News from Development and Alumni Relations

Major announcement: Enterprise CRM chosen

Marti Heil

Marti Heil

Many colleagues are talking about the rigorous RFP process that Development and Alumni Relations and VCU Technology Services have been leading over these past six months to select a replacement for our 30-year-old database — an enterprise CRM (constituent relationship management) fundraising database solution. I am excited to announce that the university has finalized a contract with Blackbaud to purchase the Blackbaud eCRM as the database for VCU DAR.

Blackbaud eCRM is a robust and comprehensive solution that combines all the functionality and features required by a complex fundraising operation like VCU’s. Blackbaud eCRM is one of the leading providers in our industry and is used by institutions such as Yale University, Ohio State University, University of Georgia, University of Michigan, UNC-Chapel Hill and Indiana University. This product will allow VCU not only to improve our fundamental business processes but also to enhance all fundraising and universitywide constituent management.

I would like to thank the members of the selection committee for their tireless effort: Jackie Colbert, Alex Henson, Gordon McDougall, Samantha Marrs and Lauren Shiver. The next several weeks will be spent finalizing the project timeline and preparing for Blackbaud team to be on-site and to begin the 12- to 15-month conversion. To learn more, please review information about the project on our website.

New leadership team
I am pleased to announce two recent additions to our DAR leadership team.

Christopher Ritrievi recently started as senior associate vice president for campaign leadership and constituent relations. As senior AVP, Chris serves as campaign director and works closely with deans, development directors and other senior leaders in portfolio management. Chris previously worked in fundraising at institutions including Princeton, Stanford and Michigan State. Most recently, he helped to plan a $1 billion campaign at Indiana University’s Bloomington Campus. He holds an M.B.A. from Lehigh University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Princeton.

Henry Davis III, CPA, joins us as the new director of budget and finance. Henry most recently worked at GRTC Transit System where, as CFO and controller, he was responsible for a $47 million annual budget. Henry has a degree in commerce and accounting from the University of Virginia, and he joins our team at a key point in our campaign budget planning.

Best,

Marti K.S. Heil
Vice President
Development and Alumni Relations

P.S.: I hope you will join VCU Alumni as we welcome the Class of 2018 to campus at the annual Ram Spirit Walk on Aug. 19. Learn more.
By the numbers: July 1-June 15
*Complete end-of-fiscal year numbers were not available yet, but we did not want to delay our announcement.

  • $61.6 million raised toward goal of $70.3 million
  • 10,625 active, dues-paying members of VCU Alumni
  • 10,474 alumni donors
  • $8.2 million raised from alumni donors

Efforts by the Gold Line call center (annual fund) resulted in:

  • 4,464 new gift and pledges for a total of $361,803
  • 1,859 first-time donors making a pledge or gift
  • 36 percent of all Gold Line gifts made via credit card
  • 851,000 dials or attempts

Giving highlights
* Significant gifts and pledges recorded in the past quarter include:

  • The Beverly J. Warren Scholarship was established through gifts and pledges of more than $115,000 from the VCU community in honor of Provost Beverly J. Warren, who left VCU to become the 12th president of Kent State University. Read more.
  • Marty Johnson, M.D. (H.S.’80/M), and Olinda Young (B.S.’75/E; M.P.A.’81/H&S), donated to VCU a Sefer Torah, a powerful symbol and moving presence in Jewish worship and community life. It will be held and safeguarded by the VCU Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives. Read more.
  • The Children’s Hospital Foundation Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research was established in the Massey Cancer Center and will be used to attract and retain scientists or physician-scientists whose focus relates to pediatric cancer research.
  • Through a $500,000 gift from HCA, the HCA Distinguished Executive in Residence Professorship was established in the School of Allied Health Professions’ Department of Health Administration. Each year, one or more distinguished active or retired industry executives will be selected to serve as the Executive in Residence for a period of one to four weeks.

Alumni highlights

  • VCU Alumni conducted its inaugural annual meeting and a leaders’ colloquium in May.
  • At spring Commencement, VCU Alumni welcomed our newest graduates and their families, distributing more than 5,000 goodie bags and offering a “selfie” station.
  • In April, VCU Alumni celebrated Alumni Month with more than 60 activities and events, including Rams Night Out, Monroe Scholars Book and Author Luncheon and a winery tour.
  • Also during Alumni Month, more than 630 alumni and guests came to campus for the annual Reunion Weekend. MCV Campus alumni who are graduates of 1964 and before and those who graduated in a year ending in 4 or 9 were invited back, along with all RPI alumni and members of the African-American Alumni Council. See pictures from the weekend. Save the date for next year’s Reunion: April 17-19, 2015
  • This year’s Rams at Work program saw more than 175 boxes of VCU spirit items shipped to alumni in their workplaces throughout the country.
  • VCU Alumni kept busy in March, too, hitting the road for the A-10 and NCAA tournaments and hosting events in NYC and San Diego. Regional chapters nationwide threw watch parties for local alumni to cheer on the Rams.

