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Donations

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Gary Indiana, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. Gary Indiana

    Gary Indiana Club Member Club Member

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    I read on this board quite often about how generous allbuff donators are to the University and how they feel let down by CU because they don't see a tangible impact being made by their contributions. I found this article very interesting, and it may shed some light on why the other PAC-12 schools are upgrading their programs while we have no immediate plans. I'm not offering a solution because I don't know the magic words to get alumni to open their wallets, but I think the article goes a long way in identifying the problem plaguing Buffalo athletics the last seven years.

    http://www.dailycamera.com/cu-news/ci_21814392/cu-boulder-aims-double-rate-alumni-giving-by
     
  2. Gary Indiana

    Gary Indiana Club Member Club Member

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    P.S. I think the comment section of the linked article is most telling of the attitude that is dragging this University, as well as its athletics, to sub-par standards.
     
  3. dio

    dio Admin Club Member Junta Member

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    The saddest thing about that article is that DiStefano plans on being around until 2016
     
  4. Buffalo Brad

    Buffalo Brad Club Member Club Member

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    Again, it is a very big issue that the AD is asking people to donate without a vision or plan. They need to provide these pieces and then actually work at selling them. Sitting in Boulder with their heads in the sand and telling everyone that the donors/boosters are the problem is very misguided. Benson provided the vision for the new medical complex and went out and sold the hell out of it to big time donors. Result was one of the largest donation campaigns in CU history. The same could be done in athletics but it will take dedication and leadership from the admin to make it happen. That has not happened with the bunch in control and does not look like they care to put the focus on the AD.

    It is not the boosters or the donors. I believe this group is looking for a plan to believe and invest in. They just need a reason to believe.
     
  5. Clean Undies

    Clean Undies Flagship of the 12-Pac Club Member

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    Only 8 percent of alumni give?!? WTF?

    Are the 21k plus football season ticket holders that pay a manditory donation as part of the ticket purchase part of this statistic?

    Assuming the 8 percent number is legitimate, then what are the root causes?

    I'd speculate there are three general issues.

    1) Colorado alum believe their state income taxes go to CU. To some degree, this is true. CU, as a public institution, is supported by taxpayers. Who voluntarily pays extra taxes?

    2) Out of state alumni believe they got soaked. Out of state tuition rates are 4-5 times higher than instate rates for the exact same diploma. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    3) Poor PR & communication and leadership by the institution. The bureaucratic behavior of the leadership does not clearly articulate WHY alumni should give, beyond the projection of state funding drying up and hollow comparisons with "peer" schools. The people who donate should feel like they are equity partners in the direction of the university. The leadership seem to assume that donated money should just be sent in and used however the hell the administration sees fit.

    In my humble opinion, each of these three areas need to be addressed. The first two can be addressed by leveling the tuition amounts payed by in and out of state students. Getting rid of the subsidy and put students and future alumni on a level playing field.

    The third item requires leadership to work with alumni to prioritize which aspects of campus operations are important enough to fund through donations. Clearly state goals, track progress, and report upon successes. Cultivate the donor culture by offering surveys, posting the results, and acting upon the feedback.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  6. Creebuzz

    Creebuzz Club Member Club Member

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    I donate to CU as an alum. However, they don't make it easy. I get solicited by the kiddies on the phone, but it's not my favorite way to donate. I prefer a more targeted approach, but their website is generally confusing. It takes some serious dedication to determine how to give to a specific need. I think many here had similar problems when they wanted to target donations to the Men's BB Team.

    Also, I think many of the wealthiest students are the out-of-staters. Unfortunately, CU does little to connect with them. I lived in DC for 10 years and barely heard a peep from the alumni association (exception was watch parties...hint, hint...build a good team). They need to focus outreach in these urban wealth centers.

    Ultimately, I think the move to the PAC12 will pay dividends for the school. Frankly, we had very few grads in the old big 12 footprint.
     
  7. BlackNGold

    BlackNGold Club Member Club Member

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    There are not 21K season ticket holders - there are 9500. And I am sure they part of the statistic.

    CU does very little to make you feel part of things nor do they make you feel like one is appreciated for making the donation. It is going to take a lot of work to turn it around.
     
  8. Clean Undies

    Clean Undies Flagship of the 12-Pac Club Member

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    Yikes. 9500 is a really small number. Is that inclusive of discounted student season tickets that do not include manditory donations?

    To add to the complexity if this, a number of season ticket holders are not alumni. And the alumni who do buy football tickets typically purchase two or some multiple number.

    So that 9500 number of season tickets might mean, for example, 5000 tickets are being bought by 2000 alumni.

    As an alumni season ticket holder, I would very much like more transparency around the math.
     
