Purdue Energizes With A 'Happening' Slogan
May 2, 2006
By Abny Santicola, editor, FS Advisor
The mission of Purdue University is to serve the citizens of Indiana, the United States, and the world through discovery that expands the realm of knowledge, learning through dissemination and expansion of knowledge, and engagement through the exchange of knowledge, according to Murray Blackwelder, senior VP for advancement.
When asked about the challenges the institution faces in terms of funding its education mission, Blackwelder noted:
*the uncertainty of the economy;
*competition for philanthropic dollars;
*explaining the increased costs of education; and
*the decline in state support.
Blackwelder says one of the ways the organization overcomes these challenges is by enhancing donor relations to ensure responsiveness to donor interests and characteristics. Other methods include cultivating relatively untapped, specialized donor bases such as women, faculty and young alumni; using gifts in hand to create challenge grants; providing estate-planning assistance; and using the cost of education and the decline in state support to elicit donor support.
"Purdue has generated a great deal of enthusiasm from alumni and opinion leaders thanks to our strategic plan and highly visible communications efforts, in large part due to our insightful, energetic president, Martin C. Jischke," Blackwelder says. "We have shown how seed money can leverage huge returns in donations, government funding and industry investment. Our alumni association is employing novel techniques to involve all alumni -- new as well as old."
Led by the theme, "It's Happening Here," Purdue University seeks to convey confidence. An approach that, Blackwelder says, energizes donors.