Randy Smith

Senior Consultant


Randall W. “Randy” Smith recently completed a 25+ year career at Vanderbilt University. During his tenure, he established a reputation as a builder of new results-driven fundraising programs, a seasoned mentor, coach, and strategist to gift officers, and an attentive conversation partner with donors.

As Associate Vice Chancellor for University Development Initiatives (originally titled as Associate Vice Chancellor for Principal Gifts), Randy designed and executed the university’s first formal principal gifts program, working collaboratively with 15 prospect managers to do so. Productivity more than doubled by three different measurements during the first three years of this program over the previous three-year period. Randy was also an integral part of the leadership planning team for the university’s next campaign.

Prior to this work, Randy was Associate Vice Chancellor for University Development, where he oversaw the efforts of 15 unit-based fundraising programs and the 85 staff members associated with them. Vanderbilt’s “new philanthropy” results increased by 72% over the course of this period, 2009-2017. From 2008 through 2011, Randy had primary responsibility for the Opportunity Vanderbilt campaign, which secured $108 million in new commitments for need-based undergraduate scholarship endowment in comparison to a goal of $100 million. He also oversaw the implementation of the university’s first leadership annual giving program.

In earlier roles, Randy built out and led the university’s first regional major gifts office, which expanded Vanderbilt’s major gifts reach from seven cities to the entire country. He served as Assistant Director of Development for the Divinity School, with a focus on annual giving, and as Program Coordinator for Alumni Education and Travel. Randy was a member of the Shape the Future campaign leadership team from 2000 through 2011. Shape the Future ended with a total of $1.94 billion as compared to a goal of $1.75 billion.

In addition to his work with Washburn & McGoldrick, Randy is currently serving as the Interim Associate Dean for Development at the Disciples Divinity House at Vanderbilt (DDH). DDH is a living-learning residential community for Vanderbilt Divinity School students preparing for ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination.

Randy holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, magna cum laude, and a master of divinity degree, both from Vanderbilt University. For 25+ years, he has led adult education classes at Nashville area churches.