FUND RAISING IN JUNIOR/COMMUNITY COLLEGES
(Monday, June 8, 10:45 .11:30 a.m.)
Good morning. One of the favorite topics for all of us is fund raising. Bob Bottger is the fonDer athletic director at Indian River Community College. During his many years, he developed an excellent program which was extremely successful. He has moved on to St. Louis Community College at Meramec and he is a past president of the National Alliance of Two- Year College Administrators. Bob.
I've told Jim I've never done anything in 10 minutes, but I'm going to give it a shot. The number one priority in this area is to make sure that you have the total support of the upper administration. Our philosophy is very simple and it's been bought by the upper administration. We raise money funds for two reasons --student-athlete scholarships and to promote our programs, not operational expenses. All of our fund raisers, all of our contacts with corporations, etc., are pre-approved by the upper administration of our institution.
Basically, we have a four-pronged approach in terms of the fund raising efforts. We have what we call d1e departmental fund raisers. In September, in our community, we have d1e Green Tree Festival which is very popular in d1e park. People come out with crafts booths, etc. You have to be a non-profit organization to be involved wid1 this. We got a local restaurant to come out, pay for a booth, they would prepare all of the food, etc. We put up a banner for the Warriors in that particular bood1. We have one coach wid1 them at all times to shake hands and d1ank people for coming out The total profits of that effort were given to our department It's public relations for d1at particular restaurant and it's public relations for fund raising for ourselves.
How do I get the coaches to participate in departmental fund raisers? We require each of our teams to participate in community service projects. It's required and it's cleared through my office. If they do not participate in a community service project and they do not participate in departmental fund raising, they get no funds from those efforts. That would cost a particular coach thousands of dollars in our particular situation. So, it's not too hard to get them to go along with us.
Those funds are split evenly between the teams. We have a team approach where if an individual team has to do a fund raiser, they keep 100 percent of the profits from that effort. Those again, are pre-approved. We run a team basketball camp during the summer with some high schools. All of the work, if it's a team fund raiser, whoever the coach gets has to do the work. We don't supplement their efforts through the institution. We give the coaches that have a high level of motivation the opportunity to go out and get funds on their own through a booster club arm. We don't want to hold them back from an opportunity to go out and get funds on their own from individuals. They get 70 percent of the profits they bring in. We have some that utilize that to a high extent and some, basically, don't put their efforts into it.
The fourth area is with corporations. I do a lot of this. For the Warriors, we have utilized this in several ways. We did it with a pizza parlor one weekend. Anybody that called in and said their order was for the Warriors, we got $1.44, which was donated back to our athletic department. We used press up front. We marketed on campus. It was an easy effort for us. This September, I'm going to be on top of 1,000 cases of Coca-Cola for 24 hours. If somebody comes by and gives us $4 for the Warriors, they will get a case of Coke. Those profits will all go to our athletic department.
Anybody who sponsors the Warrior gets a copy of The Warrior News. That is sponsored by a local vendor also. When you go out and ask for money and then disappear for awhile, it doesn't work. They see us 12 months of the year and learn more about our program and build up pride in our program. I get a lot of positive comments about this and it helps to keep the door open the next time I go back.
We established what we call the President's Cup which is donated each semester to the team with the highest grade point average. All of the students on that particular team get a tee-shirt which is donated that they, hopefully, will wear with pride. We have a coaches' honor roll and we have an athletic director's honor roll. That's for students with a 3.5 or above GP A. This semester has caught on very well. You 're a top banana on our campus. These are asked for and requested on our campus by faculty, by staff, by students, etc. I tell them there's only one way to get it. It's a fun item and it creates good visibility for the kids and they're taking pride in what they're doing.
