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Fundraising Digest

September 18, 2013



Top Gifts 


$200 Million donation from Stephen M. Ross to the University of Michigan to "significantly transform the student experience at the business school and athletic campus."  This is the largest single donation in the university's history and brings Mr. Ross' total giving to alma mater to $313 million. (University of Michigan News Service, September 4, 2013).


$100 Million gift from Sanford and Joan Weill and the Weill Family Foundation to Cornell Medical College in New York. The gift will fund research into cures for cancer, diabetes, obesity and metabolic disorders. (Bloomberg, September 10, 2013).


$75 Million pledge from Donald J. Hall and the Hall Family Foundation to the Children's Mercy Hospital. The money would be used for a new medical research building at the hospital only if voters in November approve a half-cent sales tax geared to raise $800 million for such research over 20 years. (The Kansas City Star, September 6, 2013).


$27.9 Million gift from Kent Rockwell's stock to Lafayette College. The gift will go toward a new science building that will house the biology and computer science programs. (The Morning Call, September 17, 2013).    


$26 Million gift from the family of the late Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis to The Heritage Foundation.  The gift will be used to advance the work and mission of the Davis Institute for International Studies. (The Heritage Foundation, September 13, 2013). 


$5 Million gift from The Greehey Family Foundation to the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The gift pushes the Health Science Center's Campaign for the Future of Health over its fund-raising goal of $500 million. (San Antonio Business, September 17, 2013).


$4.2 Million gift from the estate of E. Vernon Smith to the University of Kentucky. The gift will fund research in the areas of Alzheimer's disease as well as diabetes and obesity. (KY Forward, September 17, 2013).


$3.2 Million estate gift from Doreen Grimes to the Scott & White Healthcare Foundation. The gift will be used for cancer education, research and prevention. (Bio News Texas, September 8, 2013).


�2.25 million legacy from investment banker Keith Owen will provide �100,000 a year for the Sid Vale Association in Sidmouth, Devon. The gift will enable the Association to fund conservation work and community projects. (UK FundraisingSeptember 9, 2013).


$3 Million gift from the Werth Family Foundation to Southern Connecticut State University. The gift will be used to create and sustain a Werth Center for Coastal and Marine Studies at the university and to fund two pilot research programs. (New Haven Register, September 17, 2013).   


$2 Million gift in inventory from Modnique, Inc. to the children's charity, Kids in Distressed Situations. The inventory includes women's, children's and baby apparel as well as books, toys, shoes, and home goods. (Fort Mill Times, September 9, 2013).


$1.5 Million gift from CNOOC Limited to the Calgary Public Library Foundation. The gift

support the creation of a learning commons in the new Central Library, a technology rich space featuring leading edge and emerging, educational applications that support group learning, collaboration and study. (PR Newswire, September 17, 2013).  


$1 Million gift from Orrin Estebo to The University of South Dakota Foundation. The gift will be used to support construction and renovation of the University of South Dakota School of Law. (KELO, September 9, 2013).


$1 Million gift from the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation to the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse. The gift will go towards renovations at the school.

(Times Republican, September 10, 2013).

$1 Million gift from Tim and Carole Bloomfield Etzel along with Jerry and Janet McElroy to the Saint Francis Health Foundation. The gift will support renovations to the St. Francis Health Emergency Department. (, September 17, 2013).  


$500,000 gift from anonymous donors to the Albion College's fund drive. The gift will support the construction of a new soccer/lacrosse complex. (M Live, September 9, 2013).


$130,000 gift from a D.C. based non-profit, The Taste of the South to the Mercy House. The gift will help the shelter work with families to have the training to do things they need like dentures that will help them get jobs that will make them promotable. (, September 17, 2013).  


$50,000 gift from the Another Time Soda Fountain & Caf� to the Fort Bend Children's Discovery Center. The gift will be used for a children's diner within the museum where kids of all ages can use their imagination in a setting similar to the iconic restaurant. (Fort Bend News, September 17, 2013).


$40,000 gift from the Fremont Area Medical Center Auxiliary to the Fremont Area Medical Center. The gift will be used to purchase four new patient transport chairs and partially fund the new CaseTracker patient tracking system. Fremont Tribune, September 17, 2013). 


$10,000 gift from the Service Credit Union to the New Hampshire Food Bank. The gift will help keep the shelves well stocked and feed hundreds across the state in the communities where Service Credit Union does business. (Fosters Daily Democrat, September 17, 2013).


325 Acres of forested land in Tuscarawas and Guernsey countries to The Wilderness Center to be used as a sustainable forest. (IndeOnlineSeptember 9, 2013).


74 Portraits by photographer Richard Avedon

 given by Leonard Lauder, gallery owner Larry Gagosian and the Richard Avedon Foundation to The Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The works include a 1970 photographic mural of poet Allen Ginsberg's family. (The Wall Street Journal, September 9, 2013).




