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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Albany State alumni giving is up by 32%


Alumni giving at Albany State University is up by 32% over last year as the school took in $509,494.37 in donations, eclipsing its $500,000 goal.

“We just reached out a lot more often, particularly during the end of the year, than we have before,” said Mildred Johnson, director of development. “So often people get something in the mail and they intend to give, but time passes and they don’t. Following up with them to remind them is the best way to get people to react.”

Along with the "ask", ASU sent potential donors a "Donor Bill of Rights" to emphasize how serious the Institutional Advancement staff takes its fiduciary obligations.

“We wanted them to know that we would be wise stewards with their money,” Annual Giving Officer Sherrell Byrd said. “We would be transparent with their records or receipts and be more than willing to answer any questions they may have.” Johnson and Byrd also attributed the increase in alumni donors to a stronger push in their marketing efforts. Emails, mailings, name recognitions and thank-you letters were all generated in record numbers from the office.

The Institutional Advancement staff works alongside Alumni Affairs to ensure the participation of the local, state and national alumni chapters in alumni giving. A phone-a-thon that featured the alumni chapters doing the calling was conducted earlier this year. “We really utilized the many different forms of communication,” Byrd said.

“Nothing expensive, but rather staying in their faces.” According to Johnson and Byrd, there is more work to be done and zero room for complacency. Johnson mentioned that securing a trustworthy relationship with donors is vital for future progression. “I am excited that we exceeded our goal but I am not satisfied,” Byrd commented. “My push now is not only to continue the same vein of educating donors, but cultivating more donors as well. I will not stop until we get 10,000 donors.”

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