NACDA WORKSHOP FOR ATHLETIC FUND RAISERS
(Sunday, June 10 - 7:30 a.m. -5:00 p.m.)
Welcome to the Fund Raising Clinic as part of the NACDA Convention. I'm one of the two co-chairs who helped put together today's program. I'm Pat Ogle, executive director of the Bulldog Foundation at Fresno State. Gene DeFilippo, associate director of athletics from the University of Kentucky to my left is the other co-chair. He will be introducing our Keynote speaker in just a few minutes. I'm sure our speaker favored Gene introducing him, because he knew I could tell some stories about his experiences at Fresno State four-years ago that he doesn't want told at this particular Convention. He is the current President of NACDA.
As most of you are aware, this is the first Fund Raising Clinic as part of NACDA. I've been part of a fund raising convention on the West Coast for the past nine years. Gene helped establish a fund raising convention in Atlanta four years ago. I think everybody in our business is interested in getting one conference together and it's my understanding that Jack will be meeting with some of the principles at the other conventions and, hopefully, that will happen within the next 12 months. We're looking forward to a
great day today.
You'll be given two surveys after lunch; one is an evaluation form and one is a survey and we will ask before you leave today to leave these on the table in the back of the room. It will help us to formulate a future plan. Secondly, if you brought any handouts that you would like to share with the rest of the conferees, please put them on the back table at your convenience.
I came to this Convention from the one in Atlanta and while I was there, they mentioned they were not aware of this particular clinic today. We assumed that maybe their athletic directors did not share this information with their colleagues. If you are an athletic director, please make sure that the information you receive gets to your fund raisers in the future. For those of you who have not registered yet, the registration desk will be re-opened after 1:00 p.m. for the remainder of the day.
It's my pleasure to introduce the co-chair, Gene DeFilippo, who is a new friend to me, but a long-time friend to many of you.
Thank you, Pat. If we could use one word to describe our Keynote speaker, it would probably be success. Success has followed him in all of his endeavors throughout his career. He began his college career at the University of Akron and went on to receive his master's degree at Kent State University. From there, he went on to become a baseball, football and lacrosse coach. He held the title of head football coach at Marshall University, Heidelberg College and at the College of Wooster. In the late 70s he decided that he would get
out of athletics and went into private business which was, again, a great success. In 1980 Dave Hart called our speaker to be the associate director of athletics at the University of Louisville. He went to the University of Louisville and then went with Coach Hart to the University of Missouri, where he was, again, the associate director of athletics. Since that time, he's held the position of director of athletics at three institutions; Fresno State, the University of Missouri and presently, at the U.S. Naval Academy. This is a man who has been involved in a lot of NCAA committees. He's the president of NACDA. He stands for things
that are good in college athletics such as graduation rates, integrity and graduating with a degree. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the president of NACDA and the director of athletics at the U.S. Naval Academy, Jack Lengyel.
Thank you, Gene. I appreciate that and it's a pleasure to be here. I want to welcome everyone on behalf of NACDA to what, I hope, will be the beginning of a long run of workshops associated with NACDA and your fine organization. You are one of the most important key administrators on our athletic staffs. You visit and work with a wide-range and variety of constituencies and, as such, you must mirror the university's fine, positive position. Every word, every action or every response, or lack of action, is being interpreted by everyone you visit with. There's an old adage that says, "what you do speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you're saying." So, you're a vital link in a barometer to our fans and supporters. That's an important part because you must be a loyal employee and person within that staff.
When I first became involved with NACDA many years ago, I realized how important it was to network with my fellow athletic directors and associates for professional growth. As I became an Officer in NACDA, it always bothered me that when we started our Conventions we sent our key administrators off in different
conventions and it didn't seem to appear that we had any linkage back to our department. I personally believe that NACDA, with its Convention format for athletic administrators which has current key issues and
roundtables and training seminars for all of our administrators will provide you with the opportunity for networking and advancement in athletic administration, should you desire to pursue that goal. If not, it's an excellent opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with a wide range of administrators and university officials.
As I looked over this group, I saw Dave Braine, the athletic director from Virginia Tech and Max Urick from Iowa State, Dean Ehlers, athletic director at James Madison, Bruce Corrie, the athletic director from Northwestern, I see a very varied and mixed group in here. Your responsibility is fund raising, so it is a unique opportunity for all of us to have the upper mobility opportunity and work together. I also see a gentleman like Tom Schultz, who is the director of fund raising for the University of Missouri. He's going to learn about fund raising. We're happy to see you here.
I hope you'll get some great ideas from this Convention and that you'll help your university next fall But, more importantly, I hope that you meet some lasting friends in athletic administration and that you'll provide our association with the leadership that will be necessary in athletics for the coming year.
We're in a great state of transition and we need every available good hand. You are our key link to all of the things that we're going to be doing. Fund raising is a difficult task. It's unique and different at everyone of your universities, but the important thing is the ideas that you gather here. I'm going to say to you as you already know, that the Convention and the speakers are one thing. It's the dinners afterwards, it's sitting around the pool and conversing and sharing ideas and that's what we're all about. It's sharing ideas and reinforcing some ideas about what we're already doing. That's important too. But, every once in awhile, come up with a twist or a new idea that you can adapt to your institution and make it work to be successful.
In order to be successful, our organization has to share ideas and help each other up that ladder of success. I'm confident that all of you will do that. I want to thank you for coming. I know that your program chairmen, Gene DeFilippo and Pat Ogle are two of the best in the business. I know they've planned an exciting and outstanding Workshop for you. I wish you great success and have a great year. Thank you.
Thank you, Coach Lengyel. When Pat and I first got together to do this, we called around to a lot of the fund raisers and asked about what topics you would like to see talked about at the Convention. One of the topics that kept coming back was that we need to know better how to ask for money, how to close a deal and
what do you do for people who give you money? We were fortunate to find probably the best in the business to help us with that.
Our next speaker to talk about prospecting, asking and thanking with style is a gentleman named Dave Hart. He is the director of athletics at East Carolina University. After graduating from Alabama, he became a high school coach in Kentucky and later went to East Carolina as an associate athletic director for marketing, promotions and fund raising. During his time there, the Pirate Club at East Carolina every year broke records for the number of donors and the amounts of dollars that were raised by the East Carolina Pirates. Since that time, he's been named the director of athletics and has continued with the great job of marketing, promoting and fund raising at East Carolina. Ladies and gentlemen, the director of athletics at East Carolina, Mr. Dave Hart.
Thank you Gene. All of the ADs in this room know that you have to be multi-talented. If you don't believe that, ask somebody in the media or ask somebody on the other side or the campus what they believe your responsibilities should be. An AD has to be a fund raiser. He has to be a marketer and he has to be a labor negotiator. He has to be innovative, aggressive and promotions-minded. He has be to a politician, balance
the budget, a policeman, a communicator, a leader and he has to be a producer. Pretty easy job, but I think a job, as Jack Lengyel just said, that is very exciting.
Certainly, fund raising as we enter the decade or the 90s, whether you have a one-million dollar budget, a five-million dollar budget or a 19-million dollar budget, people are struggling financially to make ends meet. It's no different than our personal lives where we spend more than we make. Unfortunately, that has become the rule or thumb for many or us in intercollegiate athletics. I very much appreciate the opportunity to be a part or this because I think it's outstanding that we, collectively as a NACDA group, can bring our people together in this type or format.
