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Posts Tagged ‘Colleges and Universities’

An outside the stadium shot featured on www.newkenan.com.

An outside the stadium shot featured on http://www.newkenan.com.

The University of North Carolina‘s Athletics Department has recently launched a website dedicated to the explanation of their football stadium renovation. This site joins a growing trend in college athletics of schools using a website to inform the public of the project, give great visual examples, and grow awareness of the avenues for support.

The site, www.newkenan.com, serves as a valuable tool for educating donors on the processes that will change with the addition of the site. The site features some exciting video of the football team, a sweeping shot of the stadium designed to make viewers feel as if they are on the field, and a whole space dedicated to donor support.

The new stadium will feature premium seating, suites, and club/loge seating. If a donor is intrigued by the offers, they can fill out and mail in a Letter of Intent for priority consideration for the new premium seating options.

Yet the East End Zone Structure will not only house premium seating, but also a Student-Athlete Center for Excellence. This structure will house additional academic housing, an Olympic sports weight center, and a center for leadership training. By adding these features, the new building will not only help generate revenue, but also aid the student-athletes of the school.

There are many other websites promoting their projects. Examples include the new Knight Arena at Oregon, the Gridiron Club at Kansas, and the Memorial Stadium Renovation at Cal.

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The official logo for the University of Tennes...
Image via Wikipedia

The University of Tennessee has combined their giving efforts into the aptly named Tennessee Fund, which will consolidate their benefits, create greater equality and ease donor confusion. As a program with two separate departments for men’s and women’s sports, the streamlining of the funds into one will ensure greater continuity, both internally and externally.

One interesting part of the new fund is the guaranteed money returning to the academic side of the campus. Historically, the Tennessee Athletics Department has given back to academics every year. Under the new agreement, the department will average a $5 million yearly donation back to campus, further strengthening their relationship.

With the combination of benefit programs, the university will seek to find an equal way to combine priority points and create equity under for all supporters of UT. While change certainly always ruffles some feathers, the department is reaching out to donors first, explaining the changes and providing answers to frequently asked questions within press releases and other publications.

Tennessee has always done an excellent job fundraising, donating funds back to the University nearly every year. With the new efficiencies created internally and the single front presented to the donors, the program will only grow stronger in the years to come.

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Clemson logo

Clemson University used their Spring Football game to support employees who will struggle financially with a furlough. Image via Wikipedia

As budgets are shrinking at universities around the country, a popular way to handle cutting costs has been to institute a furlough for university employees. During this time, an employee is required to take a certain amount of time off without pay, essentially a mandatory leave from work.

While many employees are not happy to take a furlough, some can get through the year with the reduced income. However, some are not as lucky. Clemson University, a school who recently instituted a furlough, has found a unique way to handle this situation.

On the urging of new Head Coach Dabo Swinney, the school placed orange colored “All In” barrels throughout the concourse during the Spring Football game. The 24,000 people in attendance helped raise over $7,000 dollars to be donated to the One Clemson Furlough Fund. Clemson University, after recieving the money, has assembled a team of fund managers to disperse the money among applicants.

This is a great example of a department building relationships across the campus by donating funds to be used for those who are less fortunate. At many colleges, the academic side of campus can be hesitant or reluctant to support athletics. However, displays of such generosity go a long way to creating friends on the academic side of the university and enable the university to work together to get through tough economic times.

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Ole Miss has recently started using a staff blog to increase communication.

Ole Miss has recently started using a staff blog to increase communication.

As blogs become more prevalent, college athletics’ sports information offices are quickly jumping on board. Most schools have some type of official blog where information is provided to fans. Examples of these can be found at the University of Kentucky and University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill.

However, a interesting twist on this set up is currently occurring at the University of Mississippi. While the other blogs are focusing on the action on the field, this blog has been set up to provide insight into the staff and administration behind the scenes. Past topics have ranged from compliance issues to the challenges facing the UMAA Foundation.

This innovation can be used as an increased avenue for communication to donors and others fans of the department. Many times fans wonder what people do within an athletics department. This allows them a little peak behind the scenes while also serving as an extra touch and communication medium. Yet just like the Facebook post earlier, if a blog is to be launched, it will need to be promoted and updated, just as any regular website would.

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March 2009 Groundbreaking of Saluki Way

March 2009 Groundbreaking of Saluki Way

ADF will post a periodic listing of updates in the world of college athletic facilities and the fundraising tactics used to bring them to life. This month we take a look at a project that is unique in both size and scope: Saluki Way at Southern Illinois University.

Saluki Way
Back in September of 2005, Southern Illinois University announced an ambitious campus construction project that would change the face of the University and Saluki Athletics. The project is “Saluki Way,” a reorganization and improvement of campus athletic facilities and walkways. The plans call for a complete rebuild and relocation of the Saluki football field, renovation of SIU arena, and a new academic center (among others). The project broke ground last month accompanied by an announcement of a $2 million anonymous donation.

Such a massive undertaking comes with substantial costs as well. The university approved an $83 million fundraising campaign that will include a donation from the city of Carbondale ($20 million through a city tax increase), an increase in student fees ($41.5 million), and private donations.

One unique aspect of this project is the strategy for seeking private capital to fund the project. SIU is utilizing the time and effort of six key volunteer fundraisers to seek out money that is available in the community and university alumni. These representatives include bankers, members of the university alumni association  and local business owners . This approach is effective because each of the volunteers are, potentially, stakeholders in the success of the facilities since athletic events are a stimulant to the Carbondale economy.

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Athletics Development Frontier was created out of the need for an easily accessible, unified destination to discuss, learn and gather information surrounding the practices of athletics development. These vital fundraising arms are crucial to every athletics department across the nation, no matter how big or small the department. This site will seek to enhance the knowledge of all who visit.

The name Athletics Development Frontier describes this mission. While a frontier may describe the outer limit of our knowledge of fundraising, it also encompasses all we currently know. This site will seek to cover the current best practices as well as the innovations occurring throughout the nation on a daily basis.

The site will also dedicate time to the results of these fundraising activities, namely the facilities and success stories created with these funds. This will include updates on current construction, progress of capital campaigns, and the impact these new buildings have on current and future student-athletes. Posts are placed in categories which can be easily accessed in the right side toolbar.

To put it quite simply, this site will cover the innovations, practices and results of athletics development. In the future, posts will cover the aforementioned topics as well as industry news and interviews. Feel free to comment on any post, share your ideas and discuss any methods that will enhance athletics development—after all, the knowledge we can share will only lead to a better experience for all student-athletes.

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