Elizabeth Brothers


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Elizabeth Brothers came to Rollins College in 1980 as Associate Vice President for Development. She is an expert in the fields of estate planning and deferred giving, with a special focus on finance handling for women.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Brothers graduated from Vassar College with an A.B. degree and a distinction in Spanish. She went on to pursue graduate work in business at the Latin American Institute. In time, she took a job as a secretary for the McCall Corporation in New York and eventually became a copy editor. Brothers then turned her ability as a fundraiser, which she discovered while volunteering with the YWCA and her church, into a new career path when she accepted a position at Mount Holyoke College for Women. During her tenure at Mount Holyoke, she completed a $40 million capital campaign and the annual alumnae fund doubled.

During her thirteen years working at Rollins College, Brothers was a sought-after speaker, and her traveling educational presentation "Mastering Your Money" was widely received. She also developed a successful  planned giving program at Rollins. As a result, the College received planned gifts totaling $21.7 million during her tenure. For her accomplishments in fundraising and supporting the Rollins community, she was recognized several times. In 1984, she was named Outstanding Professional Fund Raiser in celebration of her 22 years in development. The Brakeley Award for Creative Development Work was bestowed upon her in 1985. Additionally,  the College awarded her the William Fremont Blackman Medal in 1993 and she was elected as the first female president of the University Club of Winter Park in 1999.

Brothers's publications include: "It Pays To Be Generous," "Does the New Tax Law Have a Silver Lining?," and "Women: Their Interests and Duties."  She has also spoken at seminars for the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the North American Council of Christian Philanthropy, and the Committee on Gift Annuities, among other organizations. 


Can you tell us about your background, where you grew up, where you went to school?


  • "And most of my growing up years was spent in New York State because my father worked for IBM - International Business Machines – and we traveled around a lot because they used to say if you worked for IBM that stands for I Will Be Moved..."


  • Dr. Seymour said, “What do you see when you look out your window?” And I said, “I see some dirty snow and a bedraggled squirrel”, and he said, “When I look out of my window, I see a camellia bush in full bloom and the sun is shining and the birds are singing.”

  • But you see, no one had ever asked them personally and some of them came back. Well, we got one hundred percent. Not much money, but one hundred percent. So then I went to President Seymour and I said can we do something special to celebrate this, and she said well what do you have in mind? And I said let’s ring the chapel bells in honor of the class of 1937.








  • And, so I was interested in that, and then I had a cousin who was an investment banker. And he gave me some IBM stock when I was twelve years old, and he taught me how to look up the stock values and to read the Wall Street Journal and then as soon as I got a job I started buying stock.










  • You don’t do this by sending them letters and that’s the mistake that a lot of fundraisers do now is that they just mail out these reams and reams and reams of letters. In fundraising that’s what we call the shotgun approach. The better approach is the riffle approach. You take aim and fire.

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Brothers Discusses How she was Influenced to Work for Rollins

Brothers Explains How she was Able to get 100% Participation from Rollins Class of 1937


I want to ask how you went from an expert in needlework to become an expert in financial advisement.


Brothers Discusses her Approach Towards Fundraising