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Beneficial Ties that Bind
The challenge was straight forward: enhance the relationships between a community college and the small businesses in the area. We designed a donor recognition system for our capital campaign that not only reinforced the donor's relationship with the institution, but also turned them into our advocates and spokespeople.

With the support of the local media, for one month we emphasized the relationships between donors and the college. The TV station ran customized four-second identifiers several times, featuring the college's logo and a photo of each donor with a voiceover. The newspaper ran 2- by 3-inch ads multiple times that also featured the college's logo and each donor's photo, thanking them for their support. The final piece in the recognition system was a large poster we created for each donor's business lobby. Each poster featured the college's logo and donor's photo, and included a quote from the donor on the value of having a vibrant college in the community.

Through this effort we accomplished several objectives:

- Attracted new donors
- Provided meaningful recognition for donors
- Deepened donor engagement
- Raised public awareness about the college
- Increased the college's perceived value

These are the building blocks that will serve the college well in future fundraising endeavors.

Rebecca J. Merrell, Senior Vice President and Regional Director, Netzel Grigsby Associates Inc.

Copyright 2004, Advancing Philanthropy, Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), formerly NSFRE, all rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

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