Soon after a new president and leadership team arrived on campus, many at the University of Dayton felt the time was right to launch an ambitious campaign. However, given that it had been more than 15 years since the university’s last campaign, it needed assistance understanding its prospective donors, setting realistic campaign goals, and arming its fundraising team and partners for the rigors of an ambitious campaign.
The university engaged GG+A’s donor analytics team to help it determine the capacity of its donor prospect pool and which ones should be managed by major gift officers in portfolios. The results were conveyed to the board of trustees to build confidence in thinking big. Once the analysis demonstrated that Dayton did have enough support to reach its aspirations, GG+A worked with the university’s leadership to develop a strategy to realize its goals. It was imperative to get the fundamentals right- identify what the campaign would accomplish and develop a draft case for support –test the goals in a campaign planning study process with top prospective donors– announce an ambitious working goal with a deadline –– develop strong and focused prospect lists- build the skills of the fundraising team – engage volunteers – think boldly and with presidential vision and leadership.
To help it achieve those objectives, the firm also conducted teaching and coaching workshops customized for Dayton’s advancement leaders, including major gift officers, vice presidents, deans, and the board of trustees to understand the campaign and their roles. These initial steps, establishing dedicated stakeholders, a talented team equipped, and the necessary tools to execute the campaign were critical in positioning the university for success.
As the quiet phase of the campaign continues, GG+A is working closely with the university to prepare for the launch of this ambitious campaign by pushing for results, creating communications to help inform the Dayton community on the campaign, and continuing to ensure that the advancement program is ready to the next phase of the campaign.
The university/GG+A partnership has built the foundation for a campaign aimed to provide substantially more need-based financial aid, support hands-on learning for all students, invest in academic program improvements, achieve increased loyalty in giving, and deepen engagement in measurable ways.