5-Minute Interview: ‘Don’t Forget to Ask’
FS: What are some tips you can share with other colleges?
DP: Well, I’d say one is don’t forget to ask. And be direct in the ask. You can set somebody up and you can cultivate them and steward them, but if you don’t ask, it doesn’t do any good. You have to remember to ask. And also we’ve found that happy students make happy parents, and happy parents and happy grandparents make terrific prospects for us.
I guess the other thing I would say is to capitalize on what you think would not be an event and make it an event. For example, Bard College launched a conservatory last year and the conservatory students, with some outstanding musicians, were performing at the Library of Congress and we turned that into an alumni, parent and grandparent event.
We got a block of tickets. We invited them to the performance. We got alumni to underwrite a reception. So having a pre-performance reception made it into an event where we’re showing off Bard students and Bard programs.
This is a very exciting time to be raising money, and if you believe in your organization and its mission, and you have a good program, then this is the right time to be raising money.