Support of the President and Office of Advancement for a Capital Campaign

It is critical for donors to athletics to know that the entire institution is behind the athletic department’s efforts to raise funds, especially any initiative that seeks the contributions of major donors to the University at large.  This is usually accomplished in four ways:  (1) the participation of the President and Vice President for Advancement in the solicitation of major donors and speaking to gatherings of alumni and others, (2) full cooperation of the Advancement Office in creating donor lists and assigning specific campaign members to specific donor prospects, (3) Advancement Office assistance in the creation of a gift chart if the fundraising effort is a major campaign, and (4) a letter directly from the President to each member of the Campaign Committee assuring them of the need for the campaign, the full support and participation of the institution’s leadership and thanking them for their participation.

                                                  Office of the President

                                                       MEMORANDUM

    To:             Members of the Pirate Capital and Scholarship Campaign Team

    From:        _________SIGNATURE HERE________________________
                     XXXXXXXXX, Ph.D.
                     President

    Subject:     THANK YOU FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP

    Date:         XXXXX

As you know, the combination of reduced state funding, increased tuition and higher admissions standards over the past two years has challenged our Pirate athletic program to sustain its excellence.  The national trend of state funding reductions to higher education shows no sign of abating and state university tuition levels are not going to decline which diminishes our general fund resource to help support athletics.  We are also committed to holding the line with regard to mandatory student fees supporting athletics to minimize student debt.  Successfully confronting these economic realities requires that we supplement state funding by growing individual, foundation and corporate donation programs.  This is our task.  We have great alumni and corporate relationships.  Now we must ask for their support.

The Pirate Capital and Scholarship Campaign is a critical initiative to meet our current economic challenges and create a philanthropic culture that will continue to benefit the athletic program into the future.  The Campaign, with 50% of our goal dedicated to student financial aid ($30 million), is an essential effort to stabilize our athletic program financial position and enhance the quality of student-athletes we are able to recruit.  The education and well-being of our students is our central mission. The remaining 50% of the Campaign goal will be used for coaching excellence ($5 million) and Sampson stadium construction and renovation projects ($25 million).  The Sampson Stadium project is necessary to restore a facility in need of repair that serves as an important front door impression to so many prospective students and their families.

The Campaign requires that we build our internal capacity to annually generate significant individual, corporate and foundation gifts by renewing relationships with alumni and old friends and developing new friends using proven communication and engagement strategies.  These efforts will be characterized by “friend-raising” through telling the stories of the work we do with our students – imparting knowledge, developing character and leadership, succeeding on the playing fields and championing community service.  If individuals with means, businesses and foundations are aware of the extraordinary achievements of our athletes on the playing fields and in the classroom, they will ask how they can help.  People give to people they know and trust.  That is why we must install relationship building systems that operate continuously.

We are also committed to building the capacity of our external support groups like the Pirate Athletics Foundation, the Pirate Club and our National Alumni Association and their local alumni chapters, especially in major markets.  We must engage in relationship building outreach where our alumni and friends live and work, in conjunction with away athletic events and through planned trips by key coaches and administrators.  We must do this in a methodical and consistent manner if we want to succeed in building a culture of philanthropy.

Your membership on our Pirate Campaign Team is a key element of our advancement efforts.  Research shows that ninety percent of a capital campaign goal (and of regular giving to the University over the long term) will come from the top ten percent of alumni and friends who are fortunate enough to have the capacity to make significant gifts.  The Campaign Team will focus on connecting with that population of prospective donors.  Janet Doe, our Vice President for Advancement, XXXX, our Athletic Director XXXX and I consider ourselves to be members of this Campaign team who are ready to accompany you on any meeting and provide the staff support to make your FRIEND-raising efforts as enjoyable, efficient and successful as possible.  

Again, thank you.  Go Pirates!