Campaign Updates

"Rising to the Challenge: The Campaign for Johns Hopkins" plans to raise $4.5 billion in order to create 300 endowed professorships and generate $753 million for financial aid and fellowships. The campaign's overall goal allocates $2.4 billion for Johns Hopkins Medicine, which includes the Johns Hopkins Health System and its six hospitals plus the University's School of Medicine. (The John Hopkins Newsletter, September 13, 2013).


Rice University's Centennial Campaign exceeds its fundraising goal of $1 billion. The money raised will fund projects for student development. (The Rice Thresher,September 9, 2013).


The Rutgers University Foundation has topped $800 million in fundraising as it approaches the $1 billion goal of the "Our Rutgers, Our Future" campaign. (NJTC Techwire,September 10, 2013).    


Malala Yousufzai, the young Pakistani advocate for girls education targeted by Taliban assassins, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and rights organization "A World at School" is teaming up to raise $500 Million over the next 3 years to provide education to the 300,000 Syrian school-age children living in Lebanon. (Huffington Post, September 13, 2013).


The Argyll Velodrome Association and Edmonton Triathlon Academy launched their "wheels off" fundraising campaign for the Coronation Community Recreation Centre. The total estimated cost of the project is $80 million; the "wheels off" campaign hopes to tackle $20 million of that cost. (Edmonton Journal, September 17, 2013).


More than �24.4 million has now been raised towards the 750th Anniversary Campaign, whose goal is �30 million. The campaign aims to secure Merton's academic standards, increase student support, and preserve Merton's architectural heritage for the next phase of the College's history. (Merton College Oxford, September 8, 2013).


The United Way of Central Alabama aims to raise $37.9 million dollars this year. Tens of thousands of donors will participate in the drive and 2,000 volunteers will help drive "the single largest act of care" in Alabama.  (, September 17, 2013).


Fundraising efforts have begun for the expansion and renovation of Baptist Retirement Community. The project, estimated at $22 million, will target four key areas of the campus: Construction of two new Green House homes; two new assisted living/memory care homes; renovation and expansion of the existing high-rise into an independent living community and community center; and campus beautification. (Buckner News, September 13, 2013).


The Capital Area United Way officially kicked off its 2013 workforce campaign. The campaign goal is to reach $9.05 million. (Business Report, September 17, 2013).   

WSU Spokane's private fundraising drive has reached its $2.3 million goal. The fundraiser was to cover some of the costs of a new second-year medical education program in Spokane. (Washington State University, September 13, 2013).


A campaign to raise $1.2 million in Douglas County has now begun. The campaign is being held to restore the Douglas County Fairgrounds' oldest building. (NR Today, September 17, 2013).


Hundreds of people from across the country gathered near Ground Zero in New York City to commemorate the lives lost on September 11th, 2001. The local organizations across the community are trying to raise money to bring Winnebago County 9/11 Memorial to life. The memorial board has raised $200,000.and their goal is more than $900,000 to cover construction and upkeep costs. (, September 13, 2013).


A fundraising campaign is under way to remember Roger Ebert by building a life-sized bronze sculpture and placing it on the plaza outside the Virginia Theater in downtown Champaign. The amount of $125,000 is needed for the project. (Alton Daily News, September 13, 2013).


The State Theater in Tupper Lake has raised enough money to convert its two movie screens to digital projection and remain open. The fundraising goal was $95,000 to cover the digital conversion. (Times UnionSeptember 10, 2013).


Wildlife and conservation charity Care for the Wild has launched a fundraising campaign around the theme of the Tooth Fairy tradition. The charity is inviting children to become 'Tooth Fairy Heroes' by pledging the money they would have received for lost teeth to the Tooth Fairy, to help her save elephants from being killed for their tusks. (UK Fundraising, September 17, 2013). 


A campaign has begun to reopen the 88-year-old Oaks Theater on Solano Avenue in Berkeley. The Oaks, built in 1925 and designated a Berkeley landmark in 2006, is the oldest building on upper Solano in Berkeley's Thousand Oaks district. (Berkeley Patch, September 17, 2013).


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Everything Old 

is New Again




New parents are rightly amazed by everything their babies do.  The first laugh.  The first word.  The first step.  It's all magic.


But then there are those freshly minted parents who drive us all crazy.  


Not only is everything their child does wonderful.  It is also the first time any child has ever done it.  All the other babies are nothing compared with this one. In fact, every baby from now on should be just like theirs since it's the best baby ever.


At first, we put up with it.  But at a certain point it becomes nearly intolerable.  


Today, we have a new wave of advocates for doing "good."  And they have a bright shiny new toolkit they've discovered and they are completely convinced we all need to use it.  It's their baby.  And they're in love! 


Just last week, I had a twitter exchange with a new vendor.  He told me his new platform was a combination of "smart biz tools to enable profit and purpose--disruptive systems, big data, loyalty, payment enabling more good."  


I understood all the words, but when I added them up, they didn't really mean anything.  So I looked at their site. Over and over. I still had no idea what they plan to do besides collect a percentage of commercial transactions for designated charities. 


This is a very smart guy. He's undoubtedly doing something very important.  But is it really the first platform enabling "good"?   And does something so good need to be so mysterious?


Of course not.


