Pacific University raised more than $12 million last fiscal year for Lead On: The Campaign for Tomorrow, making last year a historical first for the university in terms of overall fundraising numbers and donor participation.
Lead On, Pacific’s newest capital campaign project, was first made public last November and aims to raise $80 million by the end of 2020 to support the future of Pacific. As of June 30, $48.8 million in gifts and pledges has been contributed to the campaign’s overall goal.
“We are getting very close to $50 million,” Pacific President Lesley Hallick said. “We have a hard act to follow after last year’s efforts, but we certainly have a lot of momentum.”
Lead On is divided into three separate campaign priorities, including the Promise for Tomorrow, Learning Environments and Resources and Investment for a Boundless Future.
Pacific’s Promise for Tomorrow priority aims to strengthen the school’s endowment fund, which provides perpetual funding to the university through investments. The Promise for Tomorrow priority also helps to provide financial aid to students and in developing new academic programs.
According to Hallick, Pacific’s Promise for Tomorrow is the largest growing campaign priority, and has raised $21.8 million for the Lead On campaign as of June 30.
“A lot of our donors respond well to helping students and I think that’s why so many people give support in the form of scholarships,” Vice President of University Advancement Cassie Warman said. “Whether it be a scholarship a student can get right away, or an endowed scholarship that will be here forever and that will pay dividends to help students.”
The Investment for a Boundless Future priority, which helps to create new programs for future generations of Boxers, has raised $21.4 million for the Lead On campaign as of June 31. It is also the second largest growing campaign priority.
The slowest growing campaign priority for Lead On has been for Learning Environments and Resources, only having raised $5.4 million as of June 31.
“The hardest thing to raise money for is the capital expenditures, like buildings and major renovations,” Hallick said. “Mainly because the capital outlet is so large.”
Both Hallick and Warman praised the actions of Pacific donors over the last year for their continued support of the Lead On campaign.
“There are certainly people who are participating, and then there are people who aren’t, it varies tremendously depending on what class and decade you look at,” Hallick said. “But we do try and encourage everyone, even our recent graduates, to give a little bit. Just so we can keep in touch and stay connected.”
Since the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, 2018, the University’s Development office has been brainstorming new ways to spur giving and support for Lead On.
“We’re gearing our gift strategies a little differently this year,” Hallick said. “One event that is in transition is Boxer Giving Day. We’re working on trying to find the best way to keep it fresh and exciting.”
Development has also tried to catch up to modern times by being more present online, and more active on social media. Pacific even has plans to potentially upgrade its online donation services, now exploring the capability to accept gift donations using Venmo.
One fundraising tool Development plans to completely change this year is Phonathon, a program in which students would call alumni and friends of the university to update records and ask for donations.
According to Warman, Phonathon was costing the university more money than it was bringing in. The program’s leading position of Assistant Director of Annual Giving was eliminated earlier this year, in an attempt to save the budget.
“We have to change with the times, and the times show that people don’t answer calls without any caller ID,” Warman said. “We still have the Phonathon program running during the day, calling the people who have always given. And we’re going to see how it goes.”
In an effort to increase additional donor participation this year for Lead On, Pacific plans to host a celebration on the Forest Grove campus later this fall, recognizing the individuals and groups who have exceeded in their willingness to give back to the university.
“We have an event every year where we welcome those who have given $100,000 cumulatively in their life, to the President’s Circle, and there is another award for $1,000,000, which is the 1849 Society,” Hallick said. “We thought it would be nice to have people come to campus this year, and be recognized.”
Warman said she feels confident about the future of the Lead On campaign, and praised Hallick’s guidance during fundraising efforts.
“President Hallick’s leadership in this campaign has been truly important,” Warman said. “Not only is she actively involved in fundraising all the time, she herself has been recognized for her significant contributions and gifts to Pacific.”