Along with the academics, we have Academic all-Americas in the NJCAA. I have a corporation in the area tha anytime we have one of our students achieve Academic all-America, they donate $1,000 to our athletic scholarship
program. As a motivator for our teams, if that individual comes from the women's soccer team, women's soccer has
an extra $1,000 for scholarships for the next year. In terms of our Presidents' Cup, I have a corporation where each time a team wins the Presidents' Cub, each semester, there is a monetary donation back to our institution and it goes back to the team with the highest grade point average.
To help us on campus in terms of our fund raising events, we voted, as a department, to give a scholarship to the Excel Program on our campus each year, which is for an individual that has a physical and/or mental handicap. That has gone many miles for us in terms of public relations with our group.
The last thing I'll say to you is that it's critical to deal with thank you's. A thank you goes into the mail
within 24 to 48 hours after I see a particular vendor. I always copy my immediate boss and the president That goes a long way in terms of letting them know how successful we are, the efforts we're putting out, and they know why we're raising the money, which is for scholarships. It's been very successful for us. Thank you.
Thanks, Bob. Our next speaker this morning is Warren Hansen. He's a past president of the California Community College Athletic Directors Association. He is currently the president of the Western State Conference and a member of the Commission on Athletics. He is, and has been, the director of athletics at Cuesta College since 1970.
The fund raiser that I'm going to be speaking on today is just a one-event fund raiser. There's an outline for you to follow along with. I'll take Item 2 fIrst, and then progress down through the other numbers. Go fIrst to "Why Host a Biathlon Event and a Fund Raiser?" Obviously, we're concerned with raising funds and this one does that successfully for us. We're a small agricultural area college. We have about 8,000 students. We do this event twice a year and bring in a total profit of $12,000. That's not a great deal of profit for some of you, but it's a good one for us. It's one of the two biggest that we have on our campus.
Obviously, the fastest and most time efficient way of getting money is going out and asking for it. This event takes a lot of personnel hours. We would probably be better off going out and asking for the money. But, in a small community like ours, without a lot of major corporate companies around, you can only go to the wealth so many times. So, we're looking for a fund raiser where you're actually giving something in return. Someone is getting some value out of the money they're putting into the program. This event does more for us than just raise money. You've got to keep that in mind.
We're looking at several different things. I'm trying to promote activities that also promote health and wellness, not only amongst our students, but in our community. It is also a major event of this type in our community, so it's bringing a premier event for our community and I know the people appreciate it
We live in a very desirable area in California. We're on the central coast halfway between L.A. and San Francisco and we're not in a metropolitan area. Some of you know our area. That in itself helps promote Cuesta College and bring people to our campus. Many of the people that we get to this event have never seen Cuesta College. Once you step onto our campus, it sells itself. It was built in the 1970s, so it's a recent addition that is very well kept up by our grounds department. It's very clean. We find that about 40 percent of the participants in this event come from areas outside of loo-mile radius of San Luis Obispo. That's their fIrst and only opportunity to see our campus. Who knows if they have an offspring who will be going to college? Who knows if they know somebody else who will be going to college? The tendency for them is to say, "you ought to take a look at Cuesta College."
As a result of all of iliis, ilie event has a lot of administrative support. They feel iliat it's a beneficial event for our college, not just money-wise, but for all of ilie public relations. Keeping iliat in mind and knowing iliat iliere's a lot of personnel wrapped up in this iliing, you'll have to remember iliat, not only do I have a personal interest in competition in these kinds of events, but we also get a lot of oilier satisfaction from iliis event.
It's important to have a philosophy when putting on an event. We market ours in several ways. One is with a tee-shirt showing our philosophy about the race. The reason we do this is because in this type of event, you're going to come up with some people who are pros. Some very dedicated people and they're going to ask you for comps to get into the race. With this philosophy already established, your answer is already there. We don't comp anybody. You're welcome to come to our event, but everybody pays their way in. We don't provide expense money for those people to come. Yet, we still get some diehards to participate in this race. As a result of this philosophy, we don't provide prize money. We also don't go into major advertising. The only advertisement that we take is the Monday before the event. The Monday before the event, we put an ad in our local paper which is, basically, a thank you ad for our sponsor. We try to give them as much visibility as we can. We do send advance notice to national
magazines to get into their schedule of events and you've got to do that three months in advance of the event. All of
those magazines are expecting you to take out paid advertisements too. We don't do that because we don't want to be substantially bigger than we are right now.