My topic is prospecting, asking and thanking with style. I am going to talk about each of those elements, but first, I'd like to drift away from the specifics and talk in general terms. I think the most important element in fund raising and in most everything else that we do is communication. If you don't communicate and if you refuse to communicate, you will fail, regardless, if it's athletics or whatever else you're doing. If you're not a communicator, you're setting yourself up and your staff for a lot of problems. You must be very clear when you state your goals, your strategies to reach those goals and your directions.
You have to be very clear to your staff and make them understand exactly what it is you want and how you want them to go about it.
Allow me to read an example of the need for being very clear in our directions. I think this group can identify closely with this example about Halley's Comet which was passed from group to group. It seems that the chancellor told his athletic director the following: "Next Thursday at 10 a.m., Halley's Comet will appear over this area. This is an event which occurs only once every 75 years. Notify your people and have them assemble their teams and their assistants on the athletic fields and explain this phenomenon to them. If it rains, then cancel the day's observation and have the teams meet in the coliseum to see a film about the Comet." Well, the AD gathered his associate ADs and this is what he told them; "by directive from the chancellor, next Thursday at 10:30, Halley's Comet will appear over our athletic fields. If it rains, then have the coaches cancel the day's practices and report to the Coliseum with their teams where they will be shown films of a phenomenal event which only occurs every 75 years." The associate ADs then called the assistant ADs in and said I have a message to pass along. "By order of the phenomenal chancellor, at 10:30 next Thursday, Halley's Comet will appear in the coliseum. In case of rain over the athletic field, the chancellor will issue another order, something that occurs only once every 75 years" The coaches then
gathered the athletes and reported a message from the Chancellor. "Next Thursday at 10:30, the chancellor will appear in the Coliseum with Halley's Comet, something which occurs every 75 years. If it rains, the chancellor will cancel the Comet and order all of us back out to our phenomenal athletic fields." The
athletes then passed the message on to their parents. "When it rains next Thursday at 10:30 over our school's athletic fields, a phenomenal 75 year old chancellor will cancel all classes and appear over the entire university in the coliseum accompanied by Bill Haley and the Comets."
Communication is so vital to fund raising and that's what we're talking about today. It has to be the foundation on which you build your program. Everybody in our business is, and has to be, extremely concerned about image. We should be. Image should be our number one concern collectively. Specifically, what type of image we're projecting on our particular campuses? Be it right or wrong, our institution's image will be certainly be impacted by the department of athletics.
Communication is the best way for us to enhance consistent reinforcement of the image that we're trying to project and that cannot be achieved without proper communication. I've said this many times in addressing people that one of the biggest mistakes we make is not informing our coaches about things that do not pertain to their sport -fund raising. The most visible person in your department is going to be your football and basketball coach. How can we project a consistent message? How can we communicate through the media
if they don't know what we're trying to do? Do your coaches really know about your fund raising operations?
Do they know your goals? Do they know how you're going to go about attracting new members? Do they know what you did last year? Do they know what your goals are this year? Unfortunately, I find the answer to that many times is, no. So, there's your coach in front of the camera and he's with some reporter. That reporter decides to drift from who's going to be the quarterback this season and says to the coach, "I notice you've been going to some Bulldog meetings. How's that going?" The coach answers, "I don't know."
It's our job to orient our coaches and to educate them so they can educate their assistants on our total goals as an athletic program, whether their marketing, fund raising or whatever it is. That coach has the
best opportunity to reinforce the image you want. He has the best opportunity to enforce the information you want out there to perspective donors and to current donors. That coach could give that same answer to the question asked by that reporter, "yes, we were in Atlanta last night and we had a great meeting. We're trying to get that group more involved in our fund raising efforts. It's important for us to fully fund
scholarships, etc., etc." But, if you don't educate the coaches, then that's not the response you're going to get. Again, that's a mistake that we all make and it needs to be corrected. I could say the same thing about all departments. Your sports information director needs to know the nuts and bolts of what you're trying to
do with your fund-raising operation; most definitely, those of you who have specific programs for promotions and marketing.
I see no way to be successful if marketing and fund raising aren't going hand-in-hand at your institutions. If you've got a marketing operation over here and a fund raising operation over there on an island and those people are spinning around without communication and coordination, then the image the business community is going to have is not going to be a positive one.
One of the worst things that could happen in any given community is when you have a guy on your staff who is young, and we all have them and he is out trying to raise money. He goes to Pepsi Cola and tells a 9 we need a sponsor for this football schedule poster and this guy gives him $500.00. Now he returns and is a excited telling you that he got $500.00 from Pepsi. Now, you have to tell him that's the same guy that we have drafted a proposal for for $50,000.00. What are you doing down there trying to get $500.00 out of him. Communication! It's not that young guy's fault. He's being aggressive and he's excited and he's got a job do. No one told him what's going on. The right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing.
In order to get a handle on that, we have chosen to have a program where we know exactly what's going on. We present a list of businesses and tell them what we want and who will go where. You may not want to get that systematic, but my point is that the right hand has to know what the left hand is doing and you have to reinforce one another's philosophies within the total department in order to maximize your opportunity to prospect and to identify donors who can help your department. I'm not suggesting that we put words in our coaches' mouths. I'm suggesting that we communicate with them and make them understand the big picture. One thing about our business and one thing about the coaching business is that it is a tunnel-vision business. Until we can do a better job of making them see the big picture, we're going to be spinning our wheels in trying to do a better job with our total programs.
I could take my topic and give it different terminology and I'll do that so you can get a better feel. Prospecting, asking and thanking, we could say is research and cultivation. That's really what prospecting is, Asking is really closing. There's not a person in here who could not ask, but there probably aren't a whole lot of excellent closers. That's developed. Follow-through is thanking.
Research really involves an internal audit. If you're really going to do some research on prospects y< need to determine what that person is capable of giving, and determine what his specific interests are. I would like to share a little anecdote with you. A family who gave us a gift have a daughter who is a world-class water skier in Greenville, North Carolina. Obviously, she did not participate in that sport as ; high school athlete, but had become a world-class water skier. As we began to research that family about giving us a gift, we made this proposal to him verbally and then on paper. They would endow a scholarship f( $50,000 earmarked for women's athletics. We drew up the criteria that we would review for selecting a particular female athlete. The key to closing that deal was the girl's mcther who we did not even meet with the first few times. That was a mistake on our part. The mcther made that decision because she was in the third meeting. While this fellow was still trying to make up his mind, she said that is very special. It's not always a one-on-one presentation. It is sometimes, and oftentimes a husband-wife and family. You've go1 to do enough research to appreciate and understand what may assist you in closing that deal.
So, research the history of giving of that person. Maybe they never gave to athletics before. We havl a lot of donors who are not even interested in athletics, but their history of giving to other organizations and other charities is a factor.
How many alumni do you have in your region and how many of those alumni are giving to the university and, specifically, how many of them are giving to athletics. Research dead files which are people who gave five years ago. Find out why and go in and try to get them again.
Most prospect leads come from current prospects. So you have to be willing to ask and to record those prospects names. Former players are great for prospecting. Everyone on your staff should help. Former donors can help. Prospecting is something you have to capitalize on at every given opportunity. Never miss an opportunity to prospect. Birds of a feather is an old adage, but it's true. We currently have 17 $50,000 endowed donors in our program, which is II more than we had three years ago. Most of those leads came from current endowment donors. They know other people who are capable of those types of gifts.