Event highlights

  • Sixty-one Virginia Commonwealth University faculty were invested in endowed professorship and chair positions at a May ceremony at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. About 300 guests, including donors, faculty, friends and family, gathered to recognize their accomplishments and to thank generous donors for their support.
  • More than 350 Virginia Commonwealth University scholarship donors and student recipients gathered in February 2014 for the 15th annual Monroe Park Campus Endowed Scholarship Dinner at The Jefferson Hotel. Hosted by the VCU Foundation, the School of Business Foundation and the School of Engineering Foundation, the event brought students and donors together in an atmosphere of gratitude and celebration. See photos from the event.
  • The MCV Foundation hosted a capacity crowd of 390 at the ninth annual Scholarship Brunch in February bringing together donors of named scholarships and their respective scholars. See photos from the event.
  • The MCV Society gathered for a reception in April at Historic Tredegar. This annual event recognized all donors who have made planned gifts to benefit the MCV Campus.
  • The Shining Knight Gala, held March 29, highlighted Candi Spraggins and her team of caregivers. The gala raised $143,000 to support the Injury and Violence Prevention Program at the VCU Level 1 Trauma Center.
  • The 2014 Massey Challenge powered by HDL, Inc. culminated at this year’s Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k presented by MARTIN’S on March 29. More than 3,000 participants ran, walked, or cheered to raise funds and awareness for research at VCU Massey Cancer Center in Massey’s largest annual fundraiser, raising nearly $500,000 this year.

Planned giving yields VCU’s largest-ever cash gift

In the early 1950s, Arthur Graham and Margaret Branch Glasgow named the Medical College of Virginia in their estate plan. Their wishes were to advance efforts to cure and prevent cancer and other degenerative diseases. They died soon thereafter.

Sixty years later, after the death of their last heir, the couple made possible the largest cash gift in the history of Virginia Commonwealth University.

“For Richmond, and our entire community, it’s amazing to think of the foresight that the Glasgows had more than 60 years ago,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., at a special ceremony held in August at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
The museum and 13 other local groups also were beneficiaries.

“The impact of their generosity enhances the quality of lives, our culture, our health and our service to the community in so many different ways,” Rao added. “Their gift will be used in the same forward-thinking, generous and compassionate spirit in which it was given to support the cure and prevention of cancer and other degenerative diseases.”

Sixty years after their deaths, the couple’s planned gifts totaled $125 million. Nearly $70 million — another record cash gift — will go to VMFA to strengthen its vast collections, $45 million will be dedicated to VCU’s cancer research and prevention programs and the remaining $10 million will be distributed to 13 nonprofit organizations in Richmond and elsewhere.

The impact of the VCU gift is far-reaching.

“Arthur and Margaret Glasgow had an incredible vision for what they could accomplish through the creation of their trusts, although I suspect the full impact of their generosity goes beyond their expectations,” said William P. Kotti, Ph.D., associate vice president and president of the MCV Foundation. “The power of their extraordinary gifts is truly inspirational and will transform the lives of generations of students and patients on the medical campus of VCU.”

The Glasgow gift to support finding a cure for cancer also has the potential to affect the VCU Massey Cancer Center‘s quest to achieve “comprehensive” status from the National Cancer Institute. The Massey Cancer Center has maintained its current NCI status as a designated cancer center since 1975. A comprehensive status would help attract critical NCI funding. Through their planned gift, the Glasgows significantly bolstered the center’s ability to raise additional funds as well as awareness of its nationally recognized programs.

From naming a beneficiary in a will to setting up a trust, donors have many options for contributing to the future financial health of VCU and its programs.

“Planned giving is becoming more commonplace,” said Tom Burke (B.S.’79/E; M.P.A.’95/H&S), associate vice president for VCU’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations and executive director of the VCU Foundation. “Our planned giving Heritage Society grows every year as alumni and friends see the benefit of making significant gifts utilizing bequests.”

Read more.

Lobs & Lessons tourney serves up fun for families

 

Virginia Commonwealth University‘s Mary and Frances Youth Center program hosted its first Lobs & Lessons Family Open on Saturday, Sept. 17. The inaugural tournament attracted 68 players, more than 50 volunteers and raised $2,400 to support Lobs & Lessons programming.

“The Lobs and Lessons Family Open was a wonderful event,” said Tom Burke (B.S.’79/E; M.P.A.’95/H&S), executive director of the VCU Foundation, who played in the tournament with Will Hoffler, an 11-year-old student at St. Michael’s in Richmond. “We had a great time participating as well as helping to raise some funds for the program.”