This philosophy also dictates the size of our event. One of the main things to keep in mind when putting on an event like this is safety. That becomes increasingly more important when you get into bicycling. A foot road race is much easier put on than anything that has bicycling in it. The more events that you put in, the more difficult it's
going to be. Our day and our time are dictated by safety. We're looking for the absolute quietest daylight hours that we can possibly get for that bicycle leg. For that reason, we start our event at 8:00 Sunday morning and we feel that there's the least traffic out at that time.
We have a loop course and we're fortunate having one that doesn't go through a city area. Our loop can give us 23 miles without going through any towns. We have made it a policy in setting up our course that we have all right hand turns. you're not making any crosses across traffic. Anytime you're going to have left hand turns, you're going to have problems. Some places are able to close roads. After 16 events, we're making a course change on the bicycle leg next year. We are on a very remote road before and we're going to go on a busier road. The reason is that you're going to be dealing with a lot of people who are highly competitive. We've all seen in our coaching circles people who have no concern for their body when they're competing. Those same people go on after using up their eligibility and they're in sports like this. They have that same lack of concern for their body. On this remote road, even though we ask them to stay on the right side, they're cutting the curves, they're passing on the wrong side of the road going uphill. We have the Highway Patrol out there and they recommended that we change the course and go to a wider road with more traffic and had wider lanes.
Some people ask why a biathlon instead of a triathlon. Many people don't have the time, the inclination, the skill or the facility to train in all three. The one that they're lacking in is probably swimming. It's a different type of event Triathlons are very popular and we have SO-meter pool that we can put it in. But, if you have swimming in that situation, you're going to have competitors competing all day long. It shortens up the event for us and makes it easier for us. We're running out of time, so if you have any questions for me, please contact me.
It's been a very successful event for us both in public relations and in fund raising.
Thank you Warren. Our next speaker is Dave Hart, Jr. Dave's background is one of the most appropriate for this topic. His background includes serving as the assistant AD for marketing at East Carolina for two years. He then, moved on to become the associate AD at East Carolina for external affairs for three years. Since 1987, he served as director of athletics. He's probably best known and nationally recognized and respected for his innovative ideas in the field of marketing, promotions and fund raising.
DAVE HART. JR.:
It's a pleasure to be here and as Bob said, I'm not going to keep you very long. In lO-minutes, it's hard to take one specific idea and lock in on it. I'm going to throw out a couple of concepts and a couple of philosophical comments because many times, as I've had the opportunity to speak to various groups, one of the things I've tried not to allow to happen, is to speak to people who are not in that same arena. Concepts in fund raising we can all adopt for the most part. There are some things in the community college level which would be of no interest to you, so, I want to just talk conceptionaly about a couple of things and give you some advice regardless of whether you're at the junior/community college level or the Division I level.
Two things have been said here that you can't take for granted and you can't stress enough. That is, as you go about the task of raising money, use the word "scholarship". People will give to scholarship efforts. There is a terrific misconception in intercollegiate athletics at all levels. That is, we are raising money to buy helmets, tennis balls and track shoes. Despite our efforts to break that miscommunication down, it is still out there. So, use the
word scholarship, regardless of the fund raiser, and don't discount the value of the public relations that you're going to get from these efforts in addition to the hard dollars.
We have done fund rnising events where we knew going in, initially, that we were not going to make a lot of money. But, it would set the stage for us to make money down the road once we had established some good public relations from our initial efforts. Sometimes you may get discouraged when you sit down and plan a special event fund raiser and say, "Well, we're only going to net out this much money." That's o.k. as long as long-range, you will net out much more money and develop some p .R. in the process.
