Emory Report
September 12, 2005
Volume 58, Number 3


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September 12, 2005
Campaign Primer: Prelude to Emory's future

Johnnie Ray is senior vice president for Development and University Relations.

As the finishing touches are put on Emory’s strategic plan, it’s time to turn our attention toward securing the resources to turn that plan—and the vision it represents—into reality.

Emory will tailor the upcoming comprehensive campaign around the ideals of the vision statement while integrating the strategic plans of the various schools and units with University-wide priorities. To be sure, the campaign will not be the only source of strategic plan funding, nor will it be limited to collecting only funds to be used for plan implementation. But neither project will succeed without the other, and Emory is made stronger by their synergy.

On Sept. 1, Emory began counting gifts and pledges toward the campaign. However, its official public “launch” will come two years hence, in fall 2007, after a period Emory has decided to call the Campaign Prelude.

The Prelude will last two years. It will be an intense time of planning, staffing, developing a case for support, designing publications and other support materials, and soliciting early stage “leadership gifts.” The official campaign goal will be determined near the end of the Prelude, following a real-time feasibility study where we will use a series of metrics to track the many variables that will allow us to confidently establish an ambitious, but realistic goal.

Two autumns from now, we will announce our official goal, the progress made toward that goal, and the campaign volunteer structure. The campaign will then extend an additional five years through the end of 2012. In 2007 we also will roll out the formal University case for support along with accompanying unit-specific case statements and goals—all of which will be assembled through the efforts of many people throughout Emory, not just those of us directly involved in fund raising.

Starting now, all gifts and pledges to the University and its component units will count toward the overall campaign goal. Our benefactors will be individuals (alumni, friends, parents, patients), corporations, foundations and other organizations. No federal or state government grants will count in the campaign, nor will any grants that carry with them any contractual “deliverables.”

Gifts will come for many purposes: endowed chairs, professorships, scholarships, fellowships, lectureships, and other kinds of programmatically targeted outright and endowed funds. Some gifts will come in unrestricted, with discretion given to choose the most strategic use, and others will go toward capital construction or renovation projects.

Fundamentals: Priorities & volunteers
The most successful campaigns are those that establish a culture of respect for donors through timely acknowledgments, dignified and proper cultivations, and carefully coordinated solicitations. We must listen, provide impeccable service, and give donors and friends opportunities to participate in ways that are both meaningful to them and of value to the University. All our underlying business policies and procedures that will create this atmosphere have been under review for the last 12 months and are either completed or near completion.

All comprehensive campaigns have extensive associated volunteer organizations. Along with President Jim Wagner, the Development and University Relations staff and the academic leadership are in the process of recruiting our top volunteers. We hope to have commitments from individuals to serve in all volunteer leadership roles by Sept. 1, 2006.

However, just as Emory’s strategic plan belongs to the entire University, so too should the entire community claim ownership of the campaign. We welcome any and all suggestions for putting Emory’s best face forward.

Emory’s campaign
Emory is among the last of America’s great research universities to conduct such a wide-reaching comprehensive campaign, which means we must differentiate our efforts. President Wagner’s expressions of the advantages of being a “university vs. a multiversity” and the notion of “contributing excellence” give us a basis for that differentiation.

Our campaign cannot just be a chase for numbers. That would serve no purpose—Emory would simply be another institution in a pack of many. Rather, we must use this campaign as an opportunity to focus on purpose, quality and achievement. One of Emory’s special qualities is its willingness to face great challenges and use our ambition and resources to serve in a positive manner. Emory must always continue to move forward by addressing our most pressing issues while, at the same time, pursuing our most promising opportunities. This is not a time for Emory to talk about what we need—we have to demonstrate the opportunities both to make us a better Emory and our society a better place.

This campaign is a team effort. Every member of the Emory community is an ambassador in our efforts. Everybody will affect the image we project, the way we carry ourselves, the way the grounds appear, the way we answer the phone and provide service, the kind of vision we put forward. Only together can we succeed in helping Emory achieve not only its campaign goals, but also its larger goal of being a great University in service to the world.