Annual Giving as a Career

September 30, 2022   |   Season: 1 Episode: 9   |   Transcript

Jake Strang

The grit and negotiating skills Jake Strang developed making his first fundraising ask in college as a paid student caller have stayed with him as he honed his craft throughout his professional career. A series of promotions and career moves have allowed Jake to grow as a professional fundraiser within annual giving, and he’s thrilled to be part of the annual giving revolution that is underway where data and technology are making stronger human connections possible. The donor connections that stay with him are when he and his team create content that compels a donor to give today and direct their support to where the funds are most needed. He confidently shares that diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are central to his work and is a priority echoed throughout the university. For those starting and managing their career, Jake reminds us that you must believe in what you’re selling - the mission of the organization - and know that you cannot put a price on good leadership. Listen in to catch his must-read list and hear what he’s looking for as a hiring manager. Jake has 15 years of experience in higher education development and is currently the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Alumni Annual Giving at the University of Pittsburgh. In this role, he leads a comprehensive annual giving program that engages alumni constituents and secures sustainable funds for Pitt’s highest priorities. Jake is a resource and convener for the annual giving staff at Pitt’s regional campuses and Pitt Athletics, and has primary responsibility for the operations and staff of Panthers Forward, a signature student debt relief initiative. Prior to Pitt, Jake held leadership roles at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University in the City of New York, and the University of South Carolina with Ruffalo Noel Levitz. He has experience leading annual giving, direct marketing campaigns, reunions, volunteers, class gift campaigns, giving days, frontline fundraising, digital strategies, engagement centers, and leadership societies. In addition, he has also led alumni engagement efforts including newsletters, social media, events, webinars, and alumni magazines. Jake holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina in Marketing and Management and a master’s degree from Columbia University in nonprofit management.

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As Jake Strang shares on this episode of Asking for Good: “Annual fund is where it all begins.” . And it’s true: most donors make their first gift to a nonprofit at the annual fund level and commonly through an appeal created and sent by the annual fund department. Once donors show continued interest through […]

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