When we go to our 36 spring Pirate Club fund raising meetings, as people come in, they fill out a registration in triplicate. The volunteer chairman keeps one form, the other form goes to the secretary who immediately responds the next day by saying it was very good to see you last night, we hope you enjoyed yourself and we want your participation in our program. They get a tag. If Steve Borton is a Pirate Club member, he gets a white tag. If Lou Marciani is not, he gets a gold tag. We try to prep our chancellor, coaches and whomever is at that meeting to get to the gold tags. It's easy to remember prospecting for gold. If there are people in that room with gold tags, you get to them. Spend some time with them. Make them feel good about what we're trying to do. That has been very effective for us. We'll tell Steve Borton, who is a current member, to say something to Lou Marciani about his involvement. Somebody has to take the time to tel people personally about what we're doing.
Once again, coaches are the most visible. People want to talk to the coaches. If your coach is there, that's who they want to talk to. Our coaches go to our Pirate Club meetings. We've written that
their contract. We think it's important to have them with us if we want to expand our base. Our coaches have been great about bringing us names of prospects, whether from the meetings or from other means. Prospecting is really research and cultivation.
It's easy to ask someone for $50 or $100. Sometimes it's easy to ask someone for $500. That doesn't require the amount of research that I'm talking about. I'm talking about asking someone to sponsor a scholarship that may cost $3,000. More research is called for in that aspect. You're then talking about a very professional presentation. A professional presentation is very important and it takes time. We've been working for a year and a half on a family to endow our student development program. We have $300,000 from this family. It's something you can't hurry along. vlhen you're talking about that kind of money, you're talking about a very professional presentation. We've been to see this family with our chancellor, our academic counselor and I've seen this family by myself. They're going to do it, but they haven't done it yet.
Depending upon the amount and depending upon your intent, the presentation will vary. Regardless, research becomes very vital in knowing that person. We have a donor in our endowment program who never participated in athletics. While we were golfing one day, he asked me who we were playing that night.
He didn't know anything and he didn't care. It wasn't his thing. He did care about our intent to make academics first. He said he believed in what we were doing and he wanted to help. He gave us $50,000 and wanted it earmarked for academic counseling in our career planning. So, it doesn't have to be a person who is caught up in the wins and loses. Prospecting is critical and it is style. Fund raising is style and everyone has a different style. Any style that enables you to close is certainly an effective style. Use everyone. Use all of your resources that you have at your disposal in prospecting.
We have a volunteer task force of approximately 90 people who help us get through our spring fund drive. The number is not important. If we have 90, we have 20 workers. 70 people are somewhere between excellent
and pathetic and only 20 are workers. Numbers are not important, but leaders are. How do you go about choosing the person who will be the leader. Three years ago, I wanted a woman to be our chairperson. We
never had a woman lead our fund drive. We finally were able to secure a woman who had been in the area for a long time and she knew everybody. She accepted this position and, to this day, it has been the most successful drive we've had.
Have a short fund drive. An intense two or three week fund drive where people will be able to give you their volunteer time. No one has that much time to spend on a long, drawn out fund drive. We would have weekly meetings and our chairperson would have on the board a list of all of that week's production. She would literally embarrass people into producing. She would go up to a person who had not produced anything and tell them that if they couldn't help us, go back to your regular job. She would say to them, "you made a commitment. You volunteered to come in here and help us. You have the guts to come in here and eat these hors d'oeuvres and tell us you have two members." Now if I would have said that, I would have been run out of town. But, this lady could get away with it. Next week, this same guy won the prize for the most new members. How could he not? He's got to live in that community. Give some thought to who is going to direct those fund drives. Who is going to be your volunteer chairperson leader. That is very critical. It is many times overlooked.
I think asking is a hard thing to do, but it is important and you have to be up front about it. People know why you're there. It's no big secret that you're there to ask them for money. I would advise you not to take the needy approach. Instead, we take the approach that this is where our program is and this is where we would like it to go and this is the total picture from academics to athletics to personal development. You
can make an investment in this program and because of your involvement, we can go from here to here. That's a little bit different from need. People want to be a part of something that has a little bit of class about it and be a part of something that is growing. People will be a part of something if they believe in the person
who is asking. Yes, people give to causes. Yes, people give to charities and institutions. But, people also give to people. If everybody in this room went to the same millionaire and asked him for money, we wouldn't
all get the money. Some of us would because we had that quality about us to convince him that we are sincere about this and we asked in the right vein. But, we asked.
There comes a point in that presentation when you have to say this is what we're doing and this is where your gift would go and this is what your gift would enable us to do. Will you contribute $4,000 and become an annual scholarship donor? You wait for the response. You don't continue. You wait. Ask
specifically. So many times I've seen people ask for something. What? What is that something? If you've researched and you find someone who cannot be a scholarship donor, but he loves football and wants a parking pass, you ask him to give you $500 to help our program fund scholarships. For that $500, these are your tickets and this is where you'll park.
Sure, you'll get the response that they want to think about it or they'll want to talk to their wife. That's nothing to be discouraged about. But, that's where the follow-through comes in. A letter should go out that day saying, "I enjoyed our visit and I hope that you'll contribute as a $500 donor, per our conversation. I'll call you next Wednesday at your office to follow up." Don't let that hang out there because you're busy. You need to follow through.
I don't think you can be squeamish. This is a very sensitive area, but you have to be able to ask people for bequests. It's not easy. You have to be able to go to someone's family where an alumni passed awayand suggest that we perpetuate his name. Here are the opportunities to do that. Lay them out and show them what you can do. Show them the costs involving naming a room after him and make it something to be prol of.
People are more apt to do something for people than to just do it. Everybody has naming opportunities. I don't care what institution you represent, you have naming opportunities within your athletic departDIent. You can get the blessing of your chancellor to get the plan together to pursue these opportunities. We just moved into a new building and we're proud of it. We have developed a plan on paper to solicit naming opportunities in that building. I think it will enable us to upgrade our fund raising and close the gap unti our university is ready for a major capital campaign.
You do not send your second lieutenant to do this. I've seen that mistake made. When you're talking about bequests and naming opportunities, that's when people do want to see the AD in their homes. They want to see the chancellor or the head of the fund raising foundation because that's personal and that's important to them. They don't want to deal with someone who is not in charge.
Where do you ask? Again, that goes back to research about a person. If you have a guy who is used to running a major corporation and used to be in charge, I'm not going to ask that guy sitting behind his desk. I'm not going to do it. And, I'm not going to ask him in my office with me sitting behind my desk. I'm gOiI to come from around that desk. Probably, I would want to ask that guy away from both of our working
environments because I think we'd both be more comfortable in that environment. Sometimes we almost give no thought to where. Do you get the guy out to play golf and ask him? You need to get away from the hustle an< bustle of the telephone ringing and all of the interruptions that occur? That could cost you the deal. It
can happen because the environment wasn't right.
I hope we all as fund raisers understand the reasons people give. They are varied. People give becau: they want to belong. This is right up front. They want to be a part of the university's program and they want to be a part of what's going on. You don't need to try to use overkill. Tell them how they can be a part of it. People need recognition. That's second. Those people are out there. With the proper research you'll find those people with big egos who want their name of that building or on that football field. They'll tell you that's not important. But it is. They want that recognition.
