Posts Tagged ‘Major Gifts’



A picture of the outside of the Joe Craft Center on the campus at the University of Kentucky.

The University of Kentucky has recently announced that they will be building a new building to house their basketball team. The team has spent the past 31 years living in Joe B. Hall Wildcat Lodge, located across the street from Memorial Coliseum and the new Craft Center.

The Difference Makers, a committed group of UK supporters, donated the money for the new Lodge. Joe Craft, who supplied the $6 million to name the new basketball facility, heads the group and spurred the initiative. The new housing is to be named the Wildcat Coal Lodge to honor the unique tie Kentucky has to the coal industry and its importance in the state’s economy.

There are a couple of unique points in this story. For one, Joe Craft, along with his group of supporters, is once again supplying the school with a large donation to support the basketball program. The repeat donation is a testament to the stewardship practices at the University where the donor still felt connected to the school; even after his naming gift for the new practice facility was made. Additionally, the department was able to leverage their good relationship with Craft to find a group of committed donors willing to further support the program.

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Bob Stoops, football head coach at the Univers...

Bob Stoops recently made a six-figure gift to the Price College of Business.

On the heels of their recent tennis facility dedication, the Oklahoma Sooners announced that Bob Stoops is giving $150,000 to the Price College of Business. The donation will go towards allowing junior faculty members the opportunity to continue their research and teach at the undergraduate level.

This move, which obviously supports the college of business, furthers the goodwill Oklahoma has created with the academic areas of campus. Earlier this year, ADF wrote about Oklahoma’s $7 million dollar donation back to the general university.

Tennessee Athletics donated $10.35 million back to the school.

Tennessee Athletics donated $10.35 million back to the school.

This continues to be a growing trend in college athletics. Kansas has recently approved the construction of the Gridiron Club, which was passed with a substantial donation back to the general University. Tennessee, who gave $10.35 million, and Florida, who gave $6 million, have given surplus dollars back campus in addition to many others.

Moves like these build goodwill with key constituents across campus and helps cool the anti-athletics talk at many schools. If athletics departments can continue to give back to the campus, it makes it more difficult for critics to discourage the construction of facilities and high coaches salaries as the value provided through athletics to the university enriches the entire institution.

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Every month Athletics Development Frontier chooses a few facility projects being completed across the nation. This month we have chosen Colorado State, which will open two facilities this month, Arizona, which recently announced a 12-project plan and Tennessee, which has begun the second phase of their baseball stadium renovations.

Colorado State University

A webcam shot of the Academic & Training Center

A webcam shot of the Academic & Training Center

The CSU Rams are celebrating the grand opening of two facilities this month, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and facility tours on September 18. One facility, the Academic & Training Center, will house a state-of-the-art weight room in addition to two levels of academic space, complete with a computer lab, tutoring rooms and staff offices.

The Indoor Practice Facility, the second facility, gives CSU student-athletes an opportunity to train throughout the year without the impact of weather. In addition, it also places CSU on the same level as those in the Mountain West Conference by giving their football team a place to practice indoors while expanding space to hold multiple other sports practices at one time. The facility will contain a field, court, training track and a lobby area.

An ariel shot of the Arizona's Athletics Complex

An ariel shot of the Arizona's Athletics Complex

University of Arizona

In an ambitious announcement, the University of Arizona has recently announced a 12-project plan that will require $378 million over the next 20 years. The plan calls for a building in the north end zone of Arizona’s football stadium and an upgrade to the McKale Center, the school’s basketball arena. In addition to these two projects, the school plans on improving the aquatic center, baseball stadium, track and field stadium, soccer field, as well as the softball stadium. This article gives a good breakdown of all the projects and allocation of funds.

In announcing a 12-project plan, the university is preparing to grow and renovate nearly all their sports facilities over the next 20 years. Announcing the all planned projects enables the university to focus on raising support and decreasing the effect of announcing new capital campaigns every year.

University of Tennessee

The Tennessee Volunteers have recently started the second of four planned expansions with their baseball stadium. This set of renovations allows fans to sit closer to the field in a MVP area with permanent chairback seating. The second phase will also add a new batting cage and improvements to the visitor locker room. The first phase focused primarily on player development, while the third area will include a luxury suite and the fourth will add stands on the left-field line.

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Mississippi State University Mississippi State Logorecently announced their receipt of a $2 million gift to aid in the construction of a new practice facility for the men’s and women’s basketball program. The gift comes from a major supporter of the university, both academically and athletically.

