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Ron Bembry

Assistant Director, Annual Giving
School of International Public Affairs
Columbia University

New York, New York

Episode #16 in "People in Fundraising" features one of my favorite people from my first nonprofit employer: Ron Bembry of Columbia University! Like me, Ron is a huge StarWars fan. We were determined to find ways to work in the Galaxy far, far away into our professional conversation.


Ron talks about his major in music industry and his first role in fundraising, at his alma mater, Northeastern University. A mere seven years into his career, Ron is a young nonprofit professional now overseeing Columbia's School of International Public Affairs' #annualgiving and #leadershipgiving, and after a brief detour into fintech and interviewing/onboarding during the height of the pandemic, Ron is excited to be back in higher education fundraising.


In his various roles, Ron has loved to listen to donors' stories, their motivations, and how they envision making an impact. I loved listening to Ron's enthusiasm as well as his description of how people like Jon Schaffrath, Sierra Rosen, Carmen Tordiglione, Pete Ragias, and Brooke Wiley Burke have been instrumental in his career. This was such an enjoyable conversation. Thank you, Ron!

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