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October 06, 2009 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-10-06

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 7

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 7

From Page 1
said. "It's because when we go out
in the world we get preoccupied
with the needs of our families,
our other communities, our other
things, things that are important to
us like our hospital, our church or
But that steady stream of dona-
tions from such a wide swath
of people can have a significant
impact on campus life in the pro-
grams and scholarships that such
gifts help fund.
To aid academic units and Uni-
versity programs in soliciting and
tracking donations, the Universi-
ty's Office of Development divides
people based on what types of gifts
theyaregiving,thoughsome donors
may fall into multiple categories -
a major part of which is those who
partake in what the office refers to
as "annual giving."
A major contributor to this
steady stream of individual dona-
tions is the practice of what the
Development Office calls "annual
Because so many people fall into
this category, the University's devel-
opment office has a special team of
people who work to meet the needs
of donors who give annually.
Elizabeth Woods, senior asso-
ciate director of marketing and
research for annual giving, said the
University's annual giving opera-
tions are essential to raising money
and engaging the majority of Uni-
versity alumni and friends.
"We have the buildings, and
we have the plaques and the won-
derful things like that, that are so
important to what the University
is," Woods said. "But annual giving
provides the pipeline to that and
serves as probably the largest rela-
tionship that our alumni will have
with the University."
Though specific definitions for
annual giving vary among the aca-
demic and non-academic units on
campus, Woods said annual giving
is defined by the office of Devel-
opment as gifts of $25,000 or less
made on a yearly basis.
Using that definition, Woods
said'the annual giving unit at the
University raised $41.9 million
last year, of which $27.7 million -
appr >mately 66 pe - came
from alumni. Of the money col-
lected from annual giving, alumni
contributed $18 million to academ-
ic units, whereas non-alumni gave
$5.5 million to academics.
Though it may seem contradic-
tory to the overall giving pattern of
donors to the University in which
non-alumni donors outnumber
alumni, Woods said that annual
giving focuses on alumni and that
numbers vary from year to year.
The money raised from annual
giving is used for a variety of pro-
grams and expenses at the Uni-
versity, including student financial
aid, conferences and workshops
and fellowships. A steady stream
of support from private donors is
From Page 1
existing groups on campus - like

Planet Blue and Climate Savers.
In an interview after her speech,
Coleman said that though the sus-
tainability initiative will help the
University become more environ-
mentally focused, she has no plans
to sign the American College and
University Presidents' Climate
The agreement, which has been
signed by the University of North
Carolina, Chapel Hill, The Universi-
ty of Illinois and Ohio State Univer-
sity, as well as many other colleges,
is a commitment by the signatories
to reduce green house gases and
develop a "comprehensive plan" to
achieve climate neutrality.
"We are absolutely committed
to doing something positive about
climate change, but I do not believe
the approach that they suggest is
realistic," Coleman said. "I've never
agreed with it, and I don'tthinkour
experts here have agreed with it. I
just think it's unrealistic."
The second major initiative
unveiled in Coleman's address was
the formation of a committee to
explore how to improve transpor-
tation between North Campus and
Central Campus.
Coleman said improved trans-
portation between the campuses
will become increasingly impor-
tant with the establishment of the
North Campus Research Complex.
"One of the exciting parts of get-
ting the North Campus Research
Complex, the NCRC, is that all of
sudden, we're going have a much
greater density of people on North
Campus," Coleman said. "What
we're going to do in the winter
term is put together a technology
transportation forum."

essential to the continuation of
many of these programs.
However, Woods was quick to
point out that annual giving isn't
just about the money donated, but
it's also about talking with donors.
"Our alumni don't just make a
donation or give a gift. It's a very
different relationship here at
Michigan because our alumni feel
as though they're investing in our
school, they're investing in our stu-
dents and they're investing in our
faculty and research," Woods said.
"With that comes a responsibility
that we have as annual giving offi-
cers to make sure that we commu-
nicate with them and provide them
with information on how their
investment is working."

be very participative in service to solicit donations, thank donors and
the University in their early years," strengthen relationships.
Woods said. Jacquelyn Aanes, associate
Although Woods said there director of telefundraising for
wasn't acorrelationbetweenthe age annual giving, said her office con-
at which alumni start giving back sists of three full-time staff and up
to the University, she said there is a to 150 undergraduate and graduate
trend in how much they give to the student callers.
University as they become older Two of the staff work duringthe
and accumulate wealth. day, while one full-time staff mem-
"We do see that giving behav- ber supervises the student callers,
ior starts to morph a little more as who work duringthe evening.
you start to get older," Woods said. In total, students made 1.6 mil-
"But we don't limit our solicitation lion calls last year.
activity to recent graduates or peo- "We call everyone from people
ple within a specific age group or who have recently graduated and
graduation period." not donated to people who have
Gagliardi added that the vari- been out of school for 50 years,
ance in giving between age groups and they've been donating for 20
- as more recent graduates may not years consistently," Aanes said. "Of
Academics: $5.5 million
Other Targets: $8.7 million
Academics: $18 million
Other Targets: $9.7 million

