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  Faculty Staff Solicitation Revenue

We got the ball rolling on the idea of giving a little from each pay (payroll deduction is a popular option) by asking, when we gave out the snack bags of pretzels in the first year, that employees consider giving at least the equivalent of the normal cost of one of those bags--50 cents--every week, or $1 per pay/$26 per year.

In that first year, anyone who donated/pledged at least $26 was entered in the August prize drawing and was eligible to enter other drawings through the year. We then changed the ask to at least $2 per pay/$52 per year in the 2nd year and have kept it there.

Our campus store split the cost of the pennants with us in the 3rd year, and covered the entire cost of the piggybanks and the sunglasses. They also obtained those items for us through their vendors.

Almost 70% of our employee AF donors use the automatic renewal option from year-to-year. We still send them an AF gift form, with a note saying to return it only if they want to make a change.

Since I became Penn College's first Annual Giving Officer in 2001, we've been kicking off the AF Employee Campaign prior to the end of the spring semester by sending "teaser" emails to all employees over several days, then having all Institutional Advancement administration (VP, Dir. of Corporate Relations, Exec. Dir. of PCT Foundation, Dir. of Alumni Relations, AGO, Alumni Relations Assistant) walk around the campus handing out some type of gimmick item to all employees. As an example, here's what I did for the current Employee Campaign:

email 4/15/05: Subj.: PCT SHINES!
Text: Now what we need are the appropriate accessories. See you next week!

email 4/18: Subj.: The Annual Fund helps to protect students from financial troubles
Text: The kickoff of the '05/'06 Annual Fund Employee Campaign will help to protect you from ultra-violet rays. See you later this week!

email 4/19: Subj.: Famous musicians sing about them
Text: Corey Hart wore his at night. Timbuk 3 put theirs' on to look at the future. ZZ Top said they come in 2 classes (ours are in the latter of the 2.)
See you tomorrow! ...geeze-now I have that Corey Hart song stuck in my head*

email 4/20 (date of the kickoff): Subj.: It's easy to see how much you care!
Text: 00/01: $32,796
01/02: $41,012
02/03: $51,190
03/04: $61,986
04/05: $64,985-not including the piggybanks!!
That's a total of over ONE QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS that Penn College employees have donated to the Annual Fund over the past 5 years!!!

Watch for your Annual Fund representatives later today as we kick off the latest round of our efforts to HELP STUDENTS SUCCEED!

As you may have guessed we handed out sunglasses, with "Employees make PCT SHINE" printed on the temple. In 01/02 it was snack bags of pretzels donated by Buckeye Pretzels, 02/03 NutriGrain bars donated by Kellogg's, 03/04 10" pennants reading "PENN COLLEGE EMPLOYEES-Helping Students Succeed," and for 04/05 we handed out piggy banks which resulted in another $1,451.39 and pushed the total well over $66,000 (many employees filled the piggy banks and turned them back in. One contained $100.)

We also time the distribution of gift forms so they arrive the day after that "walkaround."  We encourage all employees to participate, and all employees can enter a drawing held in August for about 25 donated prizes, including art prints (values have ranged from $175-$300), stained glass pictures created by one of our Electrical faculty, an office pizza party, cast aluminum desk sets created in our Automated Manufacturing lab, coffee mugs, etc. Among the most popular prizes are "around the campus" gift bags, canvas bags from our School of Business and Computer Technologies stuffed with promotional items from most of the College's departments/divisions.

All donors are automatically entered in the drawing; all non-donors are eligible to enter by calling me. Everything is promoted through emails and through our online newspage, PCToday. Top prize winners are announced at employee convocation in August, as well as by email and on PCToday.

All employees who donate to the AF campaign are also eligible to enter, via email, drawings held numerous times through the year for items such as Penn State University football tickets (we're a PSU affiliate), tickets to performances at the Williamsport Community Arts Center (a subsidiary of PCT), and other donated items. All other employees can enter those drawings by calling me.

In 2001 we got the ball rolling on the idea of giving a little from each pay (payroll deduction is a popular option) by asking, when we gave out the snack bags of pretzels in the first year, that employees consider giving at least the equivalent of the normal cost of one of those bags--50 cents--every week, or $1 per pay/$26 per year. In that first year, anyone who donated/pledged at least $26 was entered in the August prize drawing. We then changed the ask to at least $2 per pay/$52 per year in the 2nd year and have kept it there. Employee gifts to the AF range from $20 to $5000.

Our campus store split the cost of the pennants with us in the 3rd year, and covered the entire cost of the piggybanks and the sunglasses. They also obtained those items for us through their vendors.

Almost 70% of our employee AF donors use the automatic renewal option from year-to-year. We still send them an AF gift form, with a note saying to return it only if they want to make a change.

The numbers listed above show that this has been a very successful method. It creates a buzz around campus, and emphasizes the "FUN" in Annual FUNd. Lots of folks asked for additional piggybanks, those pennants are still seen everywhere on campus, and it's cool too see all the people wearing their PCT shades. I'd rather not know if anyone still has the pretzels or NutriGrain bars....

All donors receive a letter from me, and a notecard from the College president, thanking them for their gift. We've also added "Penn College Employees" at the 3rd-highest level of the donor recognition wall installed last year, to honor the fact that employees have donated a total of over $430,000 since the Annual Fund Employee Campaign was initiated in 1995.

We solicit all FT staff, regular PT staff, and FT and PT faculty--aprox. 900 total. If you remove the approx. 175 PT's (very low giving rates), we had 36% participation for the 04/05 AF campaign. That doesn't include the many employees who donate outside of the AF, for things like memorial funds, etc.

Last fall we also appealed to employees for donations for the new library (currently under construction) with very good results, and the Annual Fund Employee Campaign is just about even with last year's pace.

I think what I've done here could easily be duplicated elsewhere. Best of luck!

Supportingadvancement.com Teaser Email 1
, 2, 3, Renewal Letter, Gift Form

Below are some of the photos we used to promote the campaign, including some of the prizes for the drawing.
 

 
Contributed by ...
 
James Finkler, Annual Giving Officer, Pennsylvania College of Technology
Email AddressJim Finkler is the first Annual Giving Officer at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA, Pennsylvania's premier technical college and an affiliate of Penn State University. Jim joined the Institutional Advancement Office in January 2001, after nearly 5 years as an admissions representative at Penn College, and nearly 11 years as a radio news reporter/anchor. He manages all annual giving programs at Penn College, which also counts as alumni the graduates of predecessor institutions Williamsport Technical Institute (1941-1965) and Williamsport Area Community College (1965-1989); serves as information coordinator for the Institutional Advancement Office; and assists the Alumni Relations Office by conducting the national/international search for about 10,000 lost alumni of Williamsport Technical Institute.

Supportingadvancement.com Sample Forms - Faculty Staff Gift Form, Pledge Card
Supportingadvancement.com Samples - Faculty Staff Solicitation, Teaser Email 1, 2, 3, Faculty Staff Renewal Letter, Friend Annual Fund Letter,
   Scholarship Appeal, Faculty Staff New Employees Letter
 
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