The College of St. Catherine, located on two campuses in the twin cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minn., is the nation’s largest Catholic college for women. Founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1905, St. Kate’s offers traditional, four-year, liberal-arts programs and associate, certificate and graduate degrees in the liberal arts, health care and other professional programs.
The school’s major source of funds is individuals, with gifts ranging from the low double digits to major — $25,000 or more over a three-year period. They come through direct mail, a student telefund center and individual asks.
The college recently completed a comprehensive campaign to raise $80 million to start four new centers of excellence centered around women: in science and technology, in health, in spirituality, and in economic justice and public policy. The campaign exceeded its goal, raising $86 million.
Here, Vice President for External Relations Marjorie Mathison Hance talks about the campaign and the reasons behind its success.
FundRaising Success: Who gave to the campaign?
Marjorie Mathison Hance: We had some key lead gifts. One of the lead gifts that was very unusual came from the Sisters of St. Joseph for $20 million, and they are our sponsoring organization. And then we had a leadership circle that was comprised of key donors and thought leaders, and they helped lead the campaign. Most of it then came from lots of hard work cultivating and making asks. Probably $11 [million] to $12 million came from corporate and foundation sources, and the rest came from individuals.
FS: Why do you think this particular campaign was so successful?
MMH: Well, I think first of all the college had a very compelling strategic plan. We have really had dynamic leadership from our president, and I think that has transformed the college and really pulled it into some very exciting and new directions and enhanced the areas that were already strong. We had the right president at the right time. I think leadership is critical. I think the belief in the president makes a huge difference.