  9. CUFan

    CUFan Welcome back Club Member

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    This is very true. It is amateur hour in Boulder when it comes to alumni contact and involvement. I've written this many times before, but my high school puts CU to shame in this department.
     
  10. Creebuzz

    Creebuzz Club Member Club Member

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    Also, to Skiidy's point #2, it's hard to ask out-of-state alumni to support the school when the State of Colorado refuses to pitch in their share. You know its bad when Mississippi supports its higher ed better than you do.
     
  11. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    I believe it starts when the students are still at CU. When I was there, and I expect little has changed, there was absolutely zero effort put into creating an atmosphere of buy-in. Students were little more than customers, who paid the bills while they were there. There was nothing done to create life-long Buffs. This is the biggest failure of the school, IMO. It's not any one particular department, either. The assumption is that people come to CU and love it here and have a natural predilection to remain associated with the University after they leave. Well, that works for some, but fails miserably with the majority. I think the athletic department actually does a pretty decent job of addressing this. Taking those 50 students to LA was a stroke of genius, and I guarantee those 50 students will be engaged, loyal and supportive alumni.
     
  12. FlatironsBuff

    FlatironsBuff Club Member Club Member

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    I keep wondering if CU took a vote with alumni to go private, would the state allow that? It is like the state wants their name on the university, but does not want to pay very much for it. Would CU as a private school allow it to be a better school? Would alumni, in your opinion, donate more to make up the loss of state funds to make it a private school? What are advantages/disadvantages? I keep looking at Stanford and think "How does CU get there?". Football success would be easier with the Table rule gone.

    I know the land issue the school sits on would be an issue, as possibly the name of the school if it goes private. Thoughts?

    Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk 2
     
  13. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    I ask this question a lot: Who are CU's peer schools? Who do we compare ourselves to? To what standard do we strive to achieve? The answers, to me anyway, are schools like Wisconsin, Washington, UCLA, Illinois, North Carolina for peer schools, and Texas, Cal, Virginia and Michigan for schools we strive to emulate. Why are we not taking a close look at how those schools operate, and make every effort to duplicate that here? Why do we not have a group of administrators studying the standard practices at places like Virginia and Michigan and come away with some ideas as to how we can improve?
     
  14. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    Going private is not the answer. What we want is basically what we have - the ability to act like a private school while enjoying the privileges of being a state institution.
     
  15. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    Truf
     
  16. dyemeduke

    dyemeduke Well-Known Member

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    Serious question - what would make you feel appreciated for your donation?

    In the past (I donate to the Engineering School), I've received handwritten postcards from the Dean, and when I increased my amount last year, they took me to lunch. They've also given me notices about a lot of special events for donaters. I personally do feel appreciated, but then again, I'm donating specifically to the Engineering school's general fund. I'm not sure about the other schools.

    When I used to donate to the AD, I got the Buff Club license plate frame and that was it. That was a handful of years ago though, and I agree, donating to the Buff Club (granted I wasn't a high level), I didn't feel appreciated. However, I guess I didn't really care, because I wanted CU to have the money. What I did care about was extending Hawk...and then the season after the extension.

    When reps of the Engineering Dean's Club met with me, they told me that they have a horrible time obtaining contact information of alumni, as well as getting to meet them. Most people simply are not willing to donate, particularly the wealthy ones they know of. This includes athletes - apparently they have a very difficult time convincing athletes to give back to their school. This was the case even in the 90s, and our former football players were making millions in the NFL.

    I encourage everyone to donate. It may not feel like you're being appreciated at times, but please give for the sake of CU. Sure they can do a better job of alumni relations, and they both know this and are trying to fix it. However, CU needs support. I'm sure many of us would have done well going to other schools, but the fact is that our lives took us through Boulder. Hopefully this has had a positive impact on your life. Even if you worked hard, the institution still aided your way. Please be grateful and give to CU - it doesn't have to be the AD and football. CU is more than that.
     
  17. Hugegroove

    Hugegroove Club Member Club Member

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    I haven't heard of them doing this in a long long time, but I thought when Gee was here he used to have $2500.00 a plate alumni fundraisers at the golf course and at the Flagstaff House? Maybe they should start it up again and also do it in states where the alumni base is solid?
     
  18. buffaholic

    buffaholic Club Member Club Member

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    What advantages are those? We get something like 1-2% of funding from the state, but yet are saddled with all of the red tape and Government bureaucracy that goes with it. Anyone remember the BS the program went thru with the "scandal"? Could that have been handled differently by a private institution? How about Churchill (fired in seconds?)?

    I would state the obvious.

    Going private is the only answer. What we want is basically what we don't have - the ability to run this school like a private enterprise, weeding out the deadwood, focusing on what is important - without the shackles that come with being a public institution. The main benefit of being public is state funding. We aren't getting that.....
     
