University Business - May 2012 - (Page 26)

CAmpus FINANCE Reaching A couple of years into the initial, silent phase of Loyola Marymount University’s fundraising campaign, Dennis Slon stepped into his role as senior vice president for university relations and the chair of the board of trustees confided something about the campaign’s $300 million goal. The previous campaign had finished in 1997 and raised $144 million. So when the board first discussed more than doubling that goal this time, “there was a lot of intake of breath,” Slon explains. The feasibility study of donors and collection of campus needs used to arrive at the goal weren’t off base, however. If anything, stopping there would leave money on the table. “Right Place. Right Time. The Campaign for LMU” publicly launched in 2005, with a target end date of 2009. At that time, Slon and his development team couldn’t help but notice “a great opportunity for us to celebrate in a big way”—the LMU Centennial, which concludes this month. They also recognized more donors to engage. Officials increased the target to $380 million. As of mid-March, with $395 million raised, Slon was confident it would reach $400 million by its conclusion. Were LMU officials still waiting to exhale? Most certainly not. Across the country, Boston College was beginning the silent phase of its “Light the World” campaign when LMU was publicly launching. The target: $1.5 billion. Thomas P. Lockerby, vice president for development and campaign director, recalls the feeling of anticipation. “It was obviously extremely ambitious, but also exciting. BC has been on this incredible growth trajectory HigHeR Success in campaign completion with today’s ambitious fundraising goals really for four decades. The strategic plan [developed just before the campaign] was about cementing that growth, but really about trying to accelerate that growth in some key areas,” he shares. The billion-dollar higher ed campaign wasn’t new. Just ask Rae Goldsmith, vice president for advancement resources at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. In 2010, CASE research uncovered 26 institutions with in-progress or completed campaigns of $2 billion or more, and 59 others with goals of at least $1 billion. “Most schools try to be realistic,” Goldsmith says. “But they also stretch themselves. You don’t want to set a goal up front that you know you can’t achieve. You do want to be ambitious and optimistic.” Even in a tough economy? “Billion-dollar campaigns started pre-recession, but they stopped being announced when the recession hit,” she notes. The past year has seen a resurgence of large campaigns. That includes the largest ever announced—“The Campaign for the University of Southern California,” which launched in September 2011 with a $6 billion target—and the largest concluded—“The Stanford Challenge,” which hit $6.2 billion by February 2012. No one needs reminders of the need to be aggressive. But, donor dollars are becoming a bit easier to secure as they become more confident about the state of the economy. For those who aren’t directly involved in fundraising but may be curious about the inner workings of a campaign—especially one with mega goals—here are 10 burning campaign planning and operations questions, answered. 26 | May 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - May 2012

University Business - May 2012
Editor's Note
College Index
Ad Index
Behind the News
Human Resources
Education Gateways
Big Ideas
Reaching Higher
Admissions Goes Social
Learning Disabled Students Welcome
Who Goes There?
Computing Trends, Today and Tomorrow
Money Matters
End Note

University Business - May 2012