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Northwestern State University's Planned Giving Strategy

Dec. 4, 2009


Northwestern State University focuses on planned giving; establishes “Second Century Society”

Dr. William Broussard, associate director of athletics, Northwestern State University, tells NAADD about the Demons' planned giving strategy.

In the past three years, the Northwestern State University (NSU) Athletic Association has increased attainment considerably through a number of giving vehicles that provide support for its 315 student-athletes competing in 14 NCAA Division I sports. The re-branded Demon Victory Fund for general scholarships has increased attainment by 48% in the past three, setting three consecutive records for total attainment. The Endowed Scholarship Program has added 15 new commitments in the past three years and the total endowment has grown over 30% during this time. Gift in kind donations have increased by 25% over this period, contributing to total attainment figures that have increased by 36% over the same period. Much of this can be attributed to a strategic focus on increased donor cultivation and stewardship.

However, in the past six months, the two largest gifts in the history of NSU athletics have been generated as the result of planned gifts from individuals who were not annual donors. Though annual gifts are the lifeblood of the department and the endowment underwrites the cost of scholarships considerably, planned gifts can assist in facility enhancements and expansions that will not only allow the program to maintain, but increase momentum moving forward.

As a result, the NSU Athletic Association has partnered with the NSU Foundation to begin promoting the “Column Society” and “Second Century Society,” recognizing individuals who establish planned gifts to Northwestern State. Beginning this fall, a new strategic goal in the Athletic Association was to identify potential planned giving candidates, supply them with information regarding planned giving, promote planned giving by highlighting how individual gifts have benefited NSU Athletics and partnering with local financial advisors to ensure that their clients understand how Northwestern State benefits from planned giving.

Checklist for implementation:

• Identify and code planned giving candidates in database

• Decide upon and/or develop relevant information to distribute

• Develop packet of information that can be shared with individuals who show interest

• Begin educating current annual fund donors about planned giving

• Identify resources available for promotion of planned giving at your institution (does development/university advancement office have a development officer who specializes in planned giving? Do they have a coded planned giving list or publish literature that can be distributed to your prospects)

William Broussard , Ph.D. is the associate director of athletics for external relations at Northwestern State where he oversees development, athletic alumni relations, and public relations for NSU athletics. He is a 2000 graduate of the Louisiana Scholars College at Northwestern State University and 2007 graduate of the University of Arizona, where he completed his master’s and doctorate in Rhetoric and Composition. He is also a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Journalism-Public Relations at Northwestern State.