A Model to Inspire Donor Motivation: The Dawson Dream Series
Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting on Donor Communications and the Development of Personas at a Development Conference. While at the Conference, I heard a fantastic presentation delivered by Dustin Ross of Cornell College on Parent Engagement. The presentation focused on models of parent engagement in relation to fundraising and building cross-campus collaboration to engage parents for Fundrasing Development purposes.
The topic of alumni/parent engagement was something that I spent a great deal of time reviewing prior to my CASE Summit presentation. While evaluating and reviewing communications, I ran across a spectacular example of alumni/parent engagemen for fundraising that I wanted to share.
The Dawson School in Colorado hosted a first of it’s kind “Dawson Dream Series.” The event was a two-day event on campus where faculty led classroom sessions focused on topics from “Math & Science in the Real World” to “Science Immersion” and “Design Thinking.” Each group had a Faculty/Staff Leader and a Parent Moderator. The event inspired parents, faculty, and alumni to engage on campus. It brought faculty, parents, and alumni together to dream big dreams for the school. It was the kickoff to the building of an endowment. The participation and results were amazing. From the two days of facilitated discussions came the start of a strategic fundraising plan developed by the faculty, alumni, and parents for the school. In essence, the school was creating a group of engaged individuals who would become the brand ambassadors in terms of fundraising for the endowment because they were helping to create the dreams that they would now fund and continue to support.
Why does the Dawson Dream Series get an A+? Because, it:
- Made the endowment real, quantifiable, and descriptive
- Brought faculty, parents, and alumni together in a way that can inspire donor motivation
- Built a team of brand ambassadors who can clearly and easily articulate the school's vision
What interesting methods are you utilizing to engage your alumni and parents as part of the fundraising process? What can we take away from the Dream Series that we can put into action on our campuses? To learn more about how we participate in alumni engagement services, please navigate here.