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what needs to be improved with our fundraising operations?

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by BinaryBuff, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. BinaryBuff

    BinaryBuff mmmm...beer Club Member

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    I've read too many articles and message posts lately to remember where exactly I read this, but something I read mentioned CU's fundraising (Buff Club/CU Foundation) and that it was generally not very well run/executed.

    And since members of the AD apparently read our message board (Plati, is that you??), what improvements could/should be made?

    The first thing I'd recommend is to get into the 21st century and have an option for a 100% online page for signing up for the Buff Club. No more "to join, call or fill out this form and mail/fax it".

    Same goes with donating $$ outside of the usual renewal period. Unless I'm mistaken, the only way to donate extra money at random times during the year to the Buff Club is by giving them a call, which is fine, but it'd be nice to see a simple online form making it easy to donate cash. I honestly don't want to have to give them a call when I want to donate some extra money.

    And finally, they should be doing more to make people aware of which employers offer matching donations and really try to encourage donors to utilize that benefit to help CU. Granted it might be a bit tough to know exactly which companies offer this, but it's an easy way to bump the money CU gets.

    What other failings does our fundraising arm have that could be improved?
     
  2. max4buffs

    max4buffs Well-Known Member

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    I sent Bohn this email.

    November 9, 2010

    Mr. Mike Bohn,
    First off let me say thank you for taking the time to read this email as I know you are a busy man. I would like to share an idea with you that I have had for some time now. After watching you on the press conference today, I think now is an appropriate time.
    For home games I would like to see the University try a “fill the Buff” campaign. It would work kind of like a “fill the boot” campaign the firefighters use. My idea is having a large buffalo (made of steel and painted school colors) located on the inside of the gates on the South side of the stadium where most people enter Folsom Field. It would have a money slot at the top for people to put donations to the athletic department. Each home game, in the 3rd or 4th quarter, the announcer can let the home crowd know what was raised for that game and try to top it each game. If 30,000 people gave $20.00 a game it would be $600,000 per game or $3,600,000 on a 6 game home schedule.

    I know this sounds like a crazy idea, but I kind of came up with it from what the DNC did during the 2008 elections. The DNC allowed people to set-up donation meters on their Facebook pages and track how much each person could gather in donations. It actually raised something like $26 million for Obama and the DNC. Grassroots fundraising might not sound like the best way, but I’m sure it will produce enough to pay a good coach every year.
    Mr. Bohn, people care about this University and this Athletic Program. If you let it be known on the website (cubuffs.com), and put it out to the media, people will give money. CU fans want to win. People don’t want to see higher (required) ticket prices. If you give people the option to contribute in a way that hits them when they walk through the gates, people will give. It would be wise to have people with buckets at the entry points of the stadium taking donations. When the firefighters are standing outside the stadium or grocery stores, you have to admit, it is very awkward to see someone give them money and for you to just walk by. Give people a convenient opportunity to give to a cause they love. I always try to give an extra 20% each year on my season tickets, but it is hard when you are dishing out $1000 to give and extra $200. It is just too much money all at once.
    Please consider this idea, as I truly believe in my heart that it will work. If not Mr. Bohn, please let me know what I can do to better support this great University. My father currently volunteers at the Athletic Department. While I cannot commit to that, due to work, I would gladly do anything in my power to see this University and this Athletic Department succeed.
    Thank you for your time.
    Go BUFFS!
     
    GoldenBuff and Buffarino like this.
  3. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    We need to expand the chapters of the Buff Club beyond the front Range to all of Colorado. Now that we are in PAC 12 we need to establish Southern and Northern California Chapters.

    Your online Buff Club site idea is stellar!

    In order to improve fund raising you have to develope a larger fan base as well. The PR arm is Bohn's best asset. He needs to continue representing CU athletics by showing up to high schools across the state to "sell CU athletics". Within the limits of the NCAA of course.
     
  4. max4buffs

    max4buffs Well-Known Member

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    He responded and said he thought it was a great idea and he would forward it to the development team.

    I truely believe it is time for us as BUFF fans to put our money where our mouth is.

    If not, I am all for increasing ticket prices and donations in order to bring this great University back to where we should be.


    GO BUFFS!
     
    NashBuff likes this.
  5. CUFan

    CUFan Welcome back Club Member

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    This is the very first thing I would do. It is confusing to go to the website and you have to call.

    My improvement would be advertising (mailers or whatever). I know a lot of people who often ask how they can give directly to CU athletics. Many people, outside of us freaks, have really no clue how to do this and the information is very difficult to find from CU. There are a lot of foundations and scholarship funds for the entire University, the athletic stuff needs to be clearly broken out and separate from the rest of the university (from a marketing and web perspective).
     