amounts of money.
"A couple years ago there was one
evening where Telefund brought in
$100,000 inonenight,butnotevery
night is like that," Aanes said.
While that was an impressive
night for the Telefund office, Aanes
said she is in awe of the sheer num-
ber of people who donate.
"Our average gift size is just
under $100, so we have thousands
upon thousands of people saying
'Yes, I believe in Michigan, and I
want to give back,' " she said. "To
have 22,000 pledges in ayear, that's
a lot of people saying yes."
Though not every person called
will agree to give a donation, Aanes
said student callers talk to potential
donors to help them better under-
stand how important private support
is to the quality of the University.
"A lot of times when we call non-
donors they may not understand
that their tuition may have only
covered 50 percent of their actual
cost of education when they were
here," Aanes said. "Part of what
we're trying to do is just increase
the awareness about the impor-
tance of private support."
While annual giving focuses on
alumni and friends of the University
who live in Michigan and across the
United States, there are also many
alumni and friends who live inother
countries. They may live thousands
of miles away, but international
alumni are just as valuable to the
development office as alumni who
live down Washtenaw Avenue.
Because the two groups of indi-
vidual donors - domestic and
international - are very different,
a separate operation handles gifts
from international friends and
It's a relatively new part of the
Development Office, but one that
Jefferson Porter, associate vice
president for development, said is
becoming increasingly important.
"Our alumni are in every cor-
ner of the globe," Porter said. "We
feel it's really important to find a
way for all our alumni, regardless
of where they're located, to par-
ticipate and to contribute to things
that are relevant to them."
He added the office establishes
relationships with .international
alumni to do more than just raise

"It's really about raising aware-
ness, connections between alumni
in given geographic regions and
bringing them into what I would
hope would be a nice, long relation-
ship for the University, where we
continue to provide value to the
alumni," Porter said.
According to Porter, China and
Southeast Asia boast the Univer-
sity's largest international alumni
populations. During the last few
years, the development team has
focused its efforts on those regions
by traveling to targeted areas once
a year, hosting alumni events and
initiating discussions with local
alumni leaders.
"I think it's really paying off in
the sense that we're seeing ever-
growing numbers of alumni who
are coming to events, who are sort
of connecting back to the Univer-
sity," he said, adding that alumni of
all ages are participating.
While tax deductions motivate
alumni living in the United States
to donate to the University, interna-
tional alumni don't enjoy the same
benefits. Because of this, Porter
said the office is working on ways
to provide incentives to alumni
abroad who donate.
"I know it's a barrier," he said. "I
recognize it, and we're working on
a couple of things to try to make it
However, Porter said it's not a
large problem because many inter-
national alumni donate their assets
in the United States, and not neces-
sarily their home country.
In the future, Porter said he
hopes to see international giving
"grow fairly robustly," with alumni
heavily participating in the next
capital campaign. However, he
said it will take time before the
University realizes the effects of
international investment.
"It will take an investment on
our part for sure, but I am really
encouraged by the reception that
we've had, the open arms that
alumni have provided us - whether
it's hosting us, or providing intro-
duction to companies with other
alumni, to providing gifts," he said.
"I think all those are working in a
positive direction."
How to go about getting
your name on a campus
building or program.

Source: Elizabeth Woods, senior associate director of marketing and research for annual giving

Woods said the main challenge
for annual giving staff is keeping
donor information up to date and
trying to create a personal expe-
rience when there are so many
donors to work with.
"The challenge is that we want to
be as unique and mirror specifical-
ly what that alum has experienced,
but it's difficult to do that on such a
grand scale," Woods said.
Woods explained that when con-
tacting alumni, the Development
Office tries to relate to the indi-
vidual experiences the alumni had
while students at the University.
Similarly, when the Development
Office reaches out to friends of the
University, it highlights projects
and programs at the University
that are of particular interest to the
donor. However, Woods said that
tion is not possible with the current
computer system the office uses.
Joseph Gagliardi, senior associ-
ate director of annual giving, said
a new donor database system, that
is currently being designed and
implemented for the development
office, till he ptokeep accurate
donor records and will make it
easier to relate to annual giving
"From a philanthropy stand-
point, one of the beautiful things
this new database will allow us is to
understand the preferences a little
bit better of our donors so that we
know if they prefer e-mail commu-
nications as opposed to phone or
mail," Gagliardi said, adding that it
is not very easy to track preferenc-
es like that in the current database
Woods said donor preferences
and behavior vary by age, but also
that graduate and undergraduate
alumni behave differently.
"Undergraduate alumni tend to

