First Friday Update by President Scott Ransom
Your Campus Pride dollars at work
It has been six months since more than 700 Health Science Center employees participated in an historic show of support for our first annual Campus Pride Campaign. Together we raised $33,351 for student scholarships, $64,104 for our Fund for Excellence and $44,593 for the State Employee Charitable Campaign. Thanks again for giving so generously.
Because just about everyone chose to pay out their gifts by payroll deduction, the actual gift dollars are coming in gradually. These important funds are growing slowly… but surely. That’s what counts.
Your scholarship donations will be divided among our educational programs. You’ll not only help your Health Science Center stay competitive in recruiting the best and brightest students… but also enable us to reward hardworking men and women who are determined to achieve their dreams.
But what about your gifts to the Fund for Excellence? This is the first of regular reports to you about how those dollars will be put to work furthering our Health Science Center’s mission and vision.
First, I want you to know how this fund works.
Basically, the Fund for Excellence is a permanent source of seed money that we can use to make things happen that might not otherwise happen. We’ll grow this critical fund over the years through successful fundraising campaigns – both internal and external. The intent is not to have it be the sole support for any program… but be the seed or supplemental, fill-in-the-gap support for many great initiatives and needs. I like to say that it’s the fund we can turn to when opportunity knocks… and we’d better answer.
Here are three examples of how we’re already using some of our Fund for Excellence dollars to make a difference today.
• Most schools’ strategic fundraising programs, especially capital campaigns, are based on knowledge gained through a feasibility study. Such studies involve interviews with community and business leaders, the general public, potential donors, and others to determine a realistic expectation of support and to identify specific sources of potential funding.
As you well know, we have a master plan in the works to develop a multi-million-dollar West Campus that will accommodate our Health Science Center’s growth for many years. Turning those outstanding plans into bricks and mortar will require much more than state allocations will provide. We will need investments by individuals and organizations.
With today’s competition for private dollars so intense – locally, regionally and nationally – it just makes good sense to first test the waters before we dive in. If we know what to expect, we know how to plan. The feasibility study we have commissioned, conducted by a leading firm that specializes in healthcare fundraising and the first-ever for this institution, should conclude by mid-July. The results will help guide our decisions on what we do, when we do it, how we do it, and who we involve.
• Speaking of who, what, when, where and how…part of your donations to the Fund for Excellence are also allowing us to conduct research to pinpoint the exact words and actions we should utilize in order to successfully increase awareness, change existing mindsets, and motivate support of the organization.
Again, it’s all about being competitive…using strategy not guesswork…and, ultimately, ensuring our success in the higher education and healthcare marketplace. UNT Denton used this same behavioral science-based research to reverse a decline in enrollment.
• Fund for Excellence dollars are also enabling us to continue to be the largest donor to Fort Worth’s Hispanic Wellness Fair, which we co-founded eight years ago. Our institution is providing the location, our foundation is doing the bookkeeping, and the fund is helping with the undertaking. And you, our employees and student volunteers, continue to offer a portion of the clinical and disease prevention expertise.
Each of us who donates to the Fund for Excellence is a shareholder in the success of these important projects – and many more to come. And when each job is completed, and the resulting impact is analyzed and communicated, each of us should feel pride in helping make it all happen.
Thanks again. I’ll keep you apprised of our progress.
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