Congratulations! You’re on the Leadership Gifts Committee!
Now, what are you supposed to be doing, exactly?
Most non-profit organizations refer to the 80/20 rule: 80% of the funds raised come from 20% of the donors. Translation: Williams couldn’t raise over $11 million a year without the support of certain alumni who give at levels above and beyond what is possible for many others.
Over the summer, you and your Head Agent will talk with your Alumni Fund staffer to figure out who in your class is considered a Leadership Giving Prospect—these are folks who currently have the capacity to give over $2,500 a year (less for classes in the first 10 years post-graduation), or who may have that capacity in the near future. Working together, you’ll determine ask amounts for these classmates and invite them to join the Purple Mountain Association. Ask amounts are what they sound like: a specific amount you plan to ask that classmate to give to the Alumni Fund this year.
Most Leadership Gifts Committees send a hard copy letter to Leadership Giving Prospects each year, usually in November or early December. Members of the committee then follow up on a one-on-one basis with the prospective donors; in some cases, the ask and the follow-up is taken on by a Senior Development Officer (a Williams staff member who looks to raise significant gifts for the Alumni Fund, endowment, and capital projects).
Lead by Example
As with Associate Agents, it’s easiest to ask someone to make a significant gift after you’ve made one of your own. You don’t need to be “keeping up with the Joneses;” if you are not able to make a Leadership Gift to the Alumni Fund, consider an amount that represents a significant gift, relative to your overall giving and your budget.