At the January all-college faculty and staff meeting, I shared with you progress we have made in our campaign planning efforts. This message is a reiteration of the important points of my presentation.
The core of our success in our upcoming campaign will revolve around our ability to develop and present compelling stories created here on our campus that provide a deep understanding of the priorities defined within IC 20/20. As we begin our efforts I’d like to offer a challenge to each of you to think about what your story will be in this campaign. Every member of the IC faculty and staff has a significant impact upon the student experience and plays a pivotal role in how alumni continue to connect and give back following graduation.
Our division is focused on strengthening our cultures of engagement and philanthropy. Engagement is essential if we are going to garner increased support from our alumni, parents and friends.
We are embarking on a seven-year journey in this campaign and are currently in the planning stage. During this stage we are using a draft of the case statement (an articulation of the priorities and draft dollar goals) to interview our board of trustees and other potential major donors for feedback on our stories and to learn of their personal philanthropic intentions. At the May 2014 board meeting, our trustees will be reviewing this information and will be asked to vote to move forward with the campaign. Solicitations are already underway with this group and the resulting gifts will likely help raise the bar for others.
In terms of our dollar goal for the campaign, once the board of trustees has approved moving forward, we will likely seek to raise between $150 million and $200 million for priorities that are defined within the IC 20/20 plan. These include the Ithaca College Annual Fund (every $42,000 raised through our annual fund is the equivalent of the income from a $1 million endowment); scholarships that provide access and recognize excellence; programs and support to encourage students to take risks on and off campus that will help reap academic and personal rewards; endowment to create distinguished professorships and make certain our faculty have the resources and mentors available to provide an outstanding educational experience; and facilities that mirror our vision and are forward thinking in the way we learn, collaborate, recreate and live.
In our upcoming campaign, we seek to define success not only in dollars raised, but also in terms of engagement. Critical to our efforts and the ability to measure our progress will be the ability to make permanent a “Rings of Engagement” structure—a series of volunteer opportunities that enable us to cultivate broad based philanthropy and a pipeline of future volunteer leadership on advisory bodies and the board of trustees.
In order to achieve this vision we have set some ambitious engagement goals for 2020. We aim to:
A. Increase our number of volunteers from 1,800 to 3,800;
B. Increase the number of alumni who give from 8.8% to 20% or more;
C. Increase the growth of meaningful engagement opportunities for parents and alumni in support of student success; and
D. Develop and implement the ability to measure the strength of each volunteer connection to the college.
Partnering with you is essential to our success. First and foremost, your personal philanthropy counts; individuals and foundations take notice of faculty and staff participation levels. Next, you can develop a fluency around the priorities and then participate in conversations with our alumni, parents and friends. You can ensure strong connections between our students and our alumni from the start of a student’s journey; strengthening these connections here today will pave the path for future campaigns. You can help us identify parents and alumni who are flying “below the radar”—we work hard to find people, but I know you can help us build our pool of advocates and supporters. Most importantly, you can continue to provide the excellent educational experiences for students today, ensuring permanent success for the future generations who will be part of this wonderful institution.
In the near future, we will launch an internal webpage for campaign updates, with a place for you to share your stories of the relationships you have developed with students and alumni. Thank you again for all of your efforts to help to ensure a stronger culture of engagement and a broader and deeper culture of philanthropy. I look forward to working with all of you, strengthening our partnership, and celebrating success when we finish our campaign in 2020!