This article was written by Greg Esposito and originally appeared in W&L: The Washington and Lee University Alumni Magazine.
On Oct. 22, Washington and Lee announced the goal of its capital campaign: $500 million. As far as we know, that figure makes it one of the three largest campaigns ever undertaken by a liberal arts college. How and why did we decide on this campaign, this amount, this time frame?
Dr. Nick Mueller | President and CEO of the National World War II Museum
For many years, Dr. Nick Mueller would stop by the home of his best friend after work. His friend was noted World War II historian Dr. Stephen Ambrose, and the pair had met while teaching a class in U.S. history together at the University of New Orleans.
“I would have a glass of sherry in his backyard every afternoon, and we would cook up our schemes,” said Mueller.
Theory & Practice is an occasional series that explores trends in academic research, technical fields, management science and technological breakthroughs that may, or should, impact the practice of fundraising. This series aims to translate and interpret technical subjects for development leaders in hopes of spurring discussion and innovation in the fields of development and alumni affairs. This special commentary was authored by Darrow Zeidenstein, Ph.D., vice president for resource development at Rice University in Houston, Texas.
The highly prestigious CASE Lifetime Achievement Award honoring individuals who have made a significant and lasting impact on the field of advancement has been renamed in honor of E. Burr Gibson. Undoubtedly one of the foremost leaders in philanthropic consulting, Burr joined Marts & Lundy in 1964 and was still serving clients at the time of his death in 2010.
In January 2011, we introduced Devin Mathias, a Marts & Lundy consultant with a specialization in annual giving programs and the integration of social media into comprehensive fundraising plans. Since then, Devin has spoken at locations across the country, facilitated online web seminars and assisted clients in evaluating and enhancing their fundraising programs.
The gradually improving economy has loosened donors’ purse strings, but only a little. As has been widely reported, total giving to higher education in 2010 has increased by 0.5% after the recessionary low point in 2009.
While not exactly a surge, the figures at least indicate that a turnaround in giving is beginning to take effect. A closer look at the data, however, reveals that some educational sectors are benefitting more than others in the current economic climate.
Annual Giving programs have spent years refining the processes of donor acquisition and retention—adding new donors, building sustainable annual fund donors and converting lapsed donors back to active supporters.
There are lots of conversations about “pipeline management” and converting annual donors to major donors, but little concrete action. Marts & Lundy has built a data-driven methodology for moving prospects to donors and maximizing success of annual giving programs.