And we had strong leadership within the fundraising department. We had a vice president who was very strong in fundraising, so we had some deep connections. We have alumni who care deeply about the college and its success. The mission of educating women to lead and influence has been what we’ve been all about, but it was really around reconnecting alumni to our mission.
FS: How does your institution leverage the strength of your president’s leadership in communications?
MMH: Both through personal interaction with key donors and also by her public presence. I think people feel that they really know what her vision is for the college, and believe in it. We have a very strong mission. When [St. Kate President Andrea J. Lee] came in, she reinforced the mission of the college to educate women to lead and influence, and created a vision to become the world preeminent Catholic college educating women to lead and influence.
I think the vision was so compelling; it was what all of the people associated or affiliated with the college really wanted — for St. Kate’s to step into a strong, national leadership role, and that’s what we’ve been doing.
FS: How did you connect alumni with the university’s mission for this capital campaign?
MMH: Every way we could. Personal interaction. We had a number of events. We developed an e-communication that we sent out routinely. And the end of our campaign was also our centennial. So we celebrated the college’s centennial in the final year, and that really allowed the college to engage in storytelling and deepening the myths of the college. So we received a great deal of publicity around that time.
FS: What about the campaign was unique?
MMH: We had a challenge match in the middle of the campaign, and that’s highly unusual. Usually campaigns have a match at the end to try to reach the goal, and what we really wanted to do was to bring donors who had been at a nice level but [were] not really significant donors yet to a knew level of giving. So it was about educating, especially women, about the importance of giving, about the importance of what we were trying to accomplish, and it matched contributions of $15,000 or higher. So it targeted not the most major donors that are going to give gifts of half a million to a million or more. It really targeted a middle group and [tried] to bring a middle group further. And that gave a lot of momentum in the middle of our campaign.