“Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” – You’ve Got Mail
Unfortunately, where I live, school starts while it is still more than 80 degrees and 90% humidity. But, still most K-12 institutions have already started classes. And colleges and universities begin very soon. That means more time trying to find a parking spot for those of you working in higher education.
All kidding aside, this is the time. That “back-to-school” feeling is pervasive in our culture. Donors feel it too and get nostalgic for their time at our institutions. It’s the time of very when education is naturally on the mind of our constituents. If educational fundraisers don’t have a plan ready to turn that nostalgia into gifts, we have lost ground and will have a hard time catching up this year.
Also, it’s time the perfect time of year to connect back to the mission of your institution. If you work in higher education, there are new students on your campus that are beginning a transformative journey. The classes they take, the things they learn and the people they meet could change their lives. You play a role in that. From raising funds for scholarships and library acquisitions to raising the profile of the institution through outstanding alumni support, advancement is part of that student’s path.
So, take a walk on your campus today. Watch the students making their way. Visit the campus bookstore and buy yourself some new pencils.
You have work to do.
Jessica Cloud, CFRE
I've been called the Tasmanian Devil of fundraising and I'm here to talk shop with you.