Transformational Philanthropy in Academia: Fundraising Tools for Institutional Advancement
Nicome, Michelle C.
The purpose of the study was to investigate the philanthropic impediments faced by institutional advancement departments. The transformational philanthropy project sought to understand areas that can maximize a University’s fundraising potential to supplement financial objectives. This research uncovered major deficiencies in organizational effectiveness, environmental impact, obtaining resources, and environmental constraints that centered on key areas like strategic planning, data management, philanthropic donor cultivation, student and alumni relations, communications, and identity-based fundraising and provided practical recommendations to resolve them. Planning strategies and organizational effectiveness were key components of the recommendations. The research revealed that the Advancement Departments needed precise objectives and structure to provide clear roles, responsibilities, goals, and protocols. Developing and implementing comprehensive fundraising strategies, anchored to the University’s priorities, will help increase its donor pipeline. The research demonstrated the importance of incorporating strategies and technology platforms that focus on evidence-based data, best practices, and the impact of private giving by alumni, foundations, corporations, and individuals. Finally, the paper highlights the significance of the alignment of trustees, board and staff around core concepts and values of philanthropy.