organizations Practice Groups. Together, they help nonprofit leaders improve their governance structure and overall operational efficiency.

You will learn:

  • How nonprofits can increase their investment reserves with innovative strategies
  • Key considerations while creating investment and spending policies
  • How committees and board members can collaborate more efficiently
  • How to ensure that gifts/donations align with your organization’s core values
  • And more!

Tune in to learn how you can establish effective governance at your charitable organization!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Julia Boisvert on LinkedIn | Contact Julia Boisvert | Murtha Cullina LLP

About Our Guest:

Julia Boisvert assists hospitals, physicians, physician practice groups, social service providers, and other for-profit and nonprofit health care providers with a variety of health care regulatory, corporate, and business issues. Julia has experience advising on corporate formation, governance matters, corporate transactions, employment matters, practitioner and facility licensure, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, HIPAA and privacy compliance, and fraud and abuse matters. She also has experience drafting a variety of agreements, including professional services agreements and employment agreements. For nonprofit providers, Julia also assists with filing for recognition of tax exemption, board management issues, charitable giving matters, and general operational issues.


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Episode 42 – Investment Considerations, DEI, Nonprofit Leadership, and More with Mellody Hobson



How concerned should we be with market and economic trends? How can we improve our DEI efforts? What are opportunities and challenges should nonprofit leaders be focusing on? These are some of the pressing questions we hear from clients.

Join Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis as they speak with one of the most in-demand guests Mellody Hobson, co-CEO & president at Ariel Investments, a firm managing nearly $18 billion in assets. Mellody shares valuable insight into current investment trends, along with strategies to make your organization more diverse and inclusive.

You will learn:

  • Effectively diversifying your portfolio, given the recent performance of various asset classes
  • Ways to overcome the “unconscious bias” that sabotages your DEI efforts
  • How to evaluate investment managers and firms through a DEI lens
  • Valuable advice for nonprofit leaders to help them drive positive, systematic change
  • And more!

Tune in to hear Mellody Hobson’s expert insights on how investors, including nonprofit organizations, can thrive in the current environment!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Mellody Hobson on LinkedIn | Ariel Investments | “The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies” by Scott Page

About Our Guest:

As Co-CEO, Mellody Hobson is responsible for management, strategic planning, and growth for all areas of Ariel Investments outside of research and portfolio management. Outside of Ariel, Mellody is a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of Starbucks Corporation and as a director of JPMorgan Chase. Previously, Mellody served as Chairman of the Board of DreamWorks Animation until the company’s sale and was also a long-standing board member of the Estée Lauder Companies. Mellody’s community outreach includes her role as Chairman of After School Matters, a Chicago non-profit that provides area teens with high-quality after school and summer programs. Additionally, she is vice chair of World Business Chicago; co-chair of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art; and a board member of the George Lucas Education Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies.


Episode 41 – Peer Benchmarking Using the 2021 NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments with Devon Francis



The NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments is a great benchmarking tool for college and university endowments.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis discuss the key findings from the latest release of the study including noteworthy trends for colleges and universities on investment returns, asset allocation, ESG investing, and a lot more.

You will learn:

  • What nonprofits should keep in mind while comparing performance with peer groups
  • How investment strategies and returns might differ based on endowment size
  • Latest spending trends among college and university endowments
  • The growing adoption of the OCIO model, ESG investing, and DEI policies
  • And more!

Tune in to gain useful insights and how your endowment compares to peers in recent years!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | 2021 NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments | Commonfund Benchmarks Study® of Independent Schools | Ep. 14: Your Guide to Endowment Spending Policy With Devon Francis | Ep. 24: The Benefits and Pitfalls of OCIO Endowment Management With Matt Porter | Ep. 28: How Nonprofits Can Drive Results Through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion With Cynthia Primo Martin


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Episode 40 – How Museums and Attendance-Dependent Nonprofits Can Thrive Post-COVID with Laura Lott



Does your nonprofit’s success rely heavily on memberships and attendance?

If yes, then it’s likely that your organization faced a major downturn due to COVID-19.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Laura Lott, president and CEO at American Alliance of Museums. They discuss strategies to help attendance-dependent nonprofits, such as museums and zoos, thrive post-COVID.

You will learn:

  • New ways to engage your community and monetize your services
  • Why many organizations lack financial sustainability in the first place
  • Tips for more effective investment and spending policies
  • How investment committees can approach ethical investing
  • And more!

Tune in to learn how you can help attendance-dependent nonprofits prosper! 

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Laura Lott on LinkedIn | American Alliance of Museums (AAM) | AAM 2022-2025 Strategic Framework | How Museums Can Ethically Invest Their Money | Endowment and Foundations at Fiducient Advisors

About Our Guest:

Laura L. Lott began her tenure as president and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums in June 2015. A results-oriented, entrepreneurial, strategic leader with a track record of setting and achieving aggressive programmatic and financial goals, Laura served as the Alliance’s chief operating officer since 2010. Laura also led the 2012 re-launch of the Alliance, including rebranding the organization and rebuilding its technical infrastructure and web/mobile presence, and redesigning its membership and excellence programs — leading to a nearly 70 percent increase in museum membership and the organization’s first three profitable years in a decade. Prior to her work at the Alliance, Laura guided the evolution and growth of several nonprofit education organizations. Most recently, Laura served as chief financial officer and chief operating officer of The JASON Project, an international nonprofit education program at the National Geographic Society with a mission to inspire and motivate students to learn science through great explorers and events.