I've had an opportunity to do some consulting, along with my father, who spent years in athletics, and as we've done some consulting on campuses and with some companies, it's interesting to see the different mix. People generally want the same thing. They just want concepts and ideas that will work. One concept that has worked and will work for you, Division I, and for high schools, is the corporate team concept of fund raising. Fund raising is
all about volunteers. Bob is going to spend 24 hours on cases of Coca-Cola to raise money. I admire that I hope that the poor guy isn't cramped up so bad that when he gets down, he can't walk. Fund raisers are all about volunteers and those volunteers are giving you their time. The most effective usage of volunteers are people who are in the spotlight They're somebody within your campus community, within your community or town. There are a number of people who are perceived as the important people in that particular arena. Those are the people you have to get involved.
Every year as we go out to raise money in an annual campaign effort, we have a corporate team concept. They are a part of that, yet, they are separate from what we're doing with the rest of our fund raising volunteers. They are important people who don't have a lot of time. We ask them to put that three-piece suit on and approach their peers for scholarship gifts to your junior college. Oftentimes, they'll produce five times the amount in their three visits that your other volunteers will produce in trying to throw the net over a much wider range of prospects. I encourage you, whether it's an annual effort and a special event, to try the best you possibly can in getting people to help you who
are visible in that community .Perhaps someone who has graduated from your school and has come back in that area or an athlete who is very visible at your junior college and then became more visible at a four-year institution and is willing to lend his/her name and time to make some brief calls in your behalf.
Everybody does golf tournaments. If you don't, I think you should. It's easy money. One point of philosophy I will give you is do not spend money out of your budget that other people will spend for you. They will do that Do not spend money that you do not have to spend. People look and long to participate in your program for some visibility, for the right reasons, for scholarship enhancement. You can get people to participate whether it's a fast
food organization or whatever you're doing. Golf tournaments are easy money. I encourage you to have a celebrity auction at your golf tournament Again, it's easy. You can do it at any level. You can take that former athlete or your mayor or the president of your junior college and come up with six to 10 people who you put on an auction block. Auction them off to foursomes. All of the money goes to scholarships. It's an easy way for you to turn in an extra few thousand dollars, perhaps as much as $10,000. If you've ever run a golf tournament and your expense ledger is lengthy, you don't know how to run a golf tournament. Because that expense side should be almost at zero from donations and contributions so that your profit is going to be substantial.
It's very difficult at any level to get a golf course to donate the course. Other than that, the cost of the carts and the greens fees should be donated. The prizes, the drinks, the auctioneer's time, all of that is easy to get donated. You shouldn't have huge expenses. That's got to be a concern and it is. That's what we're spending a lot of time on at this particular Convention. The costs that are driving us all out of business in intercollegiate athletics. Again, don't spend money that you don't have to spend.
You've got to involve your Chamber of Commerce in your efforts to raise money. Your Chamber of Commerce is a ready-made list of people who are important in that community, corporate people and business people. They are used to the volunteer system. They understand the volunteer system. They can put it in motion for you with relatively short notice. You've got to make use of what is a very valuable tool in your efforts to raise money for your junior or community college. Get to know, and it's on a rotating basis in most communities, who that president is. Get close to that person. Get his endorsement of what you're doing, again, stressing scholarships, so that he understands and can communicate that to the various people he works with on that Chamber. You will fmd that will greatly enhance your opportunities to get to the right people and raise money. What you're looking at is taking a group of people who are most familiar with your efforts, with your junior college, with your community college, and trying to sell them on the concept that you need scholarship dollars and then coming up with some relatively simplistic ways that you can generate dollars that are not normally going to be there for you in that budget. Cut the expense ledger as much as you possibly can so that you don't have to worry about staff time. You have to give that some consideration. There's a value on P.R., but there can reach a point of no return where you and your staff are spending an inordinate amount of time and the dollars are not there to justify that time. Use the volunteer system and use it well. It doesn't matter if you have three four-year colleges within one hundred mile radius of you, there is a way for you to raise money. You've got to get into the proper volunteer system to maximize your opportunity to be successful there.
