Faculty Development Session: Funding Faculty Research: Columbia Development and fundraising 101

Photo of panelists Paul Keenan, Ryan Carmichael, and Dimitra Koutsantoni

On March 28, 2023, the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement hosted eaders from University Development and Alumni Relations for an overview of Columbia's fundraising efforts. Paul Keenan, senior vice president, and Ryan Carmichael, vice president for University Development, provided a general roadmap of development and fundraising at Columbia and explained how faculty might interact with the Office of University Development and Alumni Relations. Dimitra Koutsantoni, director of university corporate and foundation relations, discussed foundation fundraising and how her office can work with faculty on best strategies for finding support for their research.


    • Building a donor base that is diverse is a good idea. In the event that all funds come from one source, research may be impacted and academic freedom may be diminished. 
    • Alumni Relations and Development share many common characteristics: engagement, affinity, loyalty, and content. It is advisable to engage potential donors and ask for advice or feedback instead of funding
    • Donors who have already contributed to your cause are your best donors. In the meantime, building and nurturing relationships requires time, so consider it a long-term endeavor 
    • Measuring the impact of your work is essential
    • Social media is extremely important for promoting your research today
    • A donor may be interested in funding as something they want to associate themselves with, so it may be worthwhile to learn what their passions/areas of interest are