The development team in the seminary relations office is responsible for identifying, nurturing, and maintaining relationships that result in financial support for Luther Seminary. Thirty-six percent of the seminary’s operating budget is supported by gifts from individuals and organizations. One hundred percent of the seminary’s endowment and most special projects comes from gift income.
Raise current operating gift income adequate to cover up to 36% of the seminary’s operating budget (necessary gift income for this purpose is likely to be in the range of $30 million over the next five years).
• Continue major gifts focus of Sustaining Fund fundraising efforts. Add staff to increase major gifts effectiveness.
• Integrate Sustaining Fund fundraising into whatever campaign structure the seminary develops for the period 2000-2005.
• As new appointments are made to the Foundation Board of Trustees, ensure that they are of stature, influence, and financial capability commensurate with the goals of the seminary’s fundraising efforts. Continue to emphasize the Foundation’s responsibilities in Sustaining Fund giving, as well as in capital support.
• Develop matching gift opportunities from major donors in order to attract and retain new donors.
• Promote AAL’s new matching gift program aggressively through phone and mail. Continue to strongly promote the LB Impact program.
• Implement more aggressive donor acquisition strategies by implementing well-screened, selective exchanges of donor lists with appropriate charities. Purchase lists that have potential to include donors.
• Use telephone solicitation for donor acquisition.
• Identify opportunities for foundation grants for existing programs that will provide budget-relieving support.
• Improve donor stewardship in order to increase retention rates. Use new technologies to provide feedback to donors about how their gifts were used.
• Conduct focus groups with baby boomers to determine how to best involve, nurture, and solicit their support for Luther Seminary. Implement results of focus group study.
• Increase student knowledge of the economy of Luther Seminary and the importance of gift income in supporting their education. Find ways to involve them in the fundraising process.
• Increase involvement of faculty in the identification, nurture, and solicitation of major gifts.
After appropriate analysis of donor constituencies, set goals and raise funds for target projects in the seminary’s strategic plan, for endowment growth, for growth of life income assets under the seminary’s management, and for identification of new estate plan commitments.
• Create a Campaign Task Force to identify the priorities and opportunities for fundraising provided by the seminary’s new five-year plan.
• Interview all trustees, some directors, and selected major donor prospects to assess their understanding of, commitment to, and interest in helping fund the goals of the Seminary and Foundation.
• Analyze the seminary’s past fundraising efforts and the current prospect pool.
• Propose fundraising priorities and a working goal that are consistent with available information and analysis. Seek endorsement from Foundation Board and Board of Directors.
• Use the period of July 2000 to December 2001 to identify and recruit campaign leadership, prepare a detailed campaign plan, secure major gift support, and finalize campaign goal based on early gifts.
• Increase the number of allied professionals who are knowledgeable about and committed to Luther Seminary and who can be advocates for Luther Seminary as they work with their clients.
• Hire deployed planned giving staff in selected areas of the country to extend our reach in working with those who are at the point of making estate plan commitments.
• Strengthen ties with ELCA Foundation field staff so that they can be better advocates for Luther Seminary as they work with their clients.
• Develop the financial flexibility to hire competent and committed major/planned gift staff as they become available, whether or not there is an official “opening” on the development team.
• Ensure that all development staff have a solid understanding of planned giving basics and can recognize planned giving opportunities when they are working with donors.