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New staff to lobby for record donations

BY KRISTIN OSTBY
Daily Staff Reporter
Published October 27, 2004

To promote the Michigan Difference fundraising campaign’s
goal of $2.5 billion, the University hired a number of new staff
members in the past year, each of whom has significant experience
in fundraising.

Perhaps the most significant hire was the appointment of Todd
Baily as assistant dean for development and alumni relations for
the Law School. Baily has spent several years learning how to
attract prospective donors.

For the last four years, Baily worked at the Mayo Clinic in
Rochester, Minn., where he was responsible for fundraising
programming for the entire clinic. Before that, Baily worked in the
University’s Office for Development.

He is one of 17 people hired throughout the University to assist
in fundraising in the last year, said Jerry May, vice president for
development at the University.

“It’s really important to have a great campaign
staff and help bring in some of these big gifts,” May
said.

May coordinates the University’s 100-member team that
provides fundraising services for the University. He also runs the
Michigan Difference campaign, which has a goal of raising $2.5
billion by 2008. In order to reach its goal, the University needs
to raise another $1 billion.

The campaign formally began in May and will run until 2008. The
University has been counting fundraising money toward the campaign
since 2000.

May said the University is always looking for donations, but
this campaign will last longer than past campaigns to compensate
for the downturn of the economy and the change in leadership from
President Lee Bollinger to President Mary Sue Coleman in 2002.

May oversees the effort of the University’s individual
schools, colleges and non-degree granting units, each of which has
its own development programs and fundraising goals.

Coleman said she also works closely with prospective
benefactors. “I’m working with lots of donors for the
next four and a half years,” she said. “I’m
absolutely confident that we’re going to be able to
(accomplish our goal).”

May also said the University is in discussion with several
people to develop their gifts for the University. Gifts are not
donated overnight, but typically after several months, or even
years, of careful planning, he said.

“The Michigan Difference campaign is the University
campaign. It is all-inclusive,” said Baily. “We here at
the Law School work only for the Law School objectives.”

The Law School’s campaign is called ‘Building
On,’ whose objective is $135 million. So far, the Law School
has amassed nearly $71 million, about 44 percent of its goal, Baily
said.

Margaret Leary, director of the Law Library, was chair of the
search committee for assistant dean of development and alumni
relations. She said they were seeking “someone with a
successful track record in major gift development and cultivating
donors” to replace Geof Follansbe, who held Baily’s
position until May.

Baily said one of the key parts of cultivating donors is
building long-term relationships with alumni and parents.

“Building alumni relations is sort of the foundation on
which you hope that you will develop people like (Stephen
Ross),” Leary said, referring to the real estate
mogul’s recent donation of $100 million to the Business
School.

“We do a whole number of activities that try to engage
people in the life of the Law School,” Baily said. The school
holds small, private dinners as well as large receptions and
events, he said. They also have a staff that travels the country to
meet with prospective donors.

“Our best donors are people that have given to us in the
past,” Baily said. “They have shown an interest and an
affinity towards supporting the Law School.”

The Law School also actively seeks new donors by building
relationships with them. “We use volunteers to help us
identify other prospective donors, (and) people come to us and
offer support.”

May said Ross’s gift to the Business School has had
unexpected benefits aside from making the Michigan Difference
campaign $100 million closer to its goal. “It’s had a
great psychological impact because it’s made donors realize
how important Michigan is. It has stimulated other people to give.
It’s been a model for other people,” he said.

“Stephen Ross’s gift has helped a lot of people
stretch their thinking about the size of their gift. A lot of
people will probably increase the size of their gifts because of
Mr. Ross’s gift. It inspires people,” May added.

Coleman said she worked very closely with Ross in the year
leading up to his donation. “I was very much involved in
getting to know Mr. Ross,” she said.

“It’s a lot of work. It’s a massive
effort,” said University Regent S. Martin Taylor (D-Flint),
adding that the campaign has been especially intense since it was
formally announced in the summer.

“I think we are very blessed to have Vice President May.
He’s a professional. I think he’s doing a great
job,” he added.

The last University fundraising campaign, The Campaign for
Michigan, ended in 1997.


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