Back in 2001, Benedict College, the historically black institution in Columbia, South Carolina raised $5.2 million in private gifts. Since then... their fundraising has been in a bit of a funk.
In the past two years, Benedict has averaged about $2.5 million a year in private gifts while similiar school like Claflin University in Orangeburg, raised $6.8 million in private gifts in the year that ended June 30, 2006.
To revive the anemic private donations, the college hired Love Collins III, a West Point graduate and former U.S. Army officer. In his previous job Collins was a vice president for advancement at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati where he raised more than $11.1 million.
In an interview with James T. Hammond at The State, Collins said:
“I’m no stranger to trying to raise money under tough circumstances,” said Collins, Benedict’s new executive vice president for institutional advancement. “But I’m a firm believer that if you tell people what your plan is, they will help you.”...and it appears things are already going well.
Collins said he has just closed out Benedict’s Alumni Annual Giving Campaign, raising $787,859 in gifts and pledges for the academic year that just ended. That total compares with $696,520 a year earlier; $654,520 in 2005; and $655,771 in 2004.
I love the fact that one man can really turn a fundraising program around.