The challenges and opportunities for professional fundraisers

Let me describe an un-named Vice-Chancellor’s introduction to a recent newsletter to supporters. This 750-word piece described a year of growth, success, progress and triumph. Words and phrases like blossoming, wide recognition, achievement, strength, impressive (as in results), foresight and innovation peppered every paragraph. The list of superlatives was itself, impressive. How can a fundraiser ever ask for money for such a successful university? Fundraisers must be able to describe needs for which a donor’s contribution can provide a solution.

The triumphalist approach will appeal to some alumni but surely only those for whom student days were the highlight of their constrained life. Perhaps some may want to support their alma mater to maintain its position in some university hierarchy. For the rest of us, a donation needs to give the personal satisfaction of change achieved, whether that is a student from a tough background supported through a tricky time or a piece of pivotal research sustained by the finance and energy of donor interest.

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CASE Europe

CASE Europe

Education's leading resource for knowledge, standards, advocacy and training in #alumni relations, #communications, #fundraising and #marketing www.case.org.