University Business May 2018 - 48

CAMPUSFINANCE GIFT LIFT
and they respond well to things they see as
viral," he says.
At Saint Joseph's, Chaves crowdfunds to
tie donor interests to projects such as purchasing equipment for medical students.
He will use ThankView-which allows
users to design, record and deliver personalized video messages-to send individual
thank-you messages featuring students.
Virginia State has effectively brought
in gifts via social media as well, raising
$100,000 in five days with a campaign
that featured a giving challenge and videos
of its president and alumni. Compared to
sending pricey mail pieces, social media
is helping "to move the needle for dollars
and donors at very little cost," Wilson says.
The Philadelphia osteopathic college's
PCOM Pillars program has received a

tremendous response from alumni who
like to participate in distinct activities,
such as mentoring students, speaking on
campus and hosting events.
The program's aim is to give alumni
opportunities to share practical knowledge and provide guidance to current
students. One 2017 networking reception
event, for example, connected third- and
fourth-year students with young alumni.
4. Build partnerships
Forming alliances with internal and external stakeholders is a good way to gain valuable resources. This is a job for everyone,
says Cunningham. "A small team of advancement professionals can succeed only
if there is ownership across the college.
Collins partners with Jay Feldstein,

From Facebook
to pocketbook:
Weber State
University secures
major sponsorship
Scenario: Small college wants to
increase its national visibility and
recognition.
Process: Matt Spencer, associate vice
president for university advancement,
zeros in on alumni with an affinity for
the university, identifies their interests
and plans visits-using a tool that analyzes social media reactions, comments and
event responses of 235,000 digital alumni interactions.
Match: An alumnus (an executive with a large outdoor recreation company) had
interest in a major new marketing initiative hosted by Weber State's Hall Global
Entrepreneurship Center. A competition called Outdoor Weber invited college students across the country to present ideas for recreation products or services and
compete for $30,000.
Outcome: The alumnus and his recreation company sponsored Outdoor Weber,
which provided the budget to secure 100 entries from 23 states and generate more
than 200,000 views on Weber's website.
Payback: "The initiative worked like magic to put Weber on the map, and the
sponsorship made it possible." -Matt Spencer

48 | May 2018

PCOM's president, to articulate compelling fundraising priorities-and her
alumni are responding.
The president recently met with prospective donors at seven salon events
across the country, sponsored by alumni,
to discuss the college's strategic goals.
The effort has secured $35,000, with an
additional $25,000 to come.
At Virginia State, Wilson relies on
partnerships with volunteer board members of the VSU Foundation and university administrators to make connections
with donors and corporations. He takes
a strategically selected group to the local
Richmond Forum speaker series-which
is attended by influential people in the
community-and finds that the contacts
made there are a great first step in cultivating major donors.
Bess Littlefield, vice president for institutional advancement and strategic
partnerships at Reynolds Community
College in Richmond, Virginia, is also a
big believer in the importance of community connections. The school's culinary arts and hospitality management
program is increasing in popularity as the
local need for chefs and restaurant workers grows. This means more teaching facilities are needed.
Several college board members connected Reynolds' team with a local philanthropist who is launching a mixed-use
real estate development project focused
on addressing food insecurity and workforce development in a low-income section of the city. He offered Reynolds a
25,000-square-foot facility as part of
the project, says Littlefield, who is also
raising funds for kitchen and classroom
equipment.
"We tell donors that we are an important part of the puzzle for workforce
development in an industry that is an
economic driver, as well as a participant
in a project that will strengthen the East
End community," she says. "They are responding with donations."
Harriet Meyers is a Columbia, Marylandbased writer who frequently covers higher ed
advancement.
www.universitybusiness.com


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