Hire for potential, then let donors help whip your new fundraisers into shape
When Nancy Hullihen was promoted to executive director of alumni relations and development at the University of Miami's business school, she needed help training fundraisers who were new to the university—and often to major gifts. One of the school's strongest volunteers and donors, Pat Barron, stepped forward.
How giving love letters to strangers helped author Hannah Brencher find purpose
For Hannah Brencher, postcollege life in New York City wasn't what she expected. Depressed and struggling to find purpose, she reached out to others with words of kindness and support by leaving anonymous spirit-lifting love letters throughout the city. In October 2010, she blogged about the experience and promised: If you send me your address, I will write you a letter. Her email inbox filled up. Eleven months and 400 letters later, the project turned into MoreLoveLetters.com, a website where people can request love letter bundles for people in need or volunteer to write them. More than 20,000 volunteers—including students belonging to the site's 60-plus Campus Cursive chapters—have helped send more than 100,000 letters to people around the world. Brencher's memoir, If You Find This Letter: My Journey to Find Purpose Through Hundreds of Letters to Strangers, comes out in paperback in spring 2016.
Actor Alan Alda uses improv techniques to coax clear communication from scientists
As the star of M*A*S*H, one of the most critically acclaimed and highest-rated U.S. television programs ever produced, Alan Alda won Emmy Awards for acting, writing, and directing. Now he's using his craft to help professionals communicate about one of his other passions: science.
Institutions want big names for commencement speakers, but high-profile figures can be controversial—and expensive. Are the risks worth the benefits?
Unhappy students arrived at Clifford Zimmerman's office, ready to speak their minds. The Northwestern University School of Law had announced that talk show host Jerry Springer would be its 2008 commencement speaker, and Zimmerman, the law school's dean, soon learned that some students and parents weren't thrilled.
From highlighting graduate outcomes to cutting tuition, more institutions are focused on demonstrating their value
Where's the proof? With growing concerns over student debt, rising tuition, and the perceived high costs of higher education, prospective students and their families are clamoring for evidence. It's a reality that's forcing institutions, long accustomed to touting their academic strengths, to emphasize career preparation, job placement, value, and return on investment.
Stripping wealthy nonprofits of their tax-exempt status is a bad idea
Since 2011, Princeton University has been fighting a lawsuit that challenges the institution's nonprofit designation and tax-exempt status. The lawsuit, filed by four Princeton, New Jersey, residents, could have widespread ramifications for nonprofits across the United States.
The Other Senior Class Adult learners could be your next top leaders, donors, and volunteers. And they may not be alumni.
Each week, two women in their 90s ride the bus to Ithaca College from the nearby Longview retirement community to audit a course at the New York institution. Residents of the retirement community Oak Hammock at the University of Florida take language courses—and arrive by the busload to attend football games. Members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at American University in Washington, D.C., volunteer to lead study groups or contribute to the newsletter.
When a name change or other significant institutional shift alienates alumni and donors, how do you bring them back into the fold?
Hundreds of alumnae had gathered on the sidewalks of William Peace University, shouting and waving signs with messages like "It's not the guys; it's the lies." Months earlier, during the summer of 2011, the North Carolina private institution made the decision not only to switch from female to coed but to change its name from Peace College to William Peace University, after the man who donated money to help start it.
How to Spotlight Faculty Experts and Score Home Runs with the Media
Here's a scenario familiar to many higher education communicators: You're at a conference listening to a panel of reporters from major media outlets bemoan how flaks like us shouldn't bother them with pitches. Any email you send will be too long, and don't even think about calling. They don't have time.
Some universities gladly manage donors’ charitable giving. Others don’t want that much control.
For any college or university, receiving $200 million is a dream come true. So when the University of California, Los Angeles, received that amount from casino mogul Kirk Kerkorian in 2011, officials named the new entity in charge of those assets—you guessed it—the Dream Fund.