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Small Advancement Operations

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Social Media Prowess with a Small Team
Article,  Community College News Article Across the country, community colleges are experiencing the same priority struggle: how can a small staff with limited time include the ever-evolving world of social media as a part of a communications strategy?

How to Create a Startup Advancement Office—and Survive to Tell the Tale
CURRENTS Article When Fiona McQueen arrived at St Andrew's College as the first director of advancement, she needed to build a philanthropic culture from scratch. A year and a half later, McQueen more than tripled the money raised in previous years; doubled alumni, parent, and friend engagement; created an alumni and community magazine; and is assisting with a AU$100 million master plan. She talks with CURRENTS senior editor Tara Laskowski about the strategies and tactics she used to transform the giving culture at St Andrew's.

If You Build It, Alumni Will Engage
CURRENTS Article Many community college students complete the requirements for a degree or certificate but then transfer to a four-year college or university and don’t apply for the credential. So how should these institutions define and count their alumni? How can alumni relations leaders reach out to campus partners to gain access to alumni information? Read this article to learn the answers.

People Who Like to Build
CURRENTS Article A community college development office is often a different world for experienced advancement professionals from four-year institutions. The staffs are smaller and resources are stretched. Yet where some development officers see warning signs, others find an opportunity to construct a new program from scratch.

Cultivating Models of Success
CURRENTS Article Community colleges throughout the country are beginning to engage alumni as donors and advocates who can testify to the value of a community college education.

The Next Phase
CURRENTS Article Whether through growth, reorganization, or makeshift strategies, a steadily increasing number of minority-serving institutions, particularly historically black colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions, are starting their first campaigns. Institutions that already have their first campaign under their belt are shifting into a higher gear for the next.

Office Space: Advancement Is Everyone’s Job
CURRENTS Article Michael Larson of The Fay School discusses how his institution increased its advancement staff without hiring new staff.

Fundraising Model Proves Successful for Smaller Institutions
Article,  BriefCASE Article With a bit of ingenuity and complete trust in its volunteers, a two-person advancement team at a community college in California raised US$40,000 in two weeks. Officials behind the campaign blitz say their formula for success is tailor-made for two-year and four-year institutions with limited staff and resources.

Learn to Run a Successful Volunteer Annual Fund Blitz
Article,  Community College News Article Last spring, the two-person advancement staff at Los Rios Community College District mobilized volunteers for an annual fund campaign that raised more than $40,000 in two weeks. In October 2011, officials behind the campaign will host a webinar on how to launch a similar campaign with limited staff and resources.

Take-Away Idea
CURRENTS Article Some small-shop alumni officers hear about what larger institutions are doing and then adapt those ideas to their own budgetary and manpower scale. When this works out, small shops prove their creativity and that innovative programming is not only the province of the large and well-funded.

Timely Answers
CURRENTS Article This article looks at the latest of five surveys on benchmarks for advancing smaller colleges and universities.

Career Path: On the Other Side
CURRENTS Article No matter the size of the organization, development work is at its core the same. It's a matter of figuring out how to work with what you have.

Manager's Portfolio: On the Ball
CURRENTS Article Elementary school development offices face more challenges every year. How can these small shops handle ever-increasing expectations during a time of belt tightening and greater demands for results? Managers should begin by setting priorities, goals, and objectives as well as the strategies for achieving them. Careful measurement and evaluation will ensure that managers focus on vital fund-raising activities and stay on track toward completion.

Small Office: Managing a Small Shop Down Under
CURRENTS Article Scholz, director of development at the University of Melbourne, describes how her advancement staff's objectives and activities differ from those of its counterparts in the United States. Recent cuts in government support of education have dramatically increased the role of fund raising in Australia. Melbourne's strategic response has been to focus on earning more income through student fees, the commercialization of university research, and fee-for-service initiatives. The development office's role is to provide sophisticated management of relationships with clients and commercial partners, not just donors.

Small Office: Creative Hiring
CURRENTS Article Finding all-around staffers outside the advancement box

Tech Support: Leapfrogging
CURRENTS Article The rapid rate of change in computer technology makes it expensive and difficult for a small shop to keep its equipment current. Nohner, director of the news and publications office at Bemidji State University, describes his strategy for concentrating his budget on a large technical leap every few years rather than constant upgrades. Newer groups of machines are allocated to complex needs, while older ones are retained as long as possible and devoted to simpler tasks.

A Big Plan for Small-Office Planned Giving
CURRENTS Article Coppes, a consultant who specializes in independent school planned-giving programs, offers advice for small development offices getting started in planned giving. Important steps include: 1) Articulate how major gifts fit into your institution's mission and vision. 2) Create a budget. 3) Get CEO commitment and board approval. 4) Hire a planned-giving adviser. 5) Identify potential givers and recruit a leadership team. 6) Adopt planned-giving policies and guidelines. 7) Coordinate plans with the business office. 8) Create a planned-giving society. 9) Create a marketing plan, newsletter, and other support materials. 10) Work planned giving into your major gift cultivation process. 11) Make personal visits. 12) Ask for gifts, but don't push. 13) Create a stewardship plan. 14) Organize, delegate, and follow up.

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