  6. dio

    dio Admin Club Member Junta Member

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    Not a bad idea max4. Not sure if you get 30k to donate $20 everygame - but it couldn't hurt, and would be pretty unique in college football. With the right marketing, it could be a big deal!
     
  7. NashBuff

    NashBuff CSU Knob-Slobberer

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    Rep coming your way...even $50,000-$100,000 per home game is nothing to sneeze at.
     
  8. Sportsfan101

    Sportsfan101 Active Member

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    +100% on online Buff Club membership. In this day-and-age, we need to make it as simple as possible for someone to give. This is a simple step that could really boost Buff Club membership.
     
  9. rscmac

    rscmac Club Member Club Member

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    They both sound like great ideas i would include the events center for every basketball game also every dollar helps
     
  10. absinthe

    absinthe Ambitious but rubbish. Club Member Junta Member

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    Very much agree coming from an online back-ground the process set up now on the CU website is very bad, they can keep the information pages etc but they need a "donate" tab or button that resides on all pages of CUBuffs.com. That button should link directly to a form that takes the donation right there. the current 4+ page set up with a website change is bleeding people left and right. They should also look at re-targeting for that form although i doubt it gets enough traffic to be worthwhile from a yield standpoint.
     
  11. dio

    dio Admin Club Member Junta Member

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    Email Bohn - he should know all this
     
  12. nycskibum

    nycskibum Member

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    I guess more broadly speaking I think administration/athletic department need to re-engage the state of Colorado in CU football. Its the flagship University and every state resident should feel some connection to the it. Once more people feel invested they are much more likely to participate in fund raising.

    I think there are a number of ways to do that:
    1) We have the coolest mascot in College athletics, lets use her. Start taking Ralphie to visit a couple of front range elementary school's each week during the football season to start planting that seed in the states kids. Bring her down to the Taste of Denver, Greeley Stampede and any other large events like that. Just improve the visibility.

    2)Make Boulder synonymous with CU. How does a 20ft wide gold Buffalo painted on to the Westbound lanes of 36 coming into Boulder look coupled with the flags? The CU flag should be flying under the US. and state flag at the Boulder Courthouse. Show the away games on a projection screen on the courthouse lawn. Involve local businesses.

    3)Improve the game day atmosphere. Allow and Promote some time of student tent city on Norlin quad the Friday nights before home games. Promote the games on campus in chalk or increased signage. Hell, shut down 13th street after home games and allow people to take advantage of the bars and restaurants on the Hill and great September/October weather and eat and drink outside. Generally just end the antagonistic attitude the University has towards the town and the town towards the University.

    4 and maybe most important) Create and plan with tangible goals and expect/demand to be held accountable. Start with CJ's Vision 2014...ok now how do we get there... We want an indoor practice facility completed in 2012 at a cost of X, we need to increase the pool of dollars for assistant coaches at a cost of X, we want to build a more robust walk on program so we need to increase exposure to in-state high schools......If fans feel like everyone is on the same page and feels invested in the program I think they are much more likely to donate. There is a tremendous network of alumni and fans out there and I don;t feel like the University is currently taking advantage of that.
     
  13. max4buffs

    max4buffs Well-Known Member

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    Done! I got a degree in internet/web development and agree with the online stuff. Fired one off to Bohn.
     
  14. absinthe

    absinthe Ambitious but rubbish. Club Member Junta Member

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    For my part he does, or at least it has been voiced.
     
  15. BuffLuKe

    BuffLuKe Club Member Club Member

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    Well Im not an alum, never been to Folsom but I think I might donate too. Can I do that? It wont be alot, I gotta save 15 to pimp this site. Rest is legal expenses, food, clothes, **** like that for my son.
     
  16. Darian3Hagan

    Darian3Hagan '89 Player of the Year Club Member

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    You should be able to send any amount via paypal at all times. Excited about the big win and still feeling the effects of those eight.....teen beers? Drop a $20 paypal to the AD.
     
  17. Buffarino

    Buffarino Math - how does it work? Club Member

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    Hell, even if you get just $1 from 30k people, that's almost $200k for the season. And if they take it to hoops games as well, they can help.
     
  18. CUFan

    CUFan Welcome back Club Member

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    That's how you always hear aTm fans do it. They have tons of very small donors, but it adds up.
     
  19. NashBuff

    NashBuff CSU Knob-Slobberer

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    A&M is the only school in Texas that can match UT dollar for dollar.
     
  20. BinaryBuff

    BinaryBuff mmmm...beer Club Member

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    Great ideas so far, keep 'em coming. For those of you that have emailed Bohn or the heads of the Buff Club, please keep us posted. I'll be crafting up an email to send off as well...

    It should be brain-dead simple to give money to the program.
     