I appreciate the opportunity to visit with you and if there's anything I can do to assist you, please let me know. Thank you.
Our next speaker this morning is Mike Jacobsen. Mike is a graduate of BYU in Physical Education and
Athletic Administration. He's coached and taught for over 15 years in the Utah public schools system and also served as an assistant principal for three years. He is now, and hopes to be in the future, the athletic director at Utah Valley Community College.
I am excited to be here and hope that I migh~ be able to pass something on that might be beneficial to you and your programs. I learned a long time ago that if you can go to a clinic and come away with one positive thing that you can implement to help better the things that you're doing, you're far better off. I hope I can say just one thing to help you.
Being in the junior college setting, we all have different needs. We all have different financial needs. I hope you can adapt your needs to what I have to say. As the other presenters have said, all of the dollars that we raise are for scholarships. We tell our people up front so there's no question in their minds what we're going to spend the moneyon.
The junior and community college has a tougher time than most people realize, other than you people, to get out and raise money. Most of your alumni don't consider themselves being an alumni of your school, necessarily. Usually, they've gone on and graduated from a Division lor a four-year institution and that's their alumni. That's their allegiance. It's hard for them to relate back to your school. People relate much more to the four-year programs than they do to you. It's been a real selling project in our community, especially with a new athletic program, to get people excited about athletics at our school.
Several months ago, the NJCAA asked me to write an article for the JUCO Review which forced me put some things down in writing that we've done in the last few years, but we didn't actually have it organized. I've done tha and it was publicized this last March. I'm not going to try to cover everything that's in this article, but maybe emphasize a few of the individual things we're doing. I've had quite a few people call me wanting to know more about some of the things. I thought those would be the things I'll talk about up front.
If you're going to have a fmancial support group, you need to have a booster organization. For us, it's the Wolverine Club. For anybody else, it's basically your mascot When I got this started about six years ago, I found I person I knew who was very successful in the community and was a go-getter. He didn't have any ties to the collegl at that point, but he was a friend of mine. I appointed him the president of that club. Through him and his associates, we were able to expand it out and bring a lot of different people within the community into the club. Th( president of your booster organization needs to be the right person. It needs to be the person that can motivate. It needs to be the person who has contacts and it needs to be the kind of person who can give you the support you need for a period of time. I handpick this person every year. It's like picking your captains for your athletic teams. You'll want the players to think they're voting and having a say on who that person is, but you better have the right person there that can help lead your teams if you're going to be successful. We try to get a three-year commitment out of this person. One year as the president elect, the year as the president and the third year as a past president where they can give input Up to this point, we've had really good success doing that
We have developed a large base of members in our club. We've done this by organizing teams. We'll have anywhere from 10 to 20 teams of three to five individuals on each team. For 30 days, we fund raise during that month, and that month only. We have competition between the teams to see who can go out and generate the most points. We give points in six different ways. If they bring in a brand new member, we give three points. If someone has been in the club and joins at a higher level, they get two points. If someone is renewing from the previous year, they get one point. The dollar amount makes up the remaining points We give a total of six points. Zero to $250 is one point, $250 to $500 is two points and $500 to $1,000 is three points. These groups get very competitive. They work hard. They plan their strategy. At the end of 30 days, the fIrst and second place teams receive donated prizes. We can go to an airlines company to donate a couple of round trip tickets. We get hotel rooms donated, meals donated and Coca-Cola donates products. They are prizes they want to work for. They have a drawing between themselves to see who gets the best prizes after the competition.
This has worked well and it builds the base that you operate off of each year. Everybody does not renew each year. The key is to try to keep those people active in the club and want to contribute and even increase each year.
