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Gift Clubs

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Advance Work: Repeat Performance
CURRENTS Article The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reestablishes the Bell Ringers Society to honor donors.

Principal, Major, and Special Giving Programs: Berry College - Silver Medal
Best Practice Berry College set a campaign goal to add 172 new members to the Berry Heritage Society, a recognition society for those who make planned gift provisions in their will. As Berry entered the campaign's final year (FY 2005-06), 42 new members were needed to reach the goal. An initiative to overhaul the entire planned giving program was launched. The "Leave a Legacy" initiative resulted in comprehensive program improvements and 45 new Heritage Society members.

Stewardship: Carleton University - Bronze Medal
Best Practice In early 2006, Carleton University's Department of University Advancement was asked to develop a comprehensive stewardship plan for members of the Henry Marshall Tory Society. Existing stewardship efforts tended to be ad hoc and lacked the structure of a detailed program that could be repeated year after year. The resulting stewardship plan included a number of components through which the university’s most generous donors would be appropriately recognized for their support and provided the highest level of accountability.

AdvanceWork: With This Gift, I Thee Wed
CURRENTS Article Maryville College developed the Calvin Duncan Society, named for one of its loyal donors who attended when the college reopened after the Civil War, to encourage class gifts and annual giving. Society members receive silver bookmarks and other gifts when they reach certain milestones, such as five years of continuous participation.

AdvanceWork: What's in a Name?
CURRENTS Article The intricacies of introducing a new top gift club

Outgrowing the Annual Fund
CURRENTS Article Top-level annual donors deserve special attention to maintain their commitment. It’s often best to manage these donors within the annual fund office, but with special cultivation and stewardship methods such as in-person solicitation visits, personal letters, special events, gift clubs, and volunteer opportunities on campus boards or committees. Strategies such as challenge gifts can encourage them to increase their annual donations, and some of them will eventually make major gifts.

AdvanceWork: Thanks, but New Thanks
CURRENTS Article Problem/Solution

Up Where They Belong
CURRENTS Article Donor recognition societies, also called gift clubs, are a time-honored technique for encouraging regular giving, but they require careful administration. To ensure that gift clubs are effective, officials need to determine where to best set club levels, how and when to count gifts, and how to reward donors within legal parameters set by the IRS. The answers to these questions depend on the specific goals the institution is trying to achieve with its club system. A sidebar discusses how to choose gift club names.

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