Amanda Kilbourne Richardson '08

The Nature Conservancy- Donor Relations Manager

AmandaKRichardsonMajor(s): Major in Business Economics and Minor in Religion

How did you benefit from working with WOC? My career can be completely attributed to my job as a student caller, and eventually a student supervisor, with Wofford on Call. After graduation I began my career in fundraising/development by becoming the Director of Wofford on Call, and then had the opportunity to move into young alumni fundraising and events. After two and a half years in Wofford's Development Office, I was hired by the Spartanburg Area Conservancy (SPACE) as the Development Director where I was immersed in annual giving, major gifts, event planning and marketing. It was at SPACE that I was introduced to the world of conservation and, three years later, I was hired by The Nature Conservancy as the Donor Relations Manager for the Upstate of South Carolina. I could never have imagined that applying for an on-campus job opportunity my freshman year would turn into such an incredible and rewarding career, and I owe many thanks to Lisa DeFreitas, then Director of Annual Giving (and my first boss), who nurtured my passion for fundraising.

Why did you enjoy working for WOC? Number one: We had fun! Making fundraising calls, which is something I still do to this day, is not always easy, but the environment at Wofford on Call definitely eased my nerves. I enjoyed the friendly competitiveness with other students and watching us reach our goals as a team. Also, I was truly sad to leave my job as the Director of Wofford on Call because I learned so much from not only the students I had the pleasure of leading, but also from those who were leading me.

How do you use the skills you learned at WOC in your current job? It is not an exaggeration to say that I apply what I learned at Wofford on Call every. single. day. Making calls to donors is still a huge part of my responsibilities as a Donor Relations Manager, and I would not be nearly as comfortable with it without my WOC experience. I know that when I pick up the phone, sometimes it will turn out great, and sometimes it won't. Sometimes I will call many, many people without getting an answer. You just have to keep a positive attitude and, of course, "smile while you dial"! As the Director of Wofford on Call, I learned how to manage people which is a responsibility that not many young people have starting off in their careers. I had fun, made mistakes, learned from them, and keep those lessons with me today.

Anything else you’d like to say about Wofford and/or Wofford On Call? I've talked a lot here about how my experience at Wofford on Call turned me into a fundraiser, but it also turned me into a philanthropist. Being a fundraiser teaches you the importance of giving and that, in order to raise money for a cause, you MUST believe in it. I believe in Wofford College, The Nature Conservancy, and the other organizations to which I give my money and time. I'm immensely proud to be a WOC alum, and to the current and future student callers, I will always look forward to your calls!