From the Nominator
"Only alumni will donate." "‘We don’t have wealthy alumni." "We’ve tried raising philanthropic income before: It doesn’t work for this university." These are just some of the myths the Alumni and Advancement Office at La Trobe University has worked to debunk. The result? Fundraising improvement of 465% in three years: from $2.8M in 2016 to $16.03M in 2019. This was underpinned by an accompanying improvement in fundraising effectiveness – from $0.64 per $1 in 2016 to a mere $0.11 per $1 in 2019. Others will have bigger dollar numbers. But it’s the profile of our university and the cultural context we are working in that makes our story particularly compelling and, we hope, useful to other organisations with a similar environment.
From the Judges
La Trobe is a young institution, with a small alumni base and a limited donor pipeline; the advancement team also had to deal with internal reticence to engage in and focus on fundraising. As a result of these efforts, La Trobe’s overall campaign goal was quadrupled from $50 million to $200 million. The team has built a successful bequest program, case for support, volunteer leadership initiative, and gift tracking/reporting system to drive these efforts. The key to La Trobe’s success was a four-pronged strategy: focusing on culture; elevating expectations across the institution; telling stories effectively; and instituting effective systems and processes. We congratulate La Trobe on this exceptional improvement in fundraising effectiveness and efficiency.