  19. Lt.Col.FrankSlade

    Lt.Col.FrankSlade Well-Known Member

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  20. tante

    tante Club Member Club Member

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    They probably meant season ticket holders.
     
  21. Lt.Col.FrankSlade

    Lt.Col.FrankSlade Well-Known Member

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    Ahh.. that would make sense. i.e. 1 person buys 4 tickets, for he, his wife and children. Only one ticket "holder" (or two, if you count the wife) for the 4 tickets.
     
  22. skibum

    skibum Peed in your Cheerios. Club Member

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    The biggest connection the school has with the out of state alumni are through the local chapters of the alumni association. The biggest connections those chapters have with the alumni are the watch parties. And no one shows up to the watch parties when the team is losing. I haven't been to a DC watch party since the CSU game LAST year...
     
  23. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    One big advantage is not having to comply with Boulder building codes & zoning enforcement. CU can build anything it wants, as tall as it wants, as big as it wants, anywhere on land it owns, and the City of Boulder can't do a damn thing about it. Another advantage is getting preferential pricing on contracts.

    Going private is most definitely NOT the only answer. It's expensive and opens up a can of worms we don't want any part of.
     
  24. CUinDC

    CUinDC Member

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    I know nothing of Cal, Virginia, or Texas, but having grown up in Ann Arbor, with two UofM alumni parents, I can say for certain that we are so incredibly far behind Michigan in promoting loyalty to the school. I realize they have a longer football tradition to work with, but for a school with roughly the same size undergrad population as CU, and one far smaller than schools like Texas, Ohio State, etc., for Michigan to have the largest alumni association in the country (not sure if still accurate but was a couple years ago) is pretty impressive. The pride and enthusiasm my parents and their friends have for Michigan is really pretty awesome. I've tried to capture that with my CU friends, and I think a few of us are close, but there are only a few of us out of our large undergrad group of friends, the rest of whom are completely detached at this point -- ten years on from graduation. I don't know what the answer is, but I agree, finding a way to emulate schools like Michigan in this aspect would be a great first step.
     
  25. Gary Indiana

    Gary Indiana Club Member Club Member

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    Serious question - what would make you feel appreciated for your donation?

    In the past (I donate to the Engineering School), I've received handwritten postcards from the Dean, and when I increased my amount last year, they took me to lunch. They've also given me notices about a lot of special events for donaters. I personally do feel appreciated, but then again, I'm donating specifically to the Engineering school's general fund. I'm not sure about the other schools.

    When I used to donate to the AD, I got the Buff Club license plate frame and that was it. That was a handful of years ago though, and I agree, donating to the Buff Club (granted I wasn't a high level), I didn't feel appreciated. However, I guess I didn't really care, because I wanted CU to have the money. What I did care about was extending Hawk...and then the season after the extension.

    When reps of the Engineering Dean's Club met with me, they told me that they have a horrible time obtaining contact information of alumni, as well as getting to meet them. Most people simply are not willing to donate, particularly the wealthy ones they know of. This includes athletes - apparently they have a very difficult time convincing athletes to give back to their school. This was the case even in the 90s, and our former football players were making millions in the NFL.

    Well said, I couldn't agree more. Donate to CU in whatever fashion you see fit. My personal belief is that increasing academic strength and raising our profile to the level of some of the other public Pac schools (Washington, Cal, UCLA) will draw more students, donations, and field better athletic teams. I am graduating from CU-Boulder this December and plan to donate immediately, channeling my funds into the Physics dept. which is turning into a nationally elite program (see Nobel Prize).
     
  26. Walter White

    Walter White Member

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    I can't speak for the other schools, but Texas has always had massive funding from the state of Texas. This is what CU needs, support from the state of Colorado. The people of Colorado need to realize the benefit of a first class flagship university for the state, even if you don't attend.
     
  27. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    That's not going to happen. So we need to find alternatives. The sooner we forget any notion of state support, the better.
     
  28. BuffUp

    BuffUp W.T.T.F. Club Member

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    been throwing $ in a hole, donating time,energy and emotions for 7 years at something that would have been shot in the cowboy days. If it was a marriage, the divorce would have taken place long ago.. and not to mention all the family time that has been missed to see this epic disaster
     
  29. Walter White

    Walter White Member

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    This happens through politics. CU needs an alpha alum with connections to get legislation passed in the back rooms. This is how things get done, like Baylor getting into the Big 12. Big money Buffs need to throw their weight around.
     
  30. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    It's politics that is keeping it from happening. I don't have the time to explain Amd 23 and TABOR to you. You'll have to take my word for it. Or don't. I don't really care if you believe me or not, but do me a favor and stop arguing the point. CU is never going to get adequate funding from the state. That ship has sailed. It's a non-starter. We need to concentrate on generating funds elsewhere.
     

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