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  Gift Acknowledgement Protocol Potpourri

Stewardship Activities Check ListPROTOCOL FOR CAMPAIGN GIFT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Wabash College will need to acknowledge donors in a timely manner, both immediately and for the long haul. Wabash will respond promptly to new gifts and pledges both in writing and by other appropriate means; the College will also issue further acknowledgement and recognition of leadership donors through reports, letters from beneficiaries, visits from Wabash representatives, and naming of fiscal or physical assets.

Timely acknowledgement will help keep donors connected with the Wabash community. A prompt acknowledgement honors their investment in Wabash. Reports, correspondence, and visits will strengthen the connection with Wabash through information about the life of the College and involvement in that life. Publicizing the gift through an honor roll, event, or naming of a room, building, or fund will enable other members of the Wabash community to acknowledge the donor’s impact on the College, thereby strengthening his relationship to the community.

Acknowledgement of gifts and recognition of donors will be consistent with Wabash’s image. Events, publications, and thank-you gifts will reflect in both style and quality the values that characterize Wabash.

Acknowledgements are just the beginning of the process of Stewardship, but they can be the most important step of an overall stewardship plan for donors, as they set the tone for continuing relations between the donor and the College. As Wabash acknowledges gifts in a timely manner, maintains connections between the donor and the College community, and sustains a consistent image, the strong legacy of philanthropic spirit started by the Campaign for Leadership will continue.

In order to accomplish this, Wabash will act in the following manner.

A: The baseline or default response to gifts and/or pledges is:

All gifts to the College will be acknowledged by an official receipt thank you letter within two working days of the arrival of the gift on campus.

Annual donors of $250-999 will receive a letter from the Chair of the Greater Wabash Foundation at the beginning of the month after the gift is received. (Trustees will not receive this letter). Any changes in gift club status will be noted.

Donors of $1,000+ will receive a letter from the Chair of the 1832 Society at the beginning of the month after the gift is received. (Trustees will not receive this letter). Any changes in gift club status will be noted.

Phonathon pledges will be acknowledged in writing immediately after the pledge is made via a handwritten note from the student caller who took the pledge.

The Director of the Greater Wabash Foundation will acknowledge all pledges (excluding phonathon pledges) of $1-999. These pledge acknowledgments will be prepared within 48 hours of receipt of the pledges.

The Dean for Advancement will review all gifts and pledge payments of $1,000 and above and add personal acknowledgements, as appropriate, within 48 hours of receipt of the gift or pledge payment.

The Chairman of the Campaign will acknowledge outright gifts and pledges of $10,000 and above.

Documented bequests, trusts, life insurance gifts, and other planned giving vehicles that have been confirmed (not matured) shall be acknowledged by the Director of Major Gifts within 48 hours of notification for all gifts up to $100,000. The Dean for Advancement shall acknowledge any confirmed planned gift of $100,000 and above. The Dean for Advancement and the Director of Major and Planned Giving will advise the President of the College regarding the donors he should acknowledge.

The President of the College will be provided a list of all donors who have made a gift of $1,000 or more for his personal acknowledgements.

The Dean for Advancement will acknowledge all gifts and pledges from trustees and members of the board of the National Association of Wabash Men. These acknowledgements will be prepared within 48 hours of receipt of the pledge.

The Dean for Advancement and Chairman of the Faculty/Staff Campaign will acknowledge any pledge or gift made by a faculty or staff member. The Dean will send a receipt thank you letter and the Chairman will send a thank you letter. These acknowledgements will be prepared within 48 hours of receipt of the pledge or gift.

The Dean for Advancement will acknowledge any gift from the Independent Colleges of Indiana.

The Senior Advancement Officer and Coordinator of Volunteer Services will acknowledge any gifts from non-alumni or non-parent owned corporations and all foundations, excluding matching gifts from corporations.

When a matching gift is received, a letter to the donor will be generated and signed by the Director of the Greater Wabash Foundation, excluding trustees. Matching gift companies will receive a receipt only.

Any alumni-owned or parent-owned business that makes a gift will be acknowledged as if the individual owner made the gift.

Letters acknowledging the receipt of memorial gifts, without specifying the gift amount, will be sent to the appropriate person in the family by the Dean for Advancement once a month.

When a gift of stock is made, the valuation of the stock will be included in the receipt thank you letter, which will be signed by the Dean for Advancement.

If volunteers give their expenses to the College as an in-kind gift instead of reimbursement, the Senior Advancement Officer and Coordinator of Volunteer Services will acknowledge the gift with a thank you letter.

Upon receipt of the final pledge payment (excluding phonathon pledges), a letter of acknowledgement from the Dean for Advancement will be generated thanking the donor for the completion of the pledge.

All letters will be changed quarterly, or as needed to refresh the content and reflect on recent news of the College. These letters will be prepared or reviewed by the Director of Campaign Communications.

B. Special recognition should be completed for certain gifts as follows:

Further recognition of gifts or pledges of $50,000 or other special gifts will be tailored to fit the donor and the gift.  A stewardship plan will be filled out by the major gifts officer, with specific steps and timelines for completion or implementation.

The Director of Advancement Services, in consultation with the Dean for Advancement and the Director of Major Gifts, will maintain a list of naming opportunities. This list will be available to all major gift officers.

Gifts from estates and other matured planned gifts will be reviewed by the Dean for Advancement and other members of the Advancement office. If warranted, realized estate gifts will be acknowledged by the President of the College and sent to the surviving family members. Otherwise, the gifts will be acknowledged by the Dean for Advancement and sent to the appropriate party.

Gifts of endowments, scholarships, prizes, awards, and building and capital projects will be covered in more detail in their respective sections.

C.  Reminders:

Reminder letters will be sent to each phonathon pledge both 60 days and 120 days after the pledge is made.

If a donor requests a reminder, that reminder will be generated at the beginning of the month that the pledge is due. The Dean for Advancement will sign capital Campaign pledge reminders. Pledges to the Senior Gift Campaign will be generated at the beginning of the month that the pledge is due and signed by the Director of the Greater Wabash Foundation.

Twice a year, in approximately June and December, the Stewardship Assistants will send reminder letters for all outstanding pledges, whether they have been reminded previously or not.

The Major Gifts Officers will examine delinquent Campaign pledge reports frequently to see if a gentle reminder needs to be sent to a major donor. The Director of Advancement Services will issue this report at least once a month and distribute it to Senior Advancement Staff and all major gifts officers.

The Director of Advancement Services will maintain a list of current life insurance donors. The month before the annual premiums are due, a letter from the Director of Major Gifts will be sent to those donors to remind them of their premium payments. Donors of life insurance will not be called during the phonathon.

 
Contributed by ...
 
Scott Fendley, Principal, SF Consulting
Email AddressScott Fendley is the Principal of SF Consulting. Scott Fendley was previously a senior associate at Bentz Whaley Flessner, and the Director of Advancement Services at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, a position he has held since August 2000. Before then, he had worked in the publishing industry as a financial analyst, project manager, operation manager, and data integrity manager for various firms in the Indianapolis area.

Scott has been active in the Datatel User’s Group, serving on the Benefactor Track Team for the 2004 User Group Conference, and is the Agenda Chair for the Great Lakes User Group Conference in 2004. At the Datatel User Group, he has presented on Prospect Management, Campaign Reporting, Campaign Forecasting, Audit Preparation and Business Office / Advancement Relationships.

Scott earned a bachelors degree in Mathematics from Wabash in 1988 and received an MBA from Indiana University in 1996. Scott has also been the PA announcer for the Wabash football and basketball teams.

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