HomeExpertsBrian Gawor, CFRE

Brian Gawor, CFRE

Brian Gawor’s focus is research and strategy to help propel both alumni engagement and fundraising results of RNL clients. Brian has 20 years of higher education experience in student affairs, enrollment management, alumni engagement and development.

His efforts supported the achievement of record enrollment at Knox. He then joined the college’s $3 million Knox Fund as a fundraiser. Most recently, Brian served for four years as director of development for the College of Fine Arts at Illinois State University. He has worked to direct RNL’s fundraising research, providing actionable insights to hundreds of clients each year, for the past six years.

Brian regularly presents at professional conferences, including CASE and AFP. He also hosts our popular Fundraising Voices podcast. Brian has regularly been featured in industry publications and webinars, including CASE, NonProfitPro, the Chronicle of Philanthropy and Inside Higher Ed.


Brian holds a Master’s degree from Western Illinois University and is currently completing a doctorate at Illinois State University, where he is studying higher education alumni response, predictive analytics of donor response, and industry trends.

Presentations and insights

Brian’s Recent Presentations (invite him to present):

  • CASE Inst. for Senior Annual Giving, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Meeting of the Minds: 2018, 2019 (West and Midwest)
  • NonProfit Pro Leadership Conferences: 2018
  • University of ID and WA State Symposium: 2018
  • CASE III Annual Conference: 2019
  • CASE IV Annual Conference: 2017
  • CASE VII Annual Conference: 2017
  • Case VIII Annual Conference: 2016
  • CASE VI Annual Conference: 2014-2019
  • CASE V Annual Conference: 2016
  • CASE DRIVE: 2016, 2017
  • IU Lilly School of Philanthropy: 2016
  • CASE Student Advancement: 2015-2018
  • CASE National Webinars: 2014, 2015, 2016
  • North American Interfraternity Council (FFE): 2015, 2017, 2018
  • Canadian Annual Giving Congress: 2014, 2016, 2017
  • RNL National Conference: 2014-2018
  • SEC/ACC Annual Giving Conference: 2015, 2019
  • Auburn University Development: 2017
  • Purdue University Development Forum: 2014

Quotes from Brian

“Economists are starting to say: behavioral incentives are important. It’s about what our donors get and feel when giving that makes a difference. There’s way too much friction in giving at most institutions. Make giving easy and fun. You’ll grow response instantly.”

“We have mountains of data on our donors—more than any other charitable area. We need to use this data better to spark joy and excitement through personal donor experiences.”

Connect on LinkedIn

Talk to our experts

Find the optimal strategies for your challenges. Tell us what assistance you need and we will connect you with an RNL expert for enrollment, student success, or fundraising.

Request consultation