From the Nominator
"Our celebration of 50 years of coeducation provided an opportunity to create a fundraising initiative to inspire Exeter alumnae to reflect and increase their impact through philanthropy. We created a steering committee of six Exeter alumnae to ask for their guidance, feedback, and input regarding the creation of an initiative intended to motivate 50 alumnae to make gifts or pledges of $50,000 or more. The initiative was designed to resonate with alumnae by equally emphasizing engagement, giving, and impact, while continuing to build membership after the conclusion of the 50th anniversary celebration.
The Women’s Leadership Circle (WLC)--Her Voice at the Table: Philanthropy Powered by Exeter Women--was created to build community, foster dialogue, and inspire alumnae to contribute meaningfully to provide a transformative Exeter experience to all qualified students, with a focus on girls. We asked for gifts to be designated to the WLC Scholarship Fund (a scholarship designated for girls), The Exeter Fund (an unrestricted fund), or any already established fund deemed meaningful by the donor.
In seven months, we raised over $3.6 million, which included over $1.2 million for the WLC Scholarship Fund. This was achieved through personalized solicitation over Zoom and using cohesive messaging. In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, 50 alumnae were inspired by the WLC mission and joined the Circle.
In June 2021, we hosted our inaugural WLC event with participation by 27 members. Our principal and three senior girls engaged in conversation, establishing meaningful connections with WLC members."
From the Judges
We felt this was a very powerful fundraising program. It was an extremely clever campaign that was multifaceted, multi-channeled, and effectively integrated, and it produced excellent results. In addition, we admired the creativity and originality of this campaign. It was impressive that the institution accomplished their goal through compelling, consistent messaging and branding across all marketing channels, with 100% virtual solicitations.