AGB Releases New Book Offering Key Fundraising Campaign Recommendations to Higher Education Governing Board Members

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Against a backdrop of philanthropic uncertainty, the volume offers relevant and thoughtful insights for all stages of the campaign fundraising process, framing the responsibilities of governing board members at each step.

The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), the premier organization representing higher education governance, today announced the release of Fundraising Campaigns in Higher Education: A Practical Guide for Governing and Foundation Boards. This book highlights what higher education governing board members need to know about comprehensive fundraising campaigns, exploring their operations and role as a significant—and growing—source of support for campus initiatives at both large and small institutions.

The volume offers relevant and thoughtful insights for all stages of the campaign fundraising process, outlining key areas of focus, including strategic planning, campaign goal-setting, talent recruitment, financial inputs, donor stewardship, and other essential elements that go into these multiyear efforts. It frames the responsibilities of governing board members at each step, given their unique positions as fiduciaries, and offers best practices and important questions to ask of campaign leadership.

Written by a broad array of skilled higher education fundraising experts, the book also reflects the experience of its editors, John Lippincott, president emeritus of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and Tom Mitchell, executive vice president of the University of Florida Foundation. Lippincott is also a chapter author, examining how a communications program is not only integral to a good campaign but also can be leveraged to elevate the institution’s communications efforts more broadly. Mitchell contributes a glossary of campaign terms to help board members navigate the language of campaigns. Both editors are featured on the Trusteeship Podcast in a three-part series, interviewing chapter authors regarding the big ideas in Fundraising Campaigns. Two episodes are available now, with a third coming soon.

“Board members have a critical role to play in fundraising, especially in large campaigns,” said Henry Stoever, AGB president and CEO. “Board members who use this resource will be better positioned to support presidents and advancement teams because they will understand what makes for effective campaigns. Having a board be familiar with fundraising campaign operations means better questions, better advice, and better outcomes.”

While philanthropy has long been a component of most higher education institutions’ financial mix, its significance will grow as colleges and universities are forced to contend with the impact of stressed business models and the coronavirus pandemic. A recent survey by the American Council on Education reported that 38 percent of responding college presidents indicated “long-term financial viability” was a top issue at the end of the 2020 fall semester. Further, institutions are broadly concerned about student enrollment trends not only for the spring 2021 semester but over the next 15 years, according to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Additionally, according to CASE’s Voluntary Support of Education report, philanthropy remained flat for the 2019–2020 academic year. Many institutions are hoping that philanthropic campaigns will address some of the revenue shortfalls that will continue to affect operational expenses, financial aid for students, and other strategic initiatives.

AGB is pleased to collaborate with CASE to promote the book to a wider audience, including higher education advancement and marketing professionals. Both board members and advancement professionals will benefit from sharing a common resource that explores the value of effective campaigns and the role of board members.

Sue Cunningham, president and CEO of CASE, underscored the value of the publication due to the important nature of fundraising campaigns. “This book represents the best thinking for institutional board members by many of CASE’s most senior and experienced volunteer leaders,” she said. “Campaigns, in my experience, are significant markers in the life of an institution, aligning resources toward achieving high-impact goals and along the way, capturing the heart, imagination, and passion of communities to build excitement for the institution’s promise.”

Contributors to Fundraising Campaigns include:

  • Lisa Eslinger, chief financial and administrative officer, Iowa State University Foundation
  • Matthew Eynon, vice president for college advancement, Franklin & Marshall College
  • Corinna Fish, director of proposal services, University of California, Davis
  • Sergio Gonzalez, senior vice president for advancement, Brown University
  • Brian Hastings, president and CEO, University of Nebraska Foundation
  • Peter Hayashida, president, University of California, Riverside Foundation; vice chancellor for university advancement, University of California, Riverside
  • Shaun B. Keister, vice chancellor for development and alumni relations, University of California, Davis; president, University of California, Davis Foundation
  • John Lippincott, president emeritus, Council for Advancement and Support of Education
  • Tom Mitchell, vice president for advancement, University of Florida; executive vice president, University of Florida Foundation
  • Charles D. Phlegar, vice president for advancement, Virginia Tech; executive vice president, Virginia Tech Foundation
  • Fritz W. Schroeder, vice president for development and alumni relations, Johns Hopkins University
  • Martin W. Shell, vice president and chief external relations officer, Stanford University
  • Zachary Smith, managing partner, and practice leader, Education, WittKieffer
  • Ashlyn Sowell, associate vice president for campaign operations and engagement, Development and Alumni Relations, Johns Hopkins University
  • Lisa Thomas, associate vice president for campaigns and emerging initiatives, University of Washington
  • Darrow Zeidenstein, senior vice president and chief development officer, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Anita G. Zucker, chair, University of Florida Foundation; chairperson and CEO, The InterTech Group, Inc.

A complimentary e-book version of Fundraising Campaigns in Higher Education is available for AGB members on the AGB website. Hard copies are also available for purchase with a membership discount from the AGB and CASE webstores.

About AGB
The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) is the premier membership organization that strengthens higher education governing boards and the strategic roles they serve within their organizations. Through our vast library of resources, educational events, and consulting services, and with 100 years of experience, we empower 40,000 AGB members from more than 2,000 institutions and foundations to navigate complex issues, implement leading practices, streamline operations, and govern with confidence. AGB is the trusted resource for board members, chief executives, and key administrators on higher education governance and leadership.
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Morgan Alexander