Development Program Start-Up
A new college seeks support from alumni who attended other schools and colleges at a public university.
Client: University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Honors College
Situation: The university founded the Honors College in 2016 with a strategic initiative grant from the university. Dean Jim McKusick set out to secure long-term funding. His strategy includes establishing a development program. Soliciting alumni of the honors program is challenging because the alumni have degrees from other schools and colleges at the university. Development officers from those units are cultivating many of the alumni already. Thus, they are not to be contacted by the Honors College, per the UMKC Foundation.
Strategy: Dean McKusick hired Beth Hammock as a development consultant. She began an annual giving program. Tactics included a direct mail letter, email solicitation, social media and continuation of a print newsletter to alumni. She also researched the career and personal history of alumni, then contacted those that are good prospects. She traveled to cities across the country to meet with alumni. She also managed stewardship of the college’s primary benefactor, Dr. Linda Hood Talbott.
Results: The Honors College engaged two out-of-town alumnae to return to campus and give lectures in spring 2017. The college plans to continue cultivating these great prospects. Another alumna donated $5,000 after Beth contacted her personally, and others made smaller gifts. Dr. Talbott continued her support of the Honors College.