The tournament reflects the ongoing partnership between the Lobs & Lessons program and the Richmond Tennis Association to develop QuickStart Tennis in the greater Richmond area. QST is a teaching format that allows more children the opportunity to experience the game, as the courts and equipment are smaller so they can feel confident.

“The 2011 Lobs & Lessons Family Open was a great event and is sure to become one of the most anticipated events on the Richmond tennis calendar for years to come, promoting tennis, family fun and a healthy, active lifestyle is an unbeatable combination,” said Eric Perkins, president of Richmond Tennis Association, who played in the tournament with his daughter.

The tournament was designed to promote healthy lifestyles and sportsmanship and to demonstrate that tennis is fun at any age, while providing a low-cost tournament opportunity for the greater Richmond area.

All participants played on 36-feet QST courts, using 23-inch racquets and foam balls. Adult-child doubles teams played six, 12-minute matches, using a round-robin, nonelimination format. Points from each match were kept to produce a cumulative total for each team, which eventually led to crowning a winner.

“Lobs and Lessons builds hope, confidence and character for young people,” said Magnus H. Johnsson (Cert.’10/H&S; M.P.A.’10/H&S), a volunteer and executive director of external affairs and development for the School of Education. “This was on full display on Saturday. The Family Open brought together adults and children for a wonderful day of tennis and learning. I left exhausted, satisfied and touched at the same time seeing the impact the Family Open had on the children and families present.”

1,400 bricks sold for VCU Pathways Brick Campaign

Do you want a tangible memory of your fond times at Virginia Commonwealth University? Consider purchasing and inscribing a brick to be installed in Shafer
Court as part of the VCU Pathways Brick Campaign.

This is a fun way to share your memories with family and friends that’s
centralized in the Monroe Park Campus.

More than 500 alumni have already chosen to honor parents, family
members, fellow students, sorority sisters, fraternity brothers, pets
and faculty who made a difference in their lives for a total of 1,400 bricks sold.

The Pathways Campaign is a fundraising effort of the VCU Foundation aimed at providing alumni and friends a visible way to give to the university.

Funds from this project will help the VCU Foundation support the
academic programs on the Monroe Park Campus, such as the VCU Rice Center, the Honors Program and the Athletics Department.

For more information about ordering a brick, please contact the VCU Foundation office at (804) 828-6491 or complete an order form today.

Take part in the Pathways Brick Campaign

Do you want a tangible memory of your fond times at Virginia Commonwealth University? Consider purchasing and inscribing a brick to be installed in Shafer Court, a fun way to share your memories with family and friends that’s centralized in the Monroe Park Campus.

More than 500 alumni have already chosen to honor parents, family members, fellow students, sorority sisters, fraternity brothers, pets and faculty who made a difference in their lives. The Pathways Campaign is a fundraising effort of the VCU Foundation aimed at providing alumni and friends a visible way to give to the university.

Funds from this project will help the VCU Foundation support the academic programs on the Monroe Park campus and assist with the VCU Rice Center, the Honors Program and the Athletics department.

For more information about ordering a brick, please contact the VCU Foundation office at (804) 828-6491.

Fill out an order form today.

Online auction offers Final Four memorabillia, supports Lobs and Lessons

Lobs and
Lessons, a program based in the VCU Mary and Frances Youth Center, is going
live with its first online auction Friday, May 20.

 

Seven
items are available, including two tickets for the soldout Davis Cup in
Austin, Texas, July 8-10, and a white VCU basketball signed by Shaka Smart and
all 14 members of the 2010-2011 men’s basketball team. Other signed basketball
items are available.

 

Items can be previewed now. Bidding will open May 20 and close June 10. A
minimum bid is set for each item, and items can either be shipped or picked up.
All proceeds will benefit Lobs & Lessons participants and
programming. 

 

Lobs and
Lessons is an after-school and summer enrichment program for at-risk elementary
and middle school youth that focuses on character development, a path to higher
education and the sport of tennis. Lobs & Lessons is a member of the United
States Tennis Association and is a National Junior Tennis and Learning
chapter. 

 

Lobs and
Lessons is one of only 38 NJTL chapters in the nation to use the First Serve
Life Skills curriculum that aids in behavioral and attitudinal changes that
help youth understand the importance of working hard, staying in school and
increasing self-worth. Children learn tennis terms and strokes and how to rally
through drills, games and QuickStart Tennis. All of these character-building
activities, on and off the court, emphasize how setting goals for the future
and attending college can lead to a more successful path. 

 

Although
the Mary and Frances Youth Center was built in 2007, Lobs and Lessons has
been offering programming since 2004 and has been funded by private donations,
grants and VCU. Lobs and Lessons works with local schools and after-school
programs to enroll youth in the program. 

 

The Mary
and Frances Youth Center is administered by VCU’s Division of Community
Engagement
and receives development support from the VCU Foundation.