Westminster College Hires Pursuant Group for Major Fundraising Initiative

Leading fundraising firm The Pursuant Group will provide major gift services for a Westminster development initiative. The campaign features 500 visits to potential donors in the next two years.

Dec 20, 2010, 08:00 ET from The Pursuant Group

DALLAS, Dec. 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pursuant Group, a full-service fundraising and communications consulting firm, recently announced the launch of a new fundraising program for Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., led by the Pursuant managed services business unit (formerly Charitable Partners). Key to the program is an outsourced development officer, a recent Westminster alumnus, who will make 500 visits to potential donors in an effort to increase Westminster's annual giving by $750,000 over the course of the next two years.

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"Pursuant managed services specializes in hiring, training and managing development officers on our clients' behalf," explains Tony Smercina, executive vice president of managed services for The Pursuant Group. "For Westminster, the development officer will personally visit other young alumni and potential donors who fall in between annual fund donors and those who make major or planned gifts. The result will be significantly increased mid-level giving."

Westminster College is a private, liberal arts undergraduate college with just under 1,200 students from 27 states and 65 countries. The institution, located about 25 miles from both Columbia and Jefferson City, is well-known for hosting Winston Churchill when he delivered his famous "Iron Curtain" speech in 1946.

"We were impressed by the sheer qualitative metrics that Pursuant uses to prove their program works, and outside sources have recommended them after successful campaigns as well," says Donald Wood, executive director of development at Westminster College. "Even more importantly, the staff and leadership at Pursuant understand the art of fundraising. Anyone can read numbers and trends, but the art is in relationship building, and that's really where Pursuant excels."

Pursuant and Westminster collaborated to hire a recent Westminster graduate who will make 250 prospect visits per year for two years. Annual fund donors will be encouraged to join the President's Club (PC), which features donors who support the College annually with a gift of $1,250 or more. Young alumni, or those who have graduated in the past 10 years, receive a PC membership by contributing $625 annually. The goal for the 500 collective visits is to secure three-year pledges that will total $750,000 overall. Increased funds will support need-based scholarships for students, as well as the College's most critical needs, such as student programming and faculty development. The newly hired development officer is based out of Columbia, Mo., to best reach the largest base of college alumni, parents and other potential supporters.

"We will guide and mentor the Westminster development officer throughout the project," notes Smercina. "We will also continually evaluate donor prospects based on past response to fundraising campaigns, expressed interest and wealth profiling. This strategy ensures that the personal visits are conducted efficiently and effectively."

Westminster has also hired Ketchum, a Pursuant Group company, as their planning study counsel.

About The Pursuant Group

The Pursuant Group is a family of companies all with one common purpose: serving nonprofits and helping them achieve their greatest potential. These companies include Pursuant Agency, Ketchum Fundraising Services, RSI Church Stewardship and Pursuant Sports, all comprising a full-service fundraising and marketing communications organization that serves nonprofit clients across the entire donor pyramid. From social media constituent outreach to capital campaign counsel, Pursuant has served more than 20,000 organizations and have helped clients raise over $20 billion in capital campaigns, managed major giving services and interactive fundraising campaigns. For more information, visit pursuantgroup.com.

SOURCE The Pursuant Group