Conference Session: Never Rest on Your Laurels: How UMass Amherst Took Their Successful Major Gifts Program and Completely Redesigned It

Session Details

Ever-escalating aspirations of our academic leadership puts continual pressure on development to raise more money, often in the face of flat or even decreasing budgets. At the start of FY17, this was the situation for UMass Amherst’s Division of Development and Alumni Relations. In the first year after the completion of a successful comprehensive campaign, the annual fundraising goal was increased…and the campaign budget was gone. In the face of this challenge, all we did was a) double the size of our major gift, b) shuffle each of our major gifts officers’ portfolio, and c) change all of our individual fundraising goals and how our major gift offers are evaluated. We will discuss how we built our change-management plan using data (a combination of leading and lagging indicators), and executed on that plan using effective internal communication. We not only altered our status quo, but both exceeded our goal and set our program up for productivity growth in between capital campaigns.