Expanding our financial resources
During the life of the Strategic Plan, Cedar Crest will prepare for a comprehensive capital campaign. A comprehensive capital campaign will align with the Strategic Plan in several ways. Gifts for academic excellence, both endowed and current use funds, will create endowed chairs, provide endowed scholarship funding, and support academic programs. Gifts for facilities and construction will assist the College to build or remodel campus buildings to improve the experience of Cedar Crest’s students, both in and outside of the classroom.
There are several critical objectives that will be achieved in the next three years in order to successfully launch the public phase of the campaign:
We will expand the donor base.
Cedar Crest will rejuvenate the traditional reunion program, encouraging alumnae to reconnect with the College and participate in the annual fund, and will invite alumnae to return to campus quarterly throughout the year. We will more effectively engage the lifelong learning alumnae, an increasingly larger percent of our graduates. The latest fundraising research shows that we must use segmentation: graduates of the last decade have different lifestyles from more senior graduates and respond to solicitations in a different manner. New communication methods will link these graduates to the College for their philanthropic support. In addition, the College must establish a culture of philanthropy on campus so that students understand the important role private support plays in the fiscal aspect of their education.
During the comprehensive capital campaign, foundations and corporations will play an important role as contributors to the College. In order to secure an increase in the support from these entities, the College will expand its outreach to foundations and corporations in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, and beyond, and conduct exploratory visits with foundation representatives on a local, regional, state, and national level.
We will upgrade gift levels.
The annual fund must be composed of small gifts from a larger population. We will expand the number of donors to the annual fund and then encourage donors to increase their giving level over a period of time. We hope to increase the annual goal for support by 25 percent and to maintain this increase over a period of 5 years at the conclusion of the campaign by proactively educating our loyal donors to increase their giving and by providing appealing incentives.
We will establish effective pipelines for major gifts.
The College will expand the pool of possible major donors, identifying new major donor prospects at several levels. This work will be built on our wealth engine screening completed in the spring of 2009. We will establish entry level major gifts, provide a bridge from high-end annual support to a major gift, and provide realistic and effective stewardship to keep these donors interested in supporting the College. At the conclusion of the campaign, we should have a sizeable pipeline for the College to continue effective major gift fundraising.
We will secure leadership campaign gifts.
Prior to making a public announcement about a comprehensive capital campaign, the College will need to secure commitments from leadership donors whose gifts equal at least 40 percent of the campaign goal.
We will increase irrevocable planned gifts.
Securing the financial future of the College will be an important aspect of the comprehensive capital campaign. To provide a steady flow of future gifts to the College, we will expand our planned giving efforts, with special focus on irrevocable planned gifts and bequest commitments from alumnae and friends; this strategy will enable us to build our endowment.
We will promote effective stewardship as a primary cultivation tool.
The most effective way to secure a repeat gift is to demonstrate appreciation for a gift and be good stewards of monies received. In preparation for the campaign and during the campaign, the College will prepare clear and detailed memorandums of understanding so that both the College and the donor are aware of responsibilities associated with the gift.
Annual support is the final phase of the campaign—encouraging all alumnae and friends of the College to participate. Several strategies will be used to increase the number of donors as well as the individual level of giving and ensure that the increased level will be maintained.
In order to maintain and build on the momentum developed during the comprehensive capital campaign, the College will carry out several mini campaigns during the three to five years after the campaign. These smaller campaigns may focus on expansion of a particular area of support from the campaign or address a new initiative not included in the strategic plan.
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