Feb. 2017 Development and Alumni, D1
D1, Diversify Revenue Streams and Maximize Cost Effectiveness:
Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement
Major gift officers and deans, as well as the president and vice presidents, have had 404 face-to-face contacts since Sept. 1, 2016. At present, there are 70 pending proposals and 111 proposals being prepared. A campaign “roadmap to success” has been prepared demonstrating our confidence in meeting our campaign goals.
With a summer of planning and a full semester of operations under its belt, Stetson’s new student philanthropy organization, Green, White & YOU, is quickly establishing itself as a premier on-campus group. Since the last report, student members have hosted multiple, well attended events – including Three Wishes, Thank-a-Donor Day, Class Cab and several events to honor the senior class. At Thank-a-Donor Day, almost 400 handwritten notes by students were collected to send to donors.
The group has grown to more than 20 members, with another 40 student volunteers committed to assisting with the senior class gift campaign this semester. New executives for the group have been announced, and junior Steven Ersing will be incoming president. Founding president Patty Guevara will continue to advise and work with the group during her final semester at Stetson, but will hand off operational leadership to Steven.
In October, Director of Donor Relations Pamela Clayton left the university, and a search is underway for her replacement. Coordinator of Donor Relations Lauren Storms has been handling day-to-day operations.
At the beginning of FY17, we revised our gift acknowledgement process to begin thanking donors at any level with only a few exceptions. Since July 1, we have prepared over 1,300 gift acknowledgement letters. Each letter is intentionally tailored to the donor, the purpose of the gift and Stetson’s relationship with them. The intent of this change is to express gratitude to donors for all levels of giving, as this group will be the pipeline for enhanced and future major gifts and should increase our donor retention rate.
Another large fall project is preparing approximately 300 Endowment Reports to send to donors of endowed scholarships and other funds. This project is nearly complete.
This year, we will be hosting the Benefactor Luncheon on March 26 in the new Marshall & Vera Lea Rinker Welcome Center. We mailed 400 invitations to donors and will invite student recipients once we have a donor headcount. We expect to host around 150 donors and students. This event is a great time for donors to get to know their student recipients as well as a wonderful networking opportunity for our students.
As of Dec. 31, the FY2017 participation rates by the different advisory and volunteer boards ranged from 32 percent to more than 70 percent.