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Breaking down university silos to build an innovative principal giving programme
In 2017, under new leadership, the Washington State University Foundation (WSUF) reviewed its administrative organisation, internal and external communications, and fundraising processes in anticipation of its next major campaign. An internal task force assessed the foundation’s strengths, vulnerabilities and missed opportunities in an effort to maximise the university’s fundraising potential. The task force conducted a benchmarking study with WSU’s peer institutions that operate principal giving programmes. In reviewing this research, the WSUF discovered recurring themes and best practices across the multiple institutions. This paper discusses how the WSUF identified building a strong collaboration between leaders, academics, front-line fundraisers and support staff within a centralised, donor-centric principal giving programme as key to moving into a new era of philanthropy.
The full article is available to institutions that have subscribed to the journal
Lisa D. Calvert is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Washington State University Foundation (WSUF) and Vice President of Advancement at WSU. Lisa’s charge involves serving as the CEO in building a comprehensive, integrated advancement programme and leading the Foundation and all advancement functions systemwide, including the WSU Alumni Association. With more than 30 years of experience, Lisa is an expert in development and has served in a variety of executive advancement positions during her career in private and public higher education systems. Also, Lisa led the strategic planning of a US$2bn comprehensive campaign effort as Vice President for Development at Purdue University. She was at Texas Tech University System as COO (chief operating officer) of the Foundation and Vice Chancellor for Advancement. In 2011, Lisa was selected as one of ten advancement officers featured in the first higher education national study for the book Making the Case for Leadership: Profiles of Chief Advancement Officers in Higher Education.
Cynthia J. Hollenbeck is the Senior Development Writer and Editor for the WSUF. She has over 20 years of experience as a professional writer and 13 years as a marketing communications specialist. She has spent most of her career in academia, including working as an English instructor at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, Walla Walla Community College in Clarkston, Washington, and University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. As part of the Strategic Communications and Donor Engagement team, Cynthia is responsible for feature story writing, internal and external communications, strategic marketing, and executive communications.
Victoria Miles serves as the Senior Director of Principal Giving at the WSUF, her alma mater, where she was also involved in their US$1bn fundraising campaign. She has nearly 20 years of fundraising experience in the Seattle area, having held positions at the College Success Foundation, Swedish Medical Center, Overlake Hospital Medical Center, and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Victoria has experience in principal and major gift fundraising, corporate and foundation relations, volunteer and board management, special events, and marketing.
Nickole Winfree is the Senior Strategist for the Principal Giving team at the WSUF. In the last 15 years, she has served in a wide variety of functions within advancement, including board relations, alumni relations, and stewardship. Nickole held several positions at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan, including serving as the Executive Assistant to the President, Executive Vice President, and Vice President for Advancement and as Alumni Director. She currently provides support for the donor portfolios of WSU’s President and CEO of the WSUF and Vice President for Advancement.