Listen First, Then Plan: Key to Campaign Success

Posted on

Averett University‘s President, Dr. Tiffany M. Franks, believes in listening to her constituents. She began her presidency with what she called the “Sun Porch Sessions,” small group chats where Dr. Franks could meet with and listen to the Averett community.

Understanding the importance and value of listening, Dr. Franks heard stakeholders talk about where they thought the school was headed. Then as part of the listening process, Averett University embarked on a campaign feasibility study to gain a more clear focus on the future direction of 150-year-old school.

Capital Development Services conducted the 35-person feasibility study beginning in the Fall of 2009, and used the feedback gained from the study to launch a campaign planning phase that reshaped the school’s advancement team and its program.

Buddy Rawley was hired as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement, an Annual Giving Director position was added, and the Alumni and the Communications functions were also given a fund-development focus, thus creating a more cohesive team in the true sense of the word, one with a common goal of advancing Averett University’s mission.

“From the beginning, Capital Development Services has been our partner and advisor. Their expertise and collaboration is helping us maximize our potential,” remarked Rawley of his experience thus far working on the campaign.

As of 2011, Averett University has launched the Quiet Phase of its campaign. They have recruited strong leadership, momentum gifts have begun, and they are now calling on former and current Trustees for their involvement in raising funds toward identified needs. As of this summer, nearly $10 million has been raised!

From its president’s effective listening to the successful start of its campaign spurred by strong leadership, Averett University is a model of listening and planning in order to be successful.

Return to Insights & Events