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Posts Tagged ‘University of Illinois’

williamsAt the University of Illinois, two famous alumni athletes are making the trip back to Champaign to help with fundraising efforts at their alma-mater. Deron Williams and Steve Stricker will each give back to the university in the form of their appearances at major fundraising events this fall.

Williams will host the Illini Hoop Legends for Charity Dinner and Auction as well as a golf tournament the next day. Both events will feature well-known Illini basketball alumni with the focus of the event being on the 1989 team that advanced to the Final Four. With so many basketball legends in attendance, Illinois is certainly aiming to draw high-capacity donors to the events. Proceeds from the events will be split between the basketball program at Illinois and Williams’ local charities.

Stricker, in similar fashion, is working with his alma-mater to host the annual Stricker Illini Golf Classic. Like Williams, Stricker’s event will include a gala reception and auction in conjunction with the event in order to maximize the fundraising efforts. The tournament, which is so popular that it will certainly sell out, will have two waves of tee times, again offering many donors the opportunity to participate. All proceeds from Sticker’s event will benefit the Illini golf program.

Both of these events follow a successful formula: bring high-profile alumni back to campus, provide donors with first class experiences, combine the event with a dinner/auction, and make the event an annual staple in fundraising efforts.

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IllinoisIn late April, ADF posted about the trend of athletics departments allowing their donors to choose their own seats for home basketball event during re-seating attempts. We found that universities were getting fantastic feedback from implementing programs such as this. The more choices fans have regarding their game day experience, the happier they will be.

The University of Illinois is taking this concept to the parking lots. In a program called “I Decide Parking,” members of Illinois’ annual fund (the I FUND) are given the opportunity to choose the game day parking lot that best fits their needs. Different lots tend to have different experiences, such as tailgating and parties, that cater to specific segments of donors. The lots in close proximity to the stadium will be more attractive to those who do not want to walk as far to the game. Just like ticket selection, the lots will be available on a priority point basis, and the parking spots will be guaranteed for anyone who donates to the I FUND.

Thus far the program seems to be a success, with over half the qualified members signed up for “their” lot in the first week. Illinois is leading the way with the trend towards improving customer service at the collegiate level, and more universities will certainly be following in their footsteps.

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