Alexandria Technical & Community College Gets an Education in Donor Relationships
How does a small, two-year community college in Minnesota go from practically no fundraising and less than $1 million in its coffers to a school with a fundraising arm that has assets of about $12 million? By building relationships, plain and simple.
When Kathy Pfeffer-Nohre was hired as a consultant for a fundraising campaign in 1995, Alexandria Technical & Community College’s (ATCC) foundation had just $900,000. But after the campaign proved to be a success, ATCC hired Pfeffer-Nohre to become executive director of the ATCC Foundation — and now the college brings in more than $1 million in donations annually.
The first step was ATCC building that relationship with Pfeffer-Nohre, and relationship building has been at the forefront of the college’s fundraising ever since.
“Our whole success is built on the relationships that we have with people in Alexandria and the surrounding communities,” she says. “They know we’re a team player, a community player, and that’s how we’ve built those relationships.”
Knowing your donor
While building relationships with donors is essential, maintaining those relationships is the real key to fundraising success. In order to do that, ATCC needed a donor relationship management tool to be able to track its donors. Enter Talisma Fundraising.
“I hesitate to think what would have been the result if I had not found [a DRM system]. I had sold real estate before, so I had no idea how foundations worked. I just knew how to sell something, and I sold the college,” Pfeffer-Nohre says.
“Talisma helped me get all my donors into the system, helped me recruit a board, track my donors, and track my success or failure on any given event,” she adds. “You have to be able to keep track of your donors.”