PTM Fundraising Model
“Donors don't give to institutions. They invest in ideas and people in whom they believe.” (G.T. Smith)
Successful fundraising results from a combination of planning, promotion, passion and perseverance. With over 35 years experience in fundraising and a track record of generating over $150 million in gifts, grants, and estate commitments, Proactive Transition Management (PTM) assimilates these 4 P’s into an effective consulting model. The PTM Model is ideally suited for colleges and universities needing to secure resources for a targeted project (new initiative, a school or center, endowment, new or renovated facility etc.) or from a targeted audience (trustees, alumni, foundation, local community, etc.), but also has been very effective in multi-year fundraising campaigns. Because a targeted initiative often involves staff and faculty who are not experienced in fundraising, the PTM Model is distinct in that PTM President, Dr. Peter Mitchell is actively engaged in the solicitation process (“the ask”). The PTM Fundraising Model incorporates four integrated activities (Assessment, Strategy, Management, and Renewal).
1. Assessment (Planning)
Assessment (planning) starts with an examination of strategic or long-range plans, accreditation reports, enrollment data, curriculum, student services, budgets, and fundraising data to understand the institution. Focus group interviews are conducted with faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni, and community leaders focusing on the proposed fundraising initiative and asking questions like “Who are we?” “What do value?” and “What do we like about our college?” This assessment not only forms the basis of planning, but also identifies and cultivates the “passion” people have about the initiative and the institution. The results of the assessment are shared with the individual(s) or governing board overseeing the consulting contract.
2. Strategy (Promotion)
The information gathered from planning documents, enrollment data, budgets, etc. as well as insights gleaned from the focus group interviews enables PTM to formulate a fundraising strategy uniquely suited for the institution and the specific project or initiative. The strategy (promotion) includes developing a case statement; identifying leadership gift donors; creating individualized proposals for each potential leadership gift donor; and developing a comprehensive public phase strategy including identifying potential donors, designing promotional materials, and planning events (kickoff, breakfasts and luncheons for donors, evening programs for donors, celebration). The strategy formulation will engage key stakeholders and key volunteers to ensure ownership, involvement, and honoring the distinct ethos or culture of the institution. The strategic plan will be presented to the individual(s) or governing board overseeing the consulting contract for review and formal approval.
3. Management (Perseverance)
Once approved, PTM will manage the targeted fundraising initiative guided by an implementation plan that spells out specific tasks, individuals responsible, timetable, and monthly benchmark measures. Management (perseverance) of the campaign also includes developing appropriate methods for recording and acknowledging gifts, recording results from every solicitation visit and summary reports from every event, frequent communications to key volunteers, monthly reports to the individual(s) or governing board overseeing the consulting contract, and communicating adjustments or modifications of the strategy. Distinct to the PTM Model, Dr. Mitchell will be involved in many of the direct solicitations of top prospects.
4. Renewal (Passion)
Targeted fundraising initiatives should be an act of institutional renewal. By engaging a wide audience in the assessment, strategy and management phases, an excitement (“buzz”) permeates the university as a whole or the college or center overseeing the campaign. This sense of renewal or revitalization (passion) impacts positively enrollment, morale, and reputation. When viewed as a proactive way to enhance a university or one of its colleges or centers, a successful targeted fundraising campaign becomes a necessary, dynamic, and productive way to seize new opportunities, to fulfill its mission, and to pursue its destiny.
A targeted fundraising campaign can be completed in 18-24 months and traditional campaign in 3-4 years. PTM prides itself on the low fundraising cost with a fee that has represented 2-4% of the total campaign goal, in addition to enhancing enrollment, morale, and the reputation of the university, college or center.