Report to University Senate

September 15, 2020

University Advancement – Senate Report

Submitted by Frank Whitlatch, VP for University Advancement

Recent Activities and Successes

• Over the past year, thousands of donors gave more than $6 million through the HSU Foundation and charitable grants in support of HSU students and programs. This included gifts from 3,170 donors, including 1,730 alumni. More than $1.4 million was given to various types of student support programs. Find out more about giving to students and programs at HSU.

• The HSU Foundation endowment grew to nearly $33 million over the last year, and distributed more than $1.3 million in earnings for scholarships and programs. When combined with gifts that were given for current use, that meant that 370 students received support through scholarships and awards.

• Over the last year, donors to the HSU Foundation gave $158,000 to provide emergency support to students. This included more than $50,000 to the Student Adversity Fund in response to a matching challenge by the University. Find out more about how you can support students during the pandemic.

• Staff from Marketing & Communications continue to serve as PIOs and other support in HSU’s Emergency Operations Center during the pandemic. They developed the Campus Ready website, designed and printed the campus signage, write messages, create videos, post frequently on social media, respond to media inquiries, send a regular e-newsletter highlighting important updates, and more.

• Marketing & Communications led efforts to present a highly successful virtual Commencement ceremony in May. The commencement website has the video and more. The team also provided support in developing the virtual Fall Welcome as well as the President’s First-Year in Review.

• The Alumni & Engagement Office has hosted two virtual talks by recent recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award. Each was well-attended, with the first, by Abby Abinanti ‘70, attracting nearly 100 attendees and the second, by Carin Kaltschmidt ‘90, with over 50 attendees.
Abinanti earned a degree in Journalism from HSU and is the Chief Judge for the Yurok Tribe. Kaltschmidt earned a degree in Computer Information Science from HSU and is an executive with Ernst & Young. More about all the recent HSU Distinguished Alumni Award recipients.

• Alumni & Engagement hosted orientation sessions for hundreds of parents and families of incoming students. They were invited to take part in “Forever Humboldt Families 101” – an online class that is offered each year and is focused on helping families support their student. Families that complete the course receive an HSU sweatshirt for their student.

• The Phone Jacks student callers are continuing with thank-you calls to donors, and will soon begin soliciting gifts for the annual fund. They are utilizing new software that allows text outreach and follow-up. The students usually work together in a call room, but are now working
virtually in a model that was tested and refined over the summer. HSU’s student calling program is one of the few in the CSU that has continued to operate during the pandemic, and the response has been positive.

Organization and Planning

• The consultants working with University Advancement and the HSU Foundation have completed a feasibility study for a possible campus-wide fundraising campaign. This study explored donor interest and capacity, potential priorities, and organizational readiness. The highlights of the study are now being shared with various campus constituencies. In preparation for a campaign, a series of workshops on the fundamentals of campaigns will be presented over the next few months. These will be recorded for future use.

• Negotiations are continuing on a partnership agreement to help manage KHSU Public Radio. Based on consultation with representatives from Academic Affairs, and on focus group data, the priority related to curriculum is ensuring students have access to internship experiences like reporting, story-telling, business operations, marketing, and similar. The priority related to community service is providing access to quality public radio programming including state and national news.

• All gift processing and initial data entry into the donor/alumni database is now handled in Administrative Affairs, as part of an efficiency partnership between the two divisions. The process previously involved both areas carrying out similar responsibilities. As part of the change,
University Advancement eliