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Roundtable – Alumni Relations: Fundraising Events

Alumni Relations:  Fundraising Events
Tuesday 7/23/13
10:10-11:10 am

Moderator: Brandi Van Ormer, Mississippi State University

  • Most group members practice “friend-raising” rather than fundraising.  Their events are “thank you “events for current donors and/or networking events to make connections among likely donors.  These include programs for faculty emeritus, receptions and galas, golf outings, private learning sessions for donors, etc.  In these cases, friend-raising provides a forum for networking and identification of donors, and for cultivation of relationships.
  • Most fundraising events were centered on specific programs or needs:  alumni classes taking responsibility for renovation of rooms at the hospital, grateful clients at auctions/community events to raise money for pet-centered programs and services, etc.
  • In general, the alumni board is of great service with events (inviting, encouraging, identifying donors, providing space for the event, etc.) and, in planning, it is most useful to use committees to divide and conquer.

Alumni Relations: Fundraising Events
Tuesday 7/23/13
1:20 – 12:20 pm
Moderator: Jonathan Burton, Tufts University

How to create lasting memories

  • PennVet utilizes PowerPoint slide show for dean at alumni events.  In effort to make presentation less rigid, they have opted to put less on the slides rather than more, so that slides don’t simply get read.  These “leading themes” for each slide have helped open up a more natural dialog presentation style for dean.
  • UF has obtained video clips at their events from a variety of sources – faculty, alumni, and attendees.  Find that the video of groups saying “congratulations…” or “thank you…” or “Welcome Class of 2017” can be useful for a variety of purposes later.
  • UF also created a short video that was similar to style of TV show, “The Office” to show the light/humorous side of their leadership team.

Increase participation

  • Tufts is implementing a “Loyal Companions” 2+ year consecutive giving program in 2013.
  • Purdue hosts annual “Medicine Mixer Auction” fundraiser

How to plan

  • UF surveys regularly after events
  • Penn surveyed alumni prior to reunion, made programmatic changes accordingly

How alumni can help

  • Penn offers an “Opportunity Scholarship” and organizes an event between students and alumni.  In these instances, student beneficiaries receive not only a financial award, but an alumni mentor to partner with.
  •  Tufts – alumni co-host a SCAVMA auction fundraiser at annual Parents and Family Day each fall.
  •  Overthinking the everyday cocktail party (we weren’t sure how to interpret that)
  • Purdue: Dean’s Club Luncheon for $500 and up donors has been a special and memorable annual event.  Donors in this category receive lapel pins
  • Having students and guests speak at events to share testimonials was an agreeable idea to all.
  • OK State – gives orange socks to alumni, humorously suggesting, “You don’t wash your orange socks with the rival’s colors” (or  something along those lines)

Unique issues we have to overcome and how people have done that

  • Sometime central university policy or central foundation policy makes demands on event logistics.  Legal sign-off etc.  Pushes planning curve further out.

 Successes and Failures

  • Success: Recommendation from UF to check out Animoto, http://animoto.com/ as an easy resource and tool to create videos, and slide galleries of photos from events.  Very reasonable cost too.

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