have the means to give larger gifts
- is part of what makes annual giv-
ing so unique.
"One of the real front and center
things we try to focus on in annual
giving is that it's about giving and
supporting at whatever level and
the power that can have when cou-
pled with other gifts from (donors')
fellow alums," Gagliardi said.
In the last capital campaign, The
Michigan Difference Campaign, 61
percent of donors were over the age
of 50, while only 19 percent were in
their forties and 20 percent were
under 39 years old.
While Gigliardi and Woods agree
that large gifts for capital projects
are vital to the University's devel-
opment and growth, annual giving
contributions are crucial to fund-
ing student financial aid and other
ongoing programs.
"Annual giving at Michigan is a
really unique and wonderful area
to be in when you think about phi-
lanthropy overall," Woods said.
"We work at addressing the larger
scale of the alumni body and talk-
ing to them and making the case for
support and creating important
and meaningful fulfillment areas
for them through mail, phone and
While the annual giving office
uses mail, e-mail and the Internet
to stay connected with donors, a
major focus on phone calls creates
a more personal experience in an
effort to encourage giving, offi-
cials said.
A division within the annual
giving program at the University,
the Telefund office is responsible
for making these calls to alumni
and friends of the University to

course, not every single phone call
results in someone picking up the
phone and saying'Yes, I would love
to give'"
Out of the people called lastyear,
Aanes said 98,000 people were con-
tacted, of whom 22,000 donated or
a little more than 22 percent, rais-
ing $2.16 million for the University.
Some calling campaigns focus
on raising money from people who
regularly give to the University,
while others are intended to edu-
cate donors about campus events or
thank donors for giving.
Last year, Telefund callers made
nearly 25,000 phone calls thanking
donors for their gifts.
"A huge part of what we teach
the students to do is to say the word
thank you and to really listen,"
Aanes said. "We also hope that if
people start to give, and they feel
good about it, and we can thank
them appropriately, show them
how we've used their gift, that
they'll continue to give."
On the other hand, Aanes said
there have also been nights when
Telefund has raised very large

A few years ago, discussion of a
possible monorail system to link
North and Central Campus circu-
lated, though no official action was
Coleman also discussed the Uni-
versity's recent research boom. She
said a record 350 inventions were
created last year and that Universi-
ty research expenditures exceeded
$1 billion over the last year.
"Two years ago, I told campus
that I hoped we would reach this
achievement by 2012, and our fac-
ulty took less than half that time to
Coleman said. "Steve Forrest, our
vice president for research, points
out that while it took the Univer-
sity 192 years to achieve $1 billion
in research spending, we could
achieve $2 billion by our bicenten-
nial in 2017."
During the speech, Coleman
also gave an update on the Presi-
dent's 100 New Faculty Initiative,
a hiring program Coleman estab-
lished in her 2007 State of the
University address. The initiative
focuses on hiring 100 inter-disci-
plinary junior faculty members to
work in complex research areas,
including climate change and
"We're making good progress,"
Coleman said of the 49 individu-
als who have been hired through
the program. "The hiring process
is somewhat more time-consuming
than with a single scholar, because
we are building teams and the fac-
ulty on those teams must comple-
ment each other."
The initiative is planned to be
fully implemented by 2012 and is
expected to cost $30 million.
Coleman also announced that
a search process will soon com-
mence for a full-time executive
director for the North Campus
Research Complex. The new direc-

tor will provide overall strategic
leadership and general oversight to
the NCRC.
"The North Campus Research
Complex is a once-in-a-century
opportunity to redefine academic
research in critical areas," Coleman
said. "The world looks to research
universities for answers to such
dilemmas as climate change, global
pandemics and medical innova-
Though Coleman discussed
many new initiatives during her
speech, she didn't sugarcoat the
hard financial situation the Uni-
versity is in.
"We have not gone unscathed
and should not pretend otherwise,"
she said. "The numbers are there in
black and white."
The University's endowment
has fallen more than 20 percent,
something Coleman said has obvi-
ously affected the University's
"No organization can absorb a
20-percent loss in investments and
not feel it," she said. "But we are
slowly recovering because of an
investment strategy that is conser-
vative and yetfocused on long-term
Coleman said that while Univer-
sity officials have taken many steps
to cut costs, faculty and staff need
to continue to find more fat to trim.
"Now we must double our inten-
sity. Double it." Coleman said
Despite the sobering news,
Coleman said she is confident the
University will emerge from these
tough economic times stronger
than when it went into them.
"We are on the cusp of 200 years
of leadership as the University of
Michigan," Coleman said. "And
through our creativity and colle-
giality, we will be stronger in 2017
than we are today."

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