We have a restricted giving program. We do not encourage restricted giving because it's a Catch 22. I don't encourage people to restrict their money to the volleyball team or to the baseball team. But, we will take a restricted gift. If a person wants to give a certain amount of money, but they want it to go to the baseball team, that's fine. That's where it will go. But, we do not encourage restricted giving. We do no allow gifts to be restricted to any sports that are fully funded. We tell our donors that up front. You can't restrict a gift to football or to women's basketball. Those are fully-funded programs. We need to he the soccer or tennis programs because they have very little funding to work with.
People give because of community pride. Greenville, North Carolina is located in Pitt County. As we raised $1.7 million, $650,000 of it came out of Pitt County. Those people want to be a part of it. We
put together an annual publication of all the businesses and corporations who have contributed to our athlet department. They get a little sticker for their door and they want those by September I. They want people see that they do business with the Pirate Club. This publication is dispersed at our games and it tells how much they gave. We gave a lot of thought about doing that. The first year we did this, I had a restaurant call me and say he was really embarrassed. He couldn't believe that we put his contribution in our publication. I told him that we were going to do that. I told him he had the opportunity to give more and
he sent a check for $500. Guilt made him do this. That's an example.
People give out of loyalty. The worst givers in America are teachers. Right behind teachers are f, athletes. I can understand teachers since they don't make a great deal of Dloney, but former athletes bot me. If any of you have a program where you've experienced a lot of success in athletes giving back, I'd to talk to you and find out how you do it because we've struggled there. When I visit with our athletes, tell me they gave four years of sweat and blood to this place. Some are professional players making $850,000/900,000 a year and they don't want to give back. Somewhere we've missed the boat. We've had go' success with our alumni giving back, but not with our former athletes giving back.
People give hoping for permanent remembrance. to give for that reason.
That's one you can target because that's a nice gesture
Let's talk about saying thank you for a minute. Five percent of everything that you take in through fund raising should be earmarked for saying thank you. Human nature dictates that people like to be appreciated. This is a business where you don't have a clock. You do it because that's what it takes and you do it because you love to do it. But, you do like now and then for a chancellor or for coach or for somebody to say they appreciate it. A donor is no different. If a guy gives you fifty dollars and he might be struggling to give you that, but he gave it to you, say thank you. It is a reasonable expectation on their part that you express appropriate appreciation.
What is appropriate appreciation? It could be a letter from your office or you might ask the chancellor if he would drop a note-of appreciation. He will. It may be a certificate that you had framed which expresses the department's appreciation. It may be an appreciation dinner. Let's go back to that volunteer task force we first mentioned. Whether it's a task force of 20 or loo, those people gave you three weeks of their time and they raised $650,000 in your behalf. They didn't get paid for that. An appreciation dinner makes them feel good about what they did and makes them want to do it again.
We have an incentive program built into that. The volunteer task force needs an incentive program and you need those weekly meetings. You need to have awards structured before the drive begins. For the guy who brings in the most new members, or for the guy who brings in the most new dollars, or for the guy who brings in the most renewals. We had a guy who, by himself, brought in 151 new members. This guy was obviously possessed by this. He and his wife will go to the Bahamas on us. But, that trip was donated because we went to the travel agency before the drive and told them what we wanted to do.
At an appreciation dinner, we ask each person to bring their spouse because we want them to know how much we appreciated them letting their spouse work for nothing and we want the producers back. Some people we don't want back because they were useless, but we want the producers to feel good enough about what they did and they'll do it again. Not to the point where you burn them out for six consecutive years, but certainly, we want to know who the producers are.
Our philosophy has always been you don't spend money on something you don't have to. We get a lot of things contributed to our program so we don't have to spend money. I tell our fund-raising organization that you can lose sight of the expenditure side of your operation. It's fine to be out raising all of these dollars, but if you're spending too many dollars at the other end, your final numbers aren't going to be what you wanted. So, it's important to keep a lid on the expenditure side of your operation. Why would you go buy Coca-Cola or Pepsi and spend all of this money when someone out there will give you that. They will. They'll give you those trips. They'll give you those sweaters.
You need timely response to your donors. If you want to turn an executive off, just wait six weeks to respond with a thank you for that gift. You won't get that guy back because they know how to run a business and they know how to respond to people. This is a people business that we're in. So impress upon your people how important it is to thank their donors. You can make these thank yous a priority and get them out.
You need a professional approach. Go back to the image of athletics that we talk about. If we're going to change that image collectively, we better take a professional approach and display some class. We better have our people trained to operate in that same vein, particularly in fund raising. Fund raising is very visible. Your people are visible. They represent you just as the coaches do. If they're not doing something in a professional manner, believe me, that's how you'll be perceived as the person in charge. You have to do it with class and style. You have to be able to say thank you and let people know that what they've done is very much appreciated.
You can't walk through your job with blinders on. Sometimes we get so caught up down there in the trenches making things happen, we have a tendency to overlook our own people. That's not a good thing to happen.
I mentioned earlier that it's important that your coaches and staff all know what you're doing. If you don't have your fund-raising policies on paper, you need to do so. You need to make certain everyone knows your ground rules. Institutional control is something that we're all concerned about where it relates to fund raising. Bring your fund raising arm under your control if you're an athletic director. Don't have it on an island. Do it up front. When we developed our manual, we called all of our chapter members into a meeting and told them we were going to revise the bylaws for this fund raising organization. People like to resist change, but we explained why we were going to revise. We made sure there's no room for integrity to be missing. There's no room for institutional control to be missing and it's a how to do guide as well. After
the policies are stated, we explain how to set up a chapter meeting. Here are ideas of special event fund raisers, here are how many you can have and here's what you have to do to prepare for us to come to the banquet in your area, etc. Each member has one of these manuals.
It is important for marketing and fund raising to be on the same page because you don't want to go into someone's office every time a sport season changes. We've developed what we call a corporate sponsorship guide. It tells them everything we want to do. It goes through each sport and what they can do for them. It breaks down our costs for special events, for a banquet, how much it costs to rent a tent. Everything is self-contained. I go back to what I've said earlier; it helps all of our people to be on the same page. If we have a fund raiser making the call and the guy is not interested in giving $4,000 for a scholarship, that'l not his "hot" button. But, he may want to be a sponsor around your athletic program. Our people will say, "yes sir, we can help you. Review this and our representative will be back to help you because he has a great feel for what's available for a sponsorship package." Never say, "that's not my job." That's the right hand knowing what the left hand is doing.
I'm going to read the Ten Commandments of Leadership: I, People are illogical, unreasonable and self-centered. Love and trust them anyway; 2, If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway; 3, If you are successful, you'll win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway; 4, The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow; 5, Honestyand frankness will make you extremely vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway; 6, The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest man for the smallest idea. Think big anyway; 7, People favor underdogs, but they'll only follow the top dog. Fight for the underdog anyway; 8, What you spend years building might be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway; 9, People really need help, but might attack you when you try to help. Help people anyway; 10, Give the world the best you have and you'll probably get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway. If there's any profession that fits these 10 Commandments better, I'm not sure I know what it is.
GENE DE FILIPPO:
Dave, thank you very much. In our particular fund raising drive, we do a team-concept type of thing. During the course of our fund drive, we assigned each of our head coaches and assistant coaches names to call during the first couple of weeks to say, "hey, I know you're out there working and if there's anything I can do, let me know." It was truly amazing the response we got from our volunteers. Each volunteer was delightec to get that phone call either at work or at home. If you haven't used that particular type of thing to keep your volunteers going during your fund drive, I certainly suggest it.
