'Together, We Are UTSA' is part of comprehensive campaign

Fact Staff Giving

UTSA faculty and staff

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(May 13, 2010)--Have you ever wondered how a comprehensive fundraising campaign comes together and what it takes to succeed? Those who give through the current "Together, We Are UTSA" 2010 faculty and staff initiative will be part of the first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign for UTSA.

Here is how it works: When a university is on the move like UTSA, it is important to have a professional team managing the fundraising efforts in concert with the university's alumni, community leaders, deans, vice presidents, provost and president. A big university has numerous needs for operating funds, capital investments, scholarships and, of course, research.

Having an orderly way to identify, assess needs and then move strategically to raise the essential private funds is truly an art and a science. This work is known in higher education circles as "Advancement." When university leaders determine it is time to make a multi-year strategic effort to raise significant resources, a comprehensive campaign is normally the method used.

A year or more, commonly referred to as the feasibility or assessment period, can go into planning the effort before fundraising begins. During the assessment period, university leaders determine the most important needs and then attempt to achieve a balance with the fundraising capacity, always stretching a bit, to determine a campaign goal amount.

What follows is usually a "quiet" phase of the campaign that can last for one to several years, during which "leadership gifts" are raised to firmly secure the success of the overall campaign. Also, during the quiet phase, the institution identifies critical volunteer leadership externally, while on the internal side it puts into place essential technology, policies and personnel to handle the significant increase in activity and fund processing generated in a major campaign. After a healthy percentage of the overall goal is raised quietly, the campaign is announced to the public.

At that time, the university moves into the "public" phase of the campaign, which includes wider conversations in the community, engagement and focused fundraising with targeted foundations and corporations and numerous activities to keep everybody involved, and momentum building until the goal is reached or exceeded. Campaigns in higher education typically last between five and seven years and can result in truly transformational opportunities.

As UTSA continues on the path to top-tier status, there are important roles for faculty and staff, as well as alumni and friends, as we look forward to our first comprehensive campaign. Every person associated with UTSA is vital to our success.

>> How can UTSA employees help? Making an annual gift to the university is one way, through the "Together, We Are UTSA" drive. You can make your gift by going to the Giving to UTSA website and select the way you would like to give back to the university.

Another important aspect of being an employee is acting as an "ambassador" for UTSA in the community. Whether at a PTA meeting, church, Little League game or neighborhood Bunco night, staff and faculty are in a position to tell people about UTSA. Sharing news about faculty research accomplishments, recognition of student scholars, the new Applied Engineering and Technology Building, the plans for a football team or an upcoming performing arts event...all of this brings wider circles of the community into a relationship with UTSA.

UTSA is a great place to work, grow and give. Get involved today!