Richard Adkerson has been a long time supporter of the school, having graduated from the school of accountancy and received his MBA. Previously, Adkerson had made a major gift to the College of Business and chaired the MSU Foudation Board of Directors for a 7 year campaign.

Adkerson is a good example of donors from around the country who support athletics. Often times they are also donors on the other side of campus as well. Teamwork with the school’s central foundation is critical in asking for a major gift and MSU has leveraged their already existing relationships with Adkerson to jump-start their practice facility.

MSU will now begin the stewardship process with Adkerson, allowing him access to the facility and helping him see the impact his generosity is having on the sport programs.

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Often during the construction of a new facility, athletics departments will make bricks available for inscription to provide donors with the ability to personalize the new building. It is also a great way for the public support of the program to be commemorated in a permanent location.

Many schools currently offer some type of brick engraving opportunity. However, the pricing on the bricks and location widely vary from school to school. Here are some examples:

Indiana University:
A recently started project, this program offers donors and the general public the opportunity to engrave a brick in Glory Plaza, the entrance to the new North End Zone Facility set to open next week. Most bricks offer three lines of text, with varying levels and sizes, which range between 4×8, 8×8, and 8×8 with an IU logo on the top of the brick. 16 characters are allowed per line, giving participants plenty of room for their personal message. Prices vary between $100 for the 4×8 brick, $300 for the 8×8 brick, and $325 for the 8×8 brick with the IU logo.
northwestern logo
Northwestern University: Similar to Indiana, Northwestern offers a brick engraving option at their Champions Plaza, located atop the south end zone of Ryan Stadium. These bricks, which are the same size options as IU, offer 13 characters per line and donation levels vary widely. The 4×8 brick is $300, 8×8 is $500 and the 8×8 Logo brick is $1,000.

Texas State University: This brick program differs from a couple others in the fact that is offers a wide variety of sizes and inscription levels. The bricks range from the $250 4×8 option with 12 characters per line to the $1,000 8×16 option which allows for up to 28 characters per line. All bricks are placed in front of the south end zone facility.UGA$!logo

University of Georgia: While Northwestern and IU may offer one brick campaign opportunity, the University of Georgia offers four different campaigns in four different places around campus. Here the donors can pick where they would like the bricks engraved, whether it is at fabled Sanford Stadium, the Softball/Soccer complex, or the Men’s and Women’s Tennis center. All sizes are 4×8 and cost $150 to install. Bricks are engraved twice a year in August and Feburary, except at Sanford Stadium, which is done once per year.

These programs are an excellent way for the athletics department to continue to fundraise for facilities once they are built. Donors also enjoy finding their bricks and knowing that they have left their mark on the institution through their charitable gifts.

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University of Texas Longhorn LogoUpon reciept of a major gift, most schools will proceed with numerous tried and true methods of thanking the donor publicly. This includes a donor press release, a ground breaking ceremony, and recognition during sporting events.

The University of Texas has added one more interesting action to honor long-time donor Red McCombs. Recently, in a press release titled, “Longhorn luminary: Red McCombs,” Texas is recognizing the previous gifts made to the University and publicly acknowledging his long time support of Texas Athletics.

Michigan recently announced the naming of their new indoor facility.

Michigan recently announced the naming of their new indoor facility.

The University of Michigan has also recently honored a long-time donor in the naming of their new indoor practice facility-Al Glick Field House. In the release, UM highlights the 50 year relationship with the school and how their support has aided athletics.

While securing the gift and promoting the opening of the facility is a very important part of the major gifts process, it is also important to remember stewardship. In the slower summer months, press releases detailing the committment of the select few who have done so much for a school’s student-athletes can be highlighted fairly easily. This is an excellent form of stewardship, which may in fact encourage others to give back to the program as well.

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Seton Hall recently wrapped a campaign that will benefit their entire operation.

Seton Hall wrapped a campaign that will benefit their entire operation.

Seton Hall recently wrapped up an interesting campaign that saw funds raised for all aspects of their athletics operation. The Richie and Sue Regan campaign raised over $6 million for Seton Hall athletics, $1 million more than the stated goal.

While raising that amount of support in this economy is remarkable, the multi-faceted disbursement of the money is unique as well. The funds will go towards many projects, including: a new coaching center to house the athletics coaching staff, renovation of the campus-wide fitness center, upgrades for women’s basketball, field resurfacing, soccer stadium lights, and the university athletics endowment.

The wide scope of this campagin allows for the engagement of many donors whose interests may lie in more than one area. Some may prefer to give to endowments, which will pay dividends for a lifetime. Others may prefer to help their favorite coach or sport. By running a full-department campaign, the development office has the ability to present many opportunities to one donor.

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