Another competition we have is with individual teams. We put the coach in charge of this group and we try to give him a little reward. That is, 50 percent of the net profit that the team raises in a 10-day period, comes back to that individual program where they can use the money anywhere they want. We try to give the kids a little bit of incentive. If they sell one $50 package, they get a nice Utah Valley hat If they sell $150, we have custom-made travel bags for them. If they sell up to $250, with three people or one person, they get a nice satan-Iined college jacket. Most of our students are commuter students. Most of them have ties with their families, their neighbors and friends. It's easy for them to go to them and ask them to donate to a good cause. Those that come from out of state and have a little tougher time, we help them by earmarking someone they can go to. The prizes are really sought after by the student-athletes and we can generate about $16,000 each year just with our teams going out and bringing money in. Here again, you don't retain a lot of these people because a lot of times, they just follow a particular athlete. We figure if we can retain about 25 percent of the people that the athletes bring in, we're doing a good job.
You need to recognize those who give to your program. Let them know that you enjoy having them be a part of it, thanking them in a lot of different ways. The best thing we've done and we've received more positive feedback on, is a handwritten letter from a certain athlete to the people who have donated to us. I passed out a copy of the sample letters. Knowing athletes, as we do, you want them to be specific on what they write. So, we give them some letterhead from the school and the name and address of the person they're writing. Some athletes do a better job than others. They bring the letters back to my secretary and she will go through to make sure it says what it's supposed to say and then she'll put a receipt in the envelope and mail them. We've received hundreds of comments back from the boosters saying they think this is a good thing. There's been good relationships established through the community with our athletes that was initiated through this letter. It's had a lot of positive feedback for us.
We give a one-time plaque to all donors that donated $100 or more. This costs us seven or eight dollars the fIrst time around, but it's fun to go throughout the community and see these plaques hanging in businesses.
We also do, as Bob indicated, a monthly update to all of our donors of $100 or more. In this, we can talk about the sports in season, we can talk about the upcoming sports, we can talk about season tickets and we can highlight the student-athlete of the month. Here again, this doesn't cost us very much to print, but it does a lot of good in keeping our community, keeping our booster club aware of the things that we're doing and what's coming up. I feel this is a positive thing. We provide a hospitality room at all of our home men's basketball games. This gives an opportunity for people to get together and rub shoulders and talk about the things that are going on within the school and within the community. This has also been a good thing.
Don't be afraid to spend a little bit of money. You have to spend money if you're going to make money. We found out that what little bit we spend to recognize people comes back to us many times over.
Last year, we got into corporate sponsorship. It, very well, could be the best thing we've done fmancially. We directly associated them with floor side advertising tables that so many of the larger schools have. I bought five of these at $2,200 each, but I was able to get five corporate sponsorships at $5,000 each. That's a guaranteed revenue since we sign three-year contracts. The first year is pretty much a wash with a lot of the different signage and tickets and things that we gave away in the corporate package, but the second and third year is straight profit for us. It's money that we can plan on and know it's coming in, no matter what The response was very good. In fact, we've had several people see the score tables since and want to be a part of it Our facilities allow us to do the five only, but I'm trying to find a way that we could expand and bring in a few more of them. We built these right into our corporate package. I don't think you would have to do that You could sell those independently. I picked them up here two years ago from one of our vendors. They not only provide revenue for you, but they highlight your facility and make it look sharp.
We're endowing a little bit of all we make. In fact, 25 percent of everything we bring in through our Wolverine Club we put into an endowment. We found that this has had positive feedback for us also. When the donors know that you're not spending all that you make, you're putting some of it away, they feel more like getting into the program. We set a standard rule that we spend 50 percent of what we make, we endow 25 percent and we hold 25 percent over in case things don't go quite as well for us the next year.
I want to thank these gentlemen for their time. I think they did a great job. J ust a reminder for those of you who have not been at NACDA before, Round Tables begin tomorrow morning and Wednesday morning. Get there early if you're interested in a topic to get a chair because they will fill very quickly. Last year, we basically ran out of space in all five sessions. Thank you all for coming.