Don Winston is senior associate director of athletics at the University of Southern California. He's a graduate of Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo and he got his masters from USC. He then started his short banking career before going into fund raising at Whitman College, Pamona, and Davidson. In 1974 he joined the Trojan family as director of development. He moved into the athletic department at USG in 1983, overseeing all support groups, major gifts and endowments. USC is way ahead of most of us in endowing their team positions. To share how they've done it is Don Winston.
I've enjoyed the opportunity to be here and address you all as a group.
Thank you very much. Before I get into the details of endowing a program and various positions, I thil we should step back and look to where athletic programs and development fund raising in general has been and where it might be going. Shakespeare once said, "to be or not to be, that is the question." For university and college athletic programs in the 1990s, I say to endow or to have your program die is the only question.
There are only so many ways that we can derive income and increase funds for athletic programs.
After all, how many ways can we ask for private support from alumni and other friends? How much more can we increase ticket prices? Just how much can television revenue produce? I ask you the question, can traditional sources for athletic funding, such as student fees, gate receipts, sale of merchandise, radio and TV contracts, programming and concessions and other advertising solve the many problems facing university athletic department today? I think the answer is unclear.
Financing collegiate athletic departments has always been difficult and it will get worse as inflation costs increase and continue into the 2lst century. According to various NCAA reports, approximately 45 percent of Division I school revenue comes from gate receipts. With state and private schools having increased pressure put on them to raise funds for academic programs, it is unlikely that private schools and state legislatures can justify increasing athletic funding at the expense of academic programs.
Thank you very much.
Where do we go from here? The advent of larger and larger TV revenues, gate receipts, I've been told, have or will decline as the percentage of total revenue for most schools. This means, of course, that schools are becoming more and more dependent on television revenue to balance their budgets. So, if indeed, only 45 percent, or so, of your athletic department's budget comes from receipts, and only 10 to 20 percent comes from other sources, it is apparent that fund-raising and fund-raising only, will be the savior for all athletic departments, whether they be state or private institutions.
We talk a lot about fund raising and the word is thrown out quite often. Just what is it? In his book, Des~ned For Fund Raisin~ Techniques, Harold Seymour, who is considered one of the giants in the world of fund raising, defines the term fund raising as follows: An organized campaign which seeks to finance a stated program, backs its goals by quota systems, deals with time by schedules and deadlines and seeks to make all
its volunteer solicitors well-informed and dedicated advocates. It classifies its prospects lists and directs all procedures toward obtaining proportionate gifts in varying amounts and varying levels. It provides an open door for all who wish to give, but in spending time or money on field organization and on campaign materials, it is ever mindful of the law of diminishing returns.
Prior to World War II, fund raising in higher education was accomplished through general alumni appeals and the use of radio and print media. The more well-established schools, such as those in the ivy league, used, and still use, the class system, whereby members of a graduating class start their giving through a senior class gift and continue gifts annually through those classes. Today, there are university staff specialists that corporate alumni annual foundation and parent and planned giving, such as life insurance bequests and real estate.
Large universities with development staffs of 50 or more are not uncommon. Large organized athletic department fund raising staffs did not come on the scene until the early 1960s. In fact, USC's Cardinal and Gold Program was started in 1962 at five-hundred dollars a year. It was one of the first of it's kind in the United States.
To understand the growth of fund raising in the United States, one needs to put all gifts to education in proper perspective. Ten years ago, gifts to higher education in general amounted to about $3 billion dollars. Today, gifts to higher education total eight and one-half billion. How much of these funds are going to athletic departments is not known. But, it's safe to say that the sum has been growing.
As athletic budgets continue to soar, increased pressure will be placed on athletic departments either to pay their own way, or to drastically curtail the number of sports programs that we now offer. History has shown that Division I presidents and trustees are very reluctant to drop individual sports; yet, theyare consistently looking for ways to cut expenses and increase revenues.
One of the first prerequisites college presidents now look for in choosing a new athletic director is to determine if they are willing to fund raise. Today's successful athletic director is one who realized that private support can be the difference of winning and losing. Sometimes, however, this can create conflicts of the main institutional fund raising arm. The question, therefore, is how can an athletic department of a Division I, II or III university which receives less and less financial support from its administration still be expected by that same administration to remain financially solvent? The answer is that the university trustees and presidents must properly staff and support private fund-raising efforts on behalf of their athletic departments. Mere lip-service will no longer do.
The university cannot use its athletic department solely as a fund-raising tool for all academic endeavors, then let it die a slow death through lack of financial support. If an Alumnus, let's say at Duke, Stanford, Michigan or Ohio State, are proud of their athletic heritage and feel it helps the overall mission of that university, they should be encouraged to give to both the academic and athletic programs.
While most of the larger and more successful universities have allowed the creation of the fund-raising department within athletics, some schools are still reluctant to turn the athletic departments loose on their private sector of donors, for obvious reasons. However, many colleges are hesitant to withdraw athletic support because of the negative publicity it might bring from alumni. Hence, administrations and administrators are sometimes forced into supporting their athletic programs more than they would otherwise like. Unfortunately, the competition for the dollar will be more and not less competitive between academics and athletics as we move into the 2lst century. If athletic departments are to survive in the future, more cooperation, not less, must take place within the university. Fund raising is essential.
I think what I've just told you and what I've just shared with you certainly is not new to any of you who have been in athletics for any length of time at all. I think it's important that every athletic
department must train and increase their development staffs in all types of fund raising. Sending letters and asking for fifty dollars or one-hundred dollars will not get it done in the future. We must be innovative and search out new ways to secure funds if our athletic programs are to survive.
Our athletic endowment program at USC came out of necessity. Since our scholarships were increasing at a rate of one-thousand dollars or more every year, we couldn't keep up with our annual giving with that
kind of a pace. I've been asked many times how we came up with our endoWDlent program. I was assistant vice president for our College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the university before I came over to the athletic department. I always believed that you could take the concept of the academic endowed chair and apply it to athletics. In particularly, in endowing positions on your various teams.
Before we go any further, we need to determine endowment. Endowment is the investment of a principle sum of money in which the annual income earned from that sum is used to cover specific expenses. In other words, we took the concept of the endowed professorship and applied to endowing the starting positions on our football team.
When we first began to endow the various positions on our team, we asked donors for $250,000 each to fully endow an athletic scholarship. The income from that $250,000 annually goes to cover the tuition, room, board and books of one player on the team. In addition to endowing each starter on the offensive and defensive units, \ie also decided to endow the placekicker, the punter and the special teams leader. In other words, 25 positions were to be endowed.
All football endowment donations are placed in one large fund and included in the overall portfolio of our university. This portfolio includes the endowment money for the entire institution. It is invested by our trustees. Although all of the endowment monies are eventually pulled together, each donor has an account number which contains the status of his or her donation. I think that is very important. I had a donor call me last week who endowed our offensive guard position. He asked me how his fund was doing. I looked it up and it has grown some $75,000 in the three years from stocks that we had invested in. He was delighted and if going to continue his annual gift of $80,000. He likes what we've done with his money.
