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Alumni Spotlight: Richie Jones

By: Emma Herwehe

IU senior Richie Jones has done it all. Not only is he graduating this year with degrees in Finance and International Business and a minor in Spanish, and staying at IU to get his Masters in Finance next school year, he spent all four undergraduate years doing IUDM.

From being a First Year Dancer, to a committee member on Alumni Relations (AR), to being Historian Chair on AR, to Fundraising Chair on AR, Jones has truly gotten a lot out of IUDM.

“The more you put into IUDM, the more you get out,” Jones said. “It’s the best decision you can make in college.”

When I asked him about his favorite memory, it was hard for him to choose just one. One of his absolute favorites was Day of Hope each year. As an incentive for his committee, after they reached a certain amount raised, he wore acrylic nails for the remainder of the day.

“They were really long,” Jones said. “I couldn’t tie my shoes or unzip my backpack. I was immobile the rest of the day. That was a lot of fun.”

He also shaved his head at the marathon his freshman year and this past year. He said it was a very unique experience.

Jones’s favorite thing about AR was that it’s typically a smaller committee, so he got really close with everyone on the committee, especially his chair team. Being a chair, he said, is one of the best experiences someone can have.

“I grew really close with my chair team both years I was a chair,” Jones said. “It’s an unbelievable experience. Even if you’re kind of thinking about applying for a chair, go for it.”

His favorite thing to do within AR was connecting with IUDM alumni. He enjoyed cold calling them or meeting with them, especially around big days like Gala.

AR got Fifth Place in last year's Spring Fundraising Challenge, which was exciting for the whole committee, but made Jones especially proud as he was the Fundraising Chair.

As the Fundraising Chair, Jones learned some helpful tips for committee members new and returning. It’s easy to get stuck, he realizes, but some simple things can go a long way.

One thing he pointed out was “Donor Webs.” Everyone makes them at the beginning of the year, a web of people they feel comfortable asking. But Jones said after initially making the webs, people fail to return to them later in the year.

“Go back to it, add more names, you can always come up with more,” Jones said. “You can always send one more text. Don’t be afraid. If you asked someone in the Spring, ask them again in the Fall.”

He said it’s also very important to interact with your donors constantly. People need to know you care about them outside of just asking for donations every once in a while.

“Just make a relationship with them, connect, so they know that they’re giving to a great cause and can connect with you too,” Jones said.

In the future, Jones hopes to see IUDM continue raising big numbers. He pointed out one year before COVID when the organization raised over $4 million. He hopes to see IUDM raise that amount again and continue to rebuild following the pandemic.

“Keep pushing,” Jones said.

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