Tammie Ruda has dedicated over 25 years to fundraising for higher education, working on five major fundraising campaigns, including three with goals over $1B. She has witnessed the transformational power of education and of fundraising and is committed to bringing those benefits to the institutions with which she partners. Recognizing that fundraising is an art and a science, Tammie helps clients enhance their data-based decision-making and strengthen their relationship-based fundraising efforts.
Previously, Tammie oversaw the Harvard College Fund’s team of 39 who engaged and solicited nearly 100,000 undergraduate and graduate alumni and non-alumni college parents and partnered with almost 2,000 volunteers engaged in peer-to-peer outreach. She helped the university complete its most successful campaign, leading the charge during the final 15 months to reach and exceed the goal for unrestricted, immediate-use giving ($278M vs. a $250M goal) and contributing to the $3.28B raised overall for the Faculty of Arts & Sciences.
Tammie held several roles at Brown University, culminating in her service as Executive Director of Annual Giving, in which she oversaw reunion giving, direct marketing, young alumni initiatives, student philanthropy, parent fundraising, and leadership annual giving and recognition programs. She also helped establish a comprehensive (both immediate-use and endowment) fundraising effort, the Alumni of Color Initiative, which engaged self-identified African American, Asian American, Latinx, Native American, and multiracial alumni in philanthropy to Brown.
Tammie is proud to have played a role in the growth of unrestricted, immediate-use giving through the Brown Annual Fund from $8.1M in 1993 to $36.5M in 2015. Her approach to prospect segmentation and the setting of individual ask amounts was instrumental in raising sights and facilitating the simultaneous growth of dollars and donors. Other accomplishments include the launch of the university’s first online giving page, email solicitation program, and social media presence; the creation of a consecutive giving society; and the close collaboration with prospect managers that enabled the growth of high-end annual giving. Her experience extends beyond annual giving—Tammie also co-led a database conversion project and held the directorships of Information Technology and Prospect Research.
Tammie served for three years as chair of the Annual Giving Directors’ Consortium. She is the author of an article on the effective use of challenge gifts (Currents, March 2011) as well as two chapters in Donor Relations: The Essential Guide to Stewardship Policies, Procedures, and Protocol (CASE, 1999). A frequent conference presenter and organizer, she has chaired annual giving conferences for junior- and senior-level practitioners and received CASE’s Crystal Apple Teaching Award in 2010. She also received the Diane Thompson Award from the Northeast Annual Giving Conference in 2016 and was recently named a CASE Laureate.
Tammie volunteers as a First Generation college student mentor and a high school debate coach. She earned her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in History and Science from Harvard College and her Ed.M. in higher education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.