It is important to note that at USC, we do not take the total return of our endowment and spend it on the scholarship itself. Instead, we take part of the annual return and place it back into the endowment. Fol example, if the university budget is five and one-half percent of the original principle to cover most of the yearly costs, it then places the remainder of the annual income back into the principle. If the total endowment generated equals 10 percent of the original principle, five and one-half percent of the $250,000 or a little over $13,000 is used for that student's scholarship. The remainder, four and one-half percent, whicl amounts to a little over $11,000 is plowed back into the principle for next year. This enables our total endowment fund to continually grow and keep up with inflation. It's very important that you budget a portion of your total return and place it back into your endowment fund itself.
One of the most significant things about our football endowment program is that we didn't just endow 2~ we endowed our 29th scholarship this past week. We endowed it with a gift of $250,000 from a young graduate who is only 30-years old.
Approximately 25 percent of our donors are former USC football players. We named our original group o endowment donors on the Cardinal Team which was the first 25. our next 25 will be our Gold Team. You can't really go to someone and ask them for $250,000 to endow a player and tell them that you're endowing a second stringer. So, from a marketing standpoint, it's very important to come up with something. Use your school colors. It's just as important when that second string scholarship costs you the same as the first string scholarship, as you know.
As donors to our endowment program, these people receive the usual perks and benefits. They also beco: life-members of our Scholarship Club. An annual donation of $16,000 is required to be a member of our scholarship club. If you endow a position, you then become a life-member of that club. We now have 85 members in our Scholarship Club. It has grown from 25 just four years ago.
We also have endowed two starting positions on our baseball team and one member of our women's track team. We'll soon attempt to endow the starting five positions on our men's and women's basketball teams. I fact, an endowment can be raised for almost anything pertaining to college athletics. A couple who has been interested in our strength and conditioning program established an open-ended fund this past month with a six-figure gift. Income from this fund will cover salaries for strength coaches and be used to purchase needed equipment.
USC has also used other donation monies for endowments. We now put any monies received from bequests gifts from life insurance into our scholarship program. When one of our former all-American had a paid up
life insurance policy worth $200,000 which he no longer needed, he decided to name a USC athletic scholarship in his name. He also made a cash gift of another $50,000. The donor wanted to pass on the free education he received as a scholarship gift to future generations of Trojan athletes.
We also take lifetime membership fees from people who join our Cardinal Gold and our annual support groups. It takes $1,500 annually to become a member of Cardinal Gold or Women of Troy, but $20,000 for a life gift. We use a 10-to-one ratio where it used to be $15,000, but we felt that was too little. We went to $20,000.
Endowment funds can be started almost immediately with any amount of money. When you approach people, you should try to set a minimum of $25,000 to $50,000 as your base because at five and one-half or eight percent, whatever you might budget, that's not a lot of income annually. An endowment can be established by many individuals. For example, you can endow a coaching or playing position in honor of a former coach. We went to our former football players to endow our tailback in honor and in memory of Ricky Bell, who was an all-America tailback and played at Tampa. We've been very successful in going to his former teammates. Obviously, it's much easier to go to one person. The ultimate gift is to go to one person to solve any of our problems. Your best resources are individuals who are already donating to your program or season-ticket holders.
An endowment fund, whether it pays for scholarships, endows a coaching position or even endows the position of athletic director, allows an individual to place his or her name in perpetuity with that athletic department and the institution that that person loves. In other words, that person's gift in his name will live forever. When you talk about a specific position that your potential donor can identify with, it makes it easier to get his or her donation.
You now must ask howand why you should start an endowment program. The why is obvious. For the first time last year, the income generated from our endowment program is in excess of $1,000,000. Think of that for a minute. Our fund-raising staff no longer has to go out and raise that $20,000 annually for that tailback or that fullback. Our job is really done in that respect. We are now free to secure funds for our other men's and won1en's programs.
It's important to endow your most profitable and most visible sport. In our case, it's football. Why? People want to identify with a winning program and a visible program. It's much easier to endow those sports than it is women's tennis. But, you should try to endow every sport and every position that you can.
Many of our endowed gifts for football came from appreciated property. We talked to people who were in the process of selling their homes and had huge profits, especially in California where people might have bought their homes 20 years ago. If you can approach them in time, have them put a percentage of that house in escrow. We have allowed most of our donors to pledge their gifts up to five years, if need be.
Remember that when you're fund raising that people give to people and their individual interests. Find that alum who loves that football or basketball program or the tennis or swimming program and get them involved. Have your coaches identify former players and their parents who could make such a gift. Endow scholarships in the name of former coaches, players or even trainers. We are now endowing our weight room and perhaps next year our medical room. The potential, I feel, is unlimited in your endowment program. I wish all of you the best in your endeavor. Thank you.
GENE DE FILIPPO:
Very few people realize it, but the University of Tennessee did not have a fund-raising program until four years ago when Mitch Barnhart became the associate director of athletics for development at Tennessee. Mitch is a graduate of Ottawa College. He's worked San Diego State, Oregon, SMU and now Tennessee. He has done a wonderful job with taking the Tennessee fund-raising program to great heights in just four years. We felt that Mitch would be a wonderful speaker for this conference.
I love these big build-ups Gene give you. You can only go down. It's nice to be here with everyone. Being at three our four institutions has given me a chance to put several kinds of things together. We got started about four years ago at Tennessee. The university basically just took gifts from whoever would send them in. We had about 2,000 members in our scholarship fund and they were generating about $600,000 to $700,000 annually. There was no organized effort. Doug Dickey came to the university and he really began our fund-raising effort for us. We were out of our league. We were about lOth place in the conference in fund raising.
When you're talking about your goals in fund raising, we see three things at Tennessee; offset some c the financial burdens that continue to be a problem in college athletics; see where you're spending your moneyand cut back; make sure all of our coaches and athletes have an opportunity to compete on an equal baf with other folks in our region and especially in our conference. We've done that reasonably well. Our facilities were underachievers; the third thing we wanted to do was win. You can't win all of the time, so want to create those special moments. We want to create special moments for our fans, for our coaches and j our athletes. Those opportunities will be something they'll remember for a long time and they'll want to gj back and be a part of for a long time.
We want to go to about 10,000 members and we want to get about $5 million annually. It's all relative what you do in your own areas. I hope some of the things I say will relate to your program. We would like 1 raise as much money as we can, but we don't ever want it to get to the point where it controls what we do. 1 want to keep it about 20 percent of our total budget. If our budget is $20 million dollars and we're raisi~ $5 million, that's what we want.
The community likes to see a good home schedule. On an Alabama weekend, revenues can go as high as nj million dollars. The economic impact for a seven-game home season could be anywhere between $50 and $60 million, depending on who we have this year. Our home schedule this year will be Alabama, Florida, Notre Dl and Kentucky. Those are the things that a community likes to see and it helps us in our fund raising effor1 when we say, you keep us strong and we'll keep you strong. We'll fill your hotels, we'll keep the food and beverage flowing for you and those things help a lot when you go out to meet your community.
Facility recognition is something we've had an opportunity to do. Naming facilities after someone is big help. We've got a big arena and a large facility, but the problem with that is that everything is grandfathered. We have about 5,000 tickets in one end of our stadium that we won't be able to touch. They are lifetime ticket holders. In our basketball arena from end line to end line are completely lifetime sea1 option and there's no chance we'll get those tickets back. People can put these tickets in their wills so we're in a tough situation there.
