The University will build a culture of philanthropy by engaging students, alumni and friends in the life, work and support of the institution.

Advancement will develop and execute a plan to cultivate increased giving from alumni, community and trustees. Over the next two years, the University will develop the structure and processes to implement a major comprehensive campaign that will support the short- and long-term strategic goals of the University while also strengthening our endowment.

In this planning effort, we emphasize alumni engagement. We look to our alumni to stay connected and involved with our community both on campus and with one another across the country and around the world. Alumni have a special affinity for the institution that is grounded in their experiences on campus. We desire to foster that good will to advance the University in myriad ways.

Build an Advancement organization that supports the strategic initiatives of the University and delivers increased engagement for all its constituencies.

The University will build an Advancement organization that supports the strategic initiatives of the University and delivers increased engagement in the long-term support of the institution for all its constituencies.

As economic pressures continue to mount, we must look at diverse sources of funding, such as philanthropy, as a supplement to tuition revenue. An advancement organization that builds lifelong relationships with alumni and friends of the University will sustain us in good times and bad.

3.1 Updates

The Advancement team continues to improve toward supporting the priorities of Vision 2020+. We are filling key positions vital to the cultural shift we have made over the last 2.5 years for a more donor-centered fundraising operation and one that will meet the needs of institutional priorities for years to come.

Our Alumni Relations staff is making great progress in engaging and involving more of our alumni and friends in the life of the institution. The major gifts team is making discovery visits, building new relationships, closing gifts and sharing the news of the priorities of the institution. A new Assistant Vice President for Development began work in January 2019 and we have posted open positions in Major Giving and Leadership Annual Giving. We are also searching for a new Data Analyst in the Advancement Services office.

Build a “best in class” advancement organization driven by the donor life cycle, engaging the students, alumni, donors and friends in support of the institution.

Create and communicate a case for support based on the strategic initiatives of the University that will inspire philanthropic support.

Leverage analytics and new Raiser’s Edge NXT software to better understand potential donors and prepare for managing a significant fundraising effort for University of Lynchburg.

  • A reorganization and restructuring of the Advancement operation that will meet the alumni engagement and fundraising needs of the University of Lynchburg
  • Growth of endowment as a strategic need of the University
  • Institution-wide Planning, Implementation and Success in priority capital fundraising projects
  • Increase in Alumni Engagement through volunteerism, event attendance and giving
  • Building a culture of philanthropy among the student populations through involvement in local outreach and in giving to the institution
  • Increased number of interaction with donors and potential donors, specifically qualification of new donors
  • Increased pipeline of potential major gift donors through active and technology-based annual giving practices
  • Increased reporting of expectations and outcomes for initiatives related to the strategic plan
  • The Management structure of the Advancement Office has been completed with the hiring of the Director of Advancement Services in 2018 and the Assistant Vice President for Development in 2019. The full contingent of necessary operational components are now in place to provide needed fundraising service to the institution.
  • Alumni Engagement is trending at 14% for FY19. That is two percentage points higher than FY18.
  • The Raiser’s Edge database is now running at a more efficient and clean level, providing and more and readily available data to show the work of Advancement and make us more efficient in our efforts.

Increase the proportion of engaged alumni to 20 percent.

The University will increase the proportion of engaged alumni to 20 percent.

Engaged alumni maintain a deep affinity and connection with the University through volunteerism, communication, and philanthropy. It is clear that our ongoing cultivation and stewardship of alumni and friends must be a priority.

3.2 Updates

As of March 31, 2019, 2049 alumni have engaged with the University in one or more of three avenues: volunteering, attending events and/or making a gift. We are on track to improve over last year’s final number of 3039 engaged alumni.

Increase the number of programming options at Homecoming, Westover, and chapter events with the goal of increased attendance and satisfied attendees.

The University and the Alumni Association will revitalize the chapter structure, resulting in more participation in, and support for, chapter-level regional and on-campus events.

Determine the top 15 chapter areas, recruit leaders for the chapter, engage in proper training, and send a AR representative to attend each event.

Offer a regional event/weekend with faculty who speak on a current topic in two key areas (combines several chapter areas.)

Offer a Council training weekend for all alumni volunteers.

Put a system in place for tracing chapter and campus alumni events for comparison and evaluation in June.

Alumni Office will track and measure number of volunteers, number of events and attendance. Advancement will track and measure giving and percentage of giving.

  • The University will have an overarching goal to engage 20% of our alumni. By 2021, 15% of the alumni will be engaged.

Increased engagement with Lynchburg Alumni of Record.

  • Improving. For all of last year, just over 12% of alumni fell into one or more of these three engagement categories we track: attendance at an alumni-focused event, volunteering with the University, or making a donation. We expect to see similar engagement percentages at the end of this fiscal year. This is in part due to a larger number of alumni of record.

Advancement and Career Services to connect alumni and students.

Advancement will partner with Career Services to build the Lynchburg network, connecting alumni and students.

While it is clear that career services must be integrated into the academic life of our current students, it is important also that our advancement effort focus on career service as they relate to alumni. whether it be for internships, job placements, or simple mentoring, alumni of the University can and should be called upon to interact with our students.

3.3 Updates

As of March 31, 2019, 584 alumni returned to campus to speak in the classroom, speak at Hornet to Hornet, or have volunteered to career assist. This compares to 388 in fiscal year 2017-2018.

Bring alumni back to campus to share their expertise with students.

Partner with departments to consolidate data from many areas on campus with the goal of all data going into the Raiser’s Edge database.

Engage with the DPT, PA, EdD Leadership and master’s level alumni to build loyalty to the University and to support students that follow.

Alumni and student connections through LinkedIn:

  •  There are 14,500 alumni on the University of Lynchburg site and are available to support students. Increased number of alumni who volunteer to career assist which is defined by speaking to a class on campus, participating in Hornet to Hornet, or by connecting with current students for career advice.

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