  21. CUFan

    CUFan Welcome back Club Member

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    I understand. But you always hear they take pride in the fact that their donor base is huge and many give as little as $1. It is the same concept a private school uses when looking for donations from alumni. They strive to at least get something, even if it is small, from everyone.
     
  22. max4buffs

    max4buffs Well-Known Member

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    I had another idea I didn't share with Bohn. It would be "100,000 strong for Colorado". On Cubuffs.com the goal is to get 100,000 individual people to donate $10.00, or a set amount of money. If people want to give more they could. The idea behind it is to get a group of big donors to each match what is raised if the University can get 100,000 individual people to donate money. It would also cause sponsorship to drastically increase with the University showing it had over 100,000 unique visitors to the website and interested in helping the program.
     
  23. Sportsfan101

    Sportsfan101 Active Member

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    A micro-giving site and program would be a great way to get current students and young alums involved in giving. $10-$100 gifts add up if there are enough of them. As someone that works in the non-profit community, I know that the important thing is creating a HABIT of giving. Even if people are giving $10 a year, at least you're establishing a habit.

    Think of it this way -- rivals charges, what, $12 a month? And how many of those people are Buff Club members/donors? My guess is not a majority. There are a lot of people that would be willing to fork over $10-100 annually to be a part of the "100,000 strong for Colorado" group that are not currently giving to the program.
     
  24. Razorbuff

    Razorbuff Member

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    One problem with CU's current fundraising arm is that it is connected entirely to the AD, and with that comes a variety of strings attached. Arkansas raises funds directly through the AD, but there is also another entirely different entity called the Razorback Foundation that operates independent of the AD, and is where most of the money and donations for athletics go. It helps to pay things like coaching salaries, as well as funding for any new construction, or improvement of athletic facilities... and like I said it doesn't have the strings attached that the AD has. I think I heard something about 50 boosters each donating a million dollars and starting something similar out here. It'd be wise for CU to look into setting up something like that.
     
  25. BlackNGold

    BlackNGold Club Member Club Member

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    Here is what is broken in the fund raising area...the lack of big donors and corporate relationships. This is an area that Mike Bohn has not done well with. Getting a lot of people to give $100 is great but getting the donations of $25000 per year and up needs to be focused on.

    You have to be careful with small giving programs...they can backfire on you. The per month commitment is a very good idea, CU use to allow you to make your annual contribution in installments but eliminated that under Bohn, that has decreased some donations. Personally I am not in favor of someone else asking me for money when I go to the football game...I go to the grocery store and I am hounded for money from the moment I get out of the car until I leave....the kid selling cookies, popcorn, etc., "Do you want to contribute a $ to ________?" when I check out. I think a lot of people get turned off by those things. I certainly am.
     
  26. dio

    dio Admin Club Member Junta Member

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    No one would be 'asking you for money'. There would be a giant Buffalo where you could donate some cash!
     
  27. Bienemy4life

    Bienemy4life Member

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    I'm working on a deal with a Nigerian Prince, all our $ problems will be solved.
     
  28. max4buffs

    max4buffs Well-Known Member

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    I agree totally with you saying we need to get big donors and sponsorships. But in order to get the big fish, you need to show that the majority is interested in what is going on. Look at Memorial (UT) Staduim, with 4 Taco Bells, 4 Burger Kings and 6 Starbucks inside the stadium. That is huge money that doesn't go away. How they got it is to show that people are interested in the program and building it from the ground up. I was there last year and in '97. Let me tell you, UT sucked ass for a couple years around '97 and that place changed night and day to what it is today.

    The University needs to show potential donors and sponsors that people are interested? How do you do that?
     
  29. BuffLuKe

    BuffLuKe Club Member Club Member

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    Excuse me? Homie I havent been drinking, **** going on in my life is no bull****. Just saying, im sure you are a cool guy. Probably just a joke by you and thats cool. Im just edgy these days. Thanks for the info.
     
  30. MontanaBuff

    MontanaBuff Club Member Club Member

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    I believe the small donation plan works best if it is targeted. In the past two months, Montana State has raised almost $3 million to expand the football stadium. The Board of Regents would only come up with matching money on the $6 million expansion, and they gave MSU a deadline (the Bobcat/Grizzly game in two weeks), and the money has been raised. The newspaper rans several stories, giving updates along the way. Granted, there was a targeted campaign to known bigtime donors, but they raised a boatload from small donations. When people know that there is a specific need (like the practice bubble a few years ago), it's easier to get people excited.

    Want $1 million for new videoboards? Set up a campaign specifically for that need. Have a graphic on the website, showing how close you are to completion. Allow Classes to compete against one another ("Class of '98 has given more than the Class of '02"!); professions can challenge one another. Give me a reason to give you that $50 or $100 (Hell, I've got a "brick" outside the stadium with my name on it), and I'll be more likely to give more than I already do ...
     

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