chapter  1
14 Pages

Taking Inventory

There is no such thing as a ready-made fundraising shop and most HBCUs can still remember the time when the development office was simply a “catch-all bucket” for whatever might fall in as there were few organized or formal development initiatives. The most important way to begin is to assess your current inventory of resources and determine if certain modifications can garner better results. For example, at one HBCU, the chief development officer decided that there was a need for more front-line development officers to cultivate a newly-identified donor base. As a result of the institution’s first phon-a-thon, the development office discovered over 200 new donors. Together, these donors had a giving capacity in excess of $6 million. With a goal of increasing the university’s alumni giving rate from a single to double digit, the chief development officer decided to focus a substantial portion of the department’s attention and resources on this untapped constituency.