In football we turn over about 3,000 season tickets each year. We have about a 97 percent renewal ra1 each year in our season tickets. We try to take those season tickets and plug our donors in. We really dol have many tickets to work with. Many donors are hoping to get a good ticket or a good parking place, but i1 hard for us to accomplish this. We'll have tremendous fan support and donor support this year, but unfortunately, we won't be able to give them any tickets. That's something that works against you.
We always split tickets with the academic side of the university. When tickets become
available, we always split them down the middle between athletics and academics. That is changing as we neE funds to operate with and tickets to work with, the university has let us out of that somewhat. We've got fewer requests from them and more tickets for us to work with in our benefiting program. We've given them I skyboxes for them to use every game. They can use them for prospecting donors, for development or whatever they want to do. They have 3 boxes with a total of about 180 seats they never had before. When you talk about doing things for the academic side of the university. Those are some of the things we've done. We contribute about $50,000 to the academic side of the university each year. They have a non-student-athlete fund used for academic use only for needy students in the State of Tennessee to come in on scholarship. It been good for public relations and we have that fund up to over $500,000. When you talk about athletics anc academics and dealing with faculty on campus and dealing with your alumni, people say athletics is out therl doing their own thing, they don't care. That's wrong. We do care.
We're going to give the $250,000 revenue from our Kickoff Classic to our library fund this year and that's got us a tremendous amount of public relations. You need to keep in mind on a daily basis to do the best you can to make the best use of gifts available to the alumni and development of your university.
Everyone thinks you have a lot of money in athletics. People think you have enough money and that yO\ don't need to raise anymore, you've got everything you need. They don't understand what it costs to build c building. They don't understand what it costs to put on the show, to travel, liabilities and other things. All those things seem to go unnoticed. It's an education process for your donors.
Public image in college athletics has not helped. We've had some specific problems at Tennessee whicl have been very well publicized, unfortunately so. It left a bad stigma in our fans' eyes. Everyone
thought we had a big problem with drugs. Out of 975 drug tests, we had five positive. We went out and tol< the public that we have a good drug testing program. You need to let the public know the positive side of your university.
We are not allowed to have any signage anywhere in our stadium or arena. We are not allowed to endorse any products, as such. We can't say this is the official tire or this is the official soft drink. We have to be very careful with what we do in our corporate sponsorship package. We've Dlanaged to work it out, especially with our non-revenue sports.
We have a simple approach to whatever we do. Our brochures are very simple and our approach is very short. We basically do a one-page letter telling them about the benefits and the programs coming up. It all fi ts in a number 10 envelope and we don't get invol ved in an oversized mailings. We also like to keep it something people can carry in their pocket. That is important.
You need to get a handle on what your competition is doing; What are they doing with benefits as far as parking or facilities-wise. What can you tell your donors that they don't already know. Most of our donors didn't know that Alabama had a new facility. Once they found out, it irritated them to think that somebody was that far ahead of us in the game. We were supposed to be just as competitive as they are on the field.
You need to keep in mind what the people within your conference or in your area are doing and make sure your donors know.
Get a calendar in place and then fine-tune it. Get your staff involved and let them know what's going on in your department. Keep them informed on the rules and regulations of the NCAA and some of the things that change from day-to-day.
We believe at Tennessee that there is no such thing as a non-revenue sport. We've been fortunate at Tennessee with all of our sports. We've had a lot of success marketing our non-revenue sports. Sponsors will provide us with $25,000 a year in sponsorship for our programs. That's not scholarship money, it's
sponsorship money. It's been helpful in stepping our programs up a notch or two. Many times, the money people you have in your program comes from your non-revenue sports. Many graduates in those areas are very wealthy. Look at your list of alumni and see where they are now. There's a possibility you can reach them for a donation. Therefore, there's no such thing as a non-revenue sport. They can produce revenue.
We've always encouraged our staff to get involved with our community. It's important who you get involved with. You can be on boards and involved with charity. That's very nice, but if you want to raise money, you need to get to know the right people.
We do not have any pledges at the University of Tennessee. We allow them to have a pledge, but they will not get benefits. If they want to receive benefits, we put a deadline on them. We run a business, and you all know that, and we aren't afraid of deadlines in our business. If you can get by without using
pledges, you have a tremendous thing. We have educated our donors from day one that there will be no pledges. Our donors have responded very well to our deadline and 90 percent of all of our gifts come in between February 1 and March 31. We give them such things as a key chain, a letter opener which is something they can use everyday. We do not use plaques at all. We've never had anyone ask for a plaque. It works out great and it saves you money.
Keep in mind that the IRS is keeping an eye on all the non-profits and the gifts you're giving your donors. If you don't tell them what you're giving them, you're in for a serious liability with your organization. Make sure that you notify your donors know what the benefits are worth at your institution.
We only have one special event during the year and that is a golf tournament. We have done it more to be social than anything else. It gives people a chance to get together. We call it our spring sports tournament. All of our spring sports athletes come out and shake hands. We now raise about $15,000, but we think we can get it up into the $35/40,000 range with a little more effort. We basically let the benefits of our program and our package sell itself.
Our support groups are basically the Big Orange Clubs. There are only about five or six of them. I would encourage each of you to encourage your staff to bring ideas to you. Ask your staff to bring at least one idea, no matter how stupid you may think it is. They may come up with one good idea. Ask yourself, "are you using all of your tools?" We use our university administrators a lot.
Do you know what it costs to run your program? We try to operate on about 10 to 12 percent cost on our program. We don't worry about restricted gifts. It all goes into the same pot. Use your radio network. Make sure you get some spots on your network. Make a 30-second spot and use it during your fund drive. We also use videos and send them to our local networks and tell them to play them when you can. You would be surprised how much dead time they have.
GENE DE FILIPPO:
At each of your seats, you'll find two forms which we would appreciate you filling them out and returning them to us. We want to be able to answer all of your questions and suggestions for future fund raising workshops.
Our next speaker is Susan Phinney. In 1960, Susan joined the Georgia Tech Association as a secretary for the recruitors in football. She worked her way up to recruiting coordinator and recently was named to be the director of the Alexander-Tharpe Fund, which is the fund-raising arm of the Georgia Tech Athletic Association. Georgia Tech's fund raising has come from nowhere to nearly five-million dollars a year. They were the first to come up with a point system which was very helpful to them. Please welcome Susan Phinney.
Thank you, Gene. I would like to share my philosophy of fund raising with you and then go into the point system and how we arrived at what we're doing. We're all fund raisers seeking a certain amount of success and let's talk, first of all, about what success is. Maybe if I ask each one of you, I'd get that many different answers.
Success to me is not hitting the grand-slam home run. Success is a matter of consistently hitting thOSE dependable singles every day. The individual or group who makes it to the top concentrates on staying at bat and avoiding the big mistake. Then, once in a great while, the perfect pitch comes across the plate and he hits it out of the park. The principle to grasp is preparation. Be ready for that big pitch by hitting the singles every day. I think that's what fund raising is all about. It's not every day that I get a new $100,000 life members, but, hopefully, it's every day that I get a new $100 contributor. When you prepare thE program, you don't go out selling need, you go out selling a program. If you sell need or if you sell winning, next year you might not have anything to sell. If you sell the program and what you stand for and what you're trying to accomplish, that's your base.
