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Cultivating New Gifts
Cultivating New Gifts

By Toni Coleman , Precious Dorch-Robinson

Karen Higgins, University of California, Davis

Inspire Confidence—and the Next Gift

So many ways to give
World Vision is well known for its Sponsor a Child program. Donors' monthly gift of $39 won't break their bank but has a considerable effect on the child's world. World Vision offers numerous other ways to give, and its gift catalog inspires donors to contribute while reporting the impact of gifts. Donors don't wonder where their $100 gift will go—they know it buys a goat and two chickens for a family. A gift registry inspires donors to involve family and friends; in lieu of a wedding or Mother's Day gift, relatives can buy that goat and two chickens (

The new insiders
At McKendree University in Illinois, graduating seniors who've given receive special invitations to alumni board meetings and donor events. This enables them to network—and inspires them to continue giving.

Praise from on high
At Harper College in Illinois, foundation board members or volunteers call to thank faculty members for their gift. The strategy works: Gifts made during the annual April campaign increased by 28 percent from 2014 to 2015, and the retention rate reached 74 percent in 2015.

Game on!

The University of California, Davis, has its own version of Jeopardy!: At a donor appreciation event, donors played the Gratitude Gameshow, learning about philanthropy's role in boosting university programs. Sample question: Thanks to leadership gifts from two Napa-area winemakers, thousands of K-12 students are experiencing the theater for the first time at this performing arts center. Answer: What is the Mondavi Center? The winning team allocates the grand prize of $5,000 to the university program of its choice.

"Donors didn't sit there passively having dinner and watching the production," says Angela Joens, assistant vice chancellor of development outreach at UC Davis. "They got to be a part of it."

(Return to opening page of "The World's Best Stewardship Ideas")

About the Authors Toni Coleman

Toni Coleman is the interim editor in chief of Currents.

Precious Dorch-Robinson

Precious Dorch-Robinson is a spring 2016 Currents editorial intern.




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Jul/Aug 2016 Digital Edition

In This Issue

The World's Best Stewardship Ideas

Thanking Donors Reporting Impact Cultivating New Gifts Recognizing Donors