Greetings Campus Community,
Imagine my surprise when President Henry asked me to be a “guest star” on this episode of Friday Forum. Ok, he may not have said “guest star” but I’m sure that’s what he meant. Lucky for you, dear readers, this isn’t about me. I’m here to fulfill the “resources” purpose of these bi-monthly updates. President Henry does a great job of sharing news of gifts the university receives for various purposes and projects. But we thought a back-to-basics overview of the Office of Advancement would be a great refresher…not to mention the most exciting thing you’ll read all summer long. Put down your copy of 50 Shades of Grey, everyone, and let’s talk resources.
We are still processing gifts for the end of the fiscal year and plan to report our overall results in the coming weeks. But as a teaser I will tell you that the university is more than $1 million ahead of the previous fiscal year. That’s a big deal! Everyone should feel proud of that success because we all played a part in it.
But what does the Office of Advancement actually do? I’ve broken it down for you, old school style, into three key areas to better explain our operation and briefly share some results from the past fiscal year.
It’s all about the Benjamins…or Hamiltons, or Washingtons. No matter whose face is on the currency, every gift of any amount matters. While the six and seven-figure gifts have an incredible impact on our campus, we can’t miss the opportunity to obtain smaller gifts from alumni. It’s those gifts that, over time, turn into larger gifts. We executed four direct mail appeals and two e-appeals this past fiscal year that increased the number of new givers to both the OCU Fund and the various academic units.
Did you know we hosted 30 alumni events in the past 10 months?! Engaging our alumni in ways that are meaningful to them is an essential function of our office. The relationship alumni have with their alma mater is the single, most important indicator of their interest and willingness to support the university philanthropically. We have many opportunities to strengthen and deepen connections with our alumni. And if the past 10 months are any indication of where we are headed, I’d say we are moving in the right direction.
So, information and database management isn’t the most exciting thing in the world. We know. But our office is only as good as the information we have on alumni and donors. We’ve made great strides in cleaning and updating the records in our system, Raiser’s Edge. This benefits our efforts in communicating with and soliciting our alumni but it also benefits those of you on campus who regularly request contact information on alumni from your college.
We are very excited about what we’ve accomplished in such a short time and what lies ahead. To share our progress and success more often, our office is launching Inside Advancement. This quick, e-update will keep you in-the-know on what’s happening over here on the third floor of the Ann Lacy Visitor Center. If there’s anything specific you’d like to know about, please share those suggestions with me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (ext. 5118).
Thank you for supporting the Office of Advancement and Oklahoma City University!
Interim Director of Advancement