Let's talk about perception for a minute. Perception is nothing more than reality. Let's look at fund raising as it really is. Your athletic director may come and say to you, "I want you to raise
five-million dollars." You say, "no problem, I'm going to do it." Now that's a wonderful attitude to take, but let's look at the reality of it. Let's look at what we can really do. If you've looked at your program for the rest of this week, there's a lot of emphasis on cost-containment. It's become "the" word. We also have some people who believe that in a very few years college athletics as we know it today will no longer exist. That really scares me. I believe in what we're doing. That ~~es what we do as fund raisers so much more important and it makes it even more important that we look at reality and that we perceive things as the reallyare. What's really going on in fund raising? Where do we stand? Where are we now? We're heading into the 90s and I've been told that the economy really stinks. So, what do we do? What can we reasonably expect to do?
Once we've handled perception and reality, then we take the right attitude about it. This is what we d because we love what we do. Then we take the right attitude about where we're headed. A positive attitude j based on knowledge and wisdom. I'm afraid wisdom is something, as my Dad always said, you're born with. Because wisdom is that wonderful ability to be able to look at things and perceive them as they really are w figure them out. But, all of us are able to gain knowledge. Knowledge in fund raising becomes vital. Dave Hart said it this I!JOrning, "the research that goes into place before you visit that contributor is vital." Once we've increased our knowledge and have that wisdom, then we can create the right attitude to go about raising money.
Our number one concern becomes a balancing act. I know you've all done this, so I know you can identil with it. There's the perception out there that we just have this tremendous amount of money in athletics. Yet, we're here knowing that we're facing tremendous costs that increase every year. Here we are, trying to create this wonderful balancing act between going out and raising D1Oney and, at the same time, taking care 0: those people who are already giving it. That is a big job and that's 90 percent of what we do. You've got these people who, year-after-year give you money, yet, at the same time, you've got to be going out and finding more and more and more who are willing to do so. You're caught between trying to spend your time servicing those who already give and getting more to give.
How do we handle it? About four years ago, Homer Rice came up with a point system. I promise you, it not like any that you've ever come across. It's a bit complex, it's a little bit mind-boggling, but I want
you to know that it works. We had two objectives with this point system. One, was to be able to raise mone and the other was to reward the loyalty of those people who had been supporting Georgia Tech for years and
years and years. It's hard to believe that based on the fact that we've just come back from the Final Four, that less than 10 years ago, people went to basketball games with bags over their heads. But, they did. So
we wanted to find a way to reward those people who were sitting in those stands, even if they did have a bag over their heads. They were there. We wanted to come up with a system that would do that and, at the same time, allow us to raise money.
We came up with an eight-point system. You get 10 points, on a one-time basis, for being alumnus; 10 points for being a letterman; two-points for each consecutive year of purchasing season football tickets; Two-points for each consecutive year of purchasing basketball season tickets; One-point for each consecutive year of giving to the Alexander-Tharpe Fund; One-point per $100 accumulative giving to the Alexander-Tharpe Fund; and one-point for each consecutive year of contributing to the Georgia Tech Foundation through the Role-Call. Role-Call is the academic annual fund drive. Then, you receive a point for each year that you give to that Role-Call. So, you can see that it is a unique system and it incorporates both everything that has to do with athletics as well as the academic side of fund raising.
How did we go about putting this into action? We found that back in 1974, when they first put in the Alexander-Tharpe Fund, they didn't do a very good job of it and they turned a lot of people away. They sent out a letter in May and said, "come this September, if you don't give so much per seat, you're going to lose your seat." To this day, I still visit people in Atlanta and around the country who say, "I fell out with you in 1974 and I'll never give you another dime." We decided not to go at it that way and we'll give this some time.
In January, 1966, Dr. Rice sent out a memo to all of our contributors saying, "here's what we're considering and we'd like your input." For those of you who are interested, I have a copy of that letter.
When we said we'd like their input, it opened up the doors and we got hundreds of letters, which we answered. We tried to see their point of view and we tried to incorporate some of the things they suggested. Exactlya year later, we sent another memo saying, "Here it is. We've worked it out. We've taken your suggestions and here it is. But, it's really not going to go in place totally until 1991." We gave them five years, they thought, to get used to it. But, the truth of the matter is, they gave us five years to get used to it. You cannot imagine the amount of research that had to take place. Maybe you can.
We hired a group of students during the summer and we started researching records that were, literally, done by hand and had been for 15 years. We pulled up all of the records and put together this point system on what are now 16,000 contributors. At the time, there were about 8,000.
We then told them you're now on this point system, here are your points. This is your chance to speak your peace, because once it gets in there, we're going to keep close tabs on it and you're going to have to prove anything that's wrong from now on. Here's your chance to speak out. That was a great PR thing,
because John Smith called us and said, "that isn't right." We said, "o.k., what should they be. Let's get them right, you tell me." We didn't demand a lot of proof because it would really be difficult to prove when you're going back that far. We pretty much took their word for it, but that worked really in our favor. We were saying, "hey, we trust you." From now on, it's going to be right. We were very fortunate in that at that point, we put in a very effective computer system that was able to handle this. Without it, we would never have made it. We sent out the letters, we did our research, we gave them a year to think about it, came back and said, "Here it is. Come 1991, this is what it's going to be."
Our point system is in black and white. The first year we used it, it took 175 points to get two ACC Tournaolent tickets and we all know who hard it is to get these tickets. After I used this one time, people called me to say, "my points aren't right." They realized how serious we were. It's fair and it is in black and white. They can look at it. It's something that they've used to accumulate points year-after-year. The wonderful thing about it is that a person who gives a minimal amount of money and has been doing it over a long period of time, has as many, or more, points than your person who comes in with a $5,000 contribution. wr,at have you done? You've convinced the man who says you're only interested in money, that you're not only interested in money. When Final Four time came around and we used the point-system for those tickets, the people who got to go who didn't think of themselves as big contributors said, "the point-system works. It really works." It does and it's fair.
We also raise five-million dollars a year. In 1980, when we started, we were raising $700,000. So, we've come a long way. Since we put in the point-system we've done nothing but go up. It's been nothing but good. As long as they maintain their level of contribution, you can keep these seats. They can't inherit them, they can't grandfather them. Once they're gone, their wife can have them, but then it's over. That's it. As long as they maintain that level of contribution, they can keep these seats, but, if they don't maintain that level or they fail to order these seats, when they come back, where they sit will be based strictlyon their points.
It has created a great base of support that we can depend on year after year after year. People want to
know what they have to do to keep their seats. They also want to know what they have to do to make a move. You won't believe the people who have realized for the first time in their lives that they're sitting in SOl of the best seats in the house for very little uloney. It has helped to wake up a lot of people.
We've been able to send timely acknowledgment letters due to our computer systems. I don't think you can say thank you enough and I don't think you can say it quick enough. The quicker the better. You need make it as personal as possible and with a computer, you can do it. Our goal of 4.9 million dollars was reached by May 17, 1990, so it's working.
I feel that this is a group where we are all in this together and we can help each other. I would l~ to thank Gene and Pat and NACDA for doing this for us. Come see us in Atlanta. Thank you.
GENE DE FILIPPO:
We're going to breakout into Sessions I and II. In Breakout Session I will be Ken Winstead from Oregc on Regional Fund-Raising and also Skyboxing Your Way to Athletic Heaven with Pat Ogle. In Breakout Session II will be Doug Smith from the University of New Mexico on the annual Team Concept and Fritz Seyferth, froDI the University of Michigan on Capital Campaigning a I~ew Facility.
At 4 p.m., we'll all meet back here.