That's right, proud parents.  Trying to do "good" is very good.  We support you. But it's not exactly "new." And wrapping it in cool sounding names and wildly vague adjectives does not make it so.


But it's not just the act of "doing good" that is is not novel.  It is also the techniques for making positive change that are merely updates to approaches applied by nonprofits for many years.


Take crowdfunding.  The word is exciting.  The concept compelling.  It sounds like a true change-agent's approach to fundraising.  


Fundamentally, however, crowdfunding is just about empowering your advocates to raise money on your behalf. 


We used to do this by giving envelopes to donors to redistribute in their neighborhoods. Or by giving out UNICEF boxes for Halloween collection. Or holding a boot collection at the local intersection.  Or providing pledge forms for walkathons.


Today, your supporters can share content about your organization and its fundraising effort on their favorite social networks.  And instead of having a paper pledge sheet, they can recruit friends to give through an online form.  


Today's version is easier and better. It reaches a far greater number of people. And those it reaches are more likely to be responsive since they are being approached by a friend.  We should all be doing it.


But once again, adoring parents, it's not entirely new.  And we don't have to describe it in befuddling and imprecise ways just to differentiate ourselves from one another.  Nor should we make it sound like everything that came before is outdated and outmoded.  


What we do in fundraising today is a direct outgrowth of what we have been doing all along.  The talents and people power behind traditional and contemporary approaches to fundraising are equally valuable. It's all good and all for the good.


But if we blend people and approaches, bringing together the tried-and-true and new, we are more likely to be successful.


Take multi-channel fundraising approaches.  They are far more successful in acquiring and sustaining donors than just online or offline campaigns alone.  


In short, whatever we do in fundraising works better as part of a larger combination of donor interactions. And that is because fundraising is about people asking people for money for a cause that matters to them both. It's not about the technology at all. Nor has it ever been. 


The changes we are witnessing in fundraising, like the generational changes among our donors, are more evolutionary than revolutionary.  They do not force us to take sides of new against old, digital vs. face-to-face.  It all works. And it all works better together.  




News from Around the World  


A recent study from the Women's Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy found that nearly 9 out of 10 children ages 8 to 19 give to charity and more than half volunteer. Today's young people are motivated, creative, philanthropic, and interested in the communities and the world around them. (Huffington Post, September 13, 2013).  


Berkeley's Daily Californian newspaper has been cut off from a single anonymous donor who is one of its biggest sources of funding. The independent, student-run newspaper has been facing financial trouble for a few years. (San Francisco Business Times,September 8, 2013).


�5,000 Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prizenominations are now open for the individual who has demonstrated "remarkable leadership, creativity and results in developing philanthropy for progressive social change in an emerging market country or countries. (UKFundraisingSeptember 9, 2013).


Safeway Inc. stores raised $10.3 million during the company's annual Prostate Cancer Awareness campaign. Safeway's entire chain of more than 1,600 stores dedicated an entire month to raising money and increasing awareness for the fight against prostate cancer. (Wall Street JournalSeptember 9, 2013).


The International Association to Save Tyre is raffling Picasso's drawing Homme au Gibus (Man with Opera Hat) to raise funds for its work to protect the UNESCO World Heritage site that was damaged in the Lebanese civil war. (UK Fundraising, September 13, 2013).


HelpAge International bi-annual magazine focuses on fundraising advice, with advice from fundraising specialists around the world. The edition focuses on assisting organisations that work with older people, but much of the material is applicable to a wide range of charities and voluntary organizations. (UK Fundraising, September 13, 2013).


The first 11 recipients of the new Arts Fundraising Fellowship Programme will have a rare opportunity to learn on the job with a variety of leading arts organisations. They will take part in an intensive 12-month programme, designed to produce the next generation of Development and Fundraising Directors with the skill, entrepreneurial expertise and vision to make a major different to fundraising for arts organisations. (UK Fundraising, September 13, 2013).


11- year-old Jess Jenkinson held a cake sale making more than �170 for the Rhys Daniels Trust months after undergoing a life changing operation. The charity provides accommodation for families who do not live near the hospitals where their children are being treated. (This is Gloucestershire, September 17, 2013).



Who are the World's Most Experienced Fundraisers?
Board chairs and campaign leaders. Executive directors and presidents. Vice president for advancement, development directors and campaign consultants. 
Without them we wouldn't have the resources we need to do the work we do.  
Now it's time to honor those whose extraordinary leadership and decades of experience make them stand apart.  
We are finalizing a list of the world's most experienced fundraising practitioners and we want your nominations.  
Drop us a line with your suggestions today. Just write a note to Jay Frost at 
And keep on the lookout for this special list of leaders in the weeks ahead!

Top Development Jobs


Research and Campaign Associate sought by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Baltimore, Maryland.


Advancement Operations Manager wanted by Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, Michigan.


Director of Prospect Development & Research sought by Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. 


Global Campaigns Funding Manager needed by Oxfam International in either the UK (preferred), Brussels, Geneva, Washington or New York City.  


Development Research Analyst being recruited by Elon University in Elon, North Carolina. 


Grants Manager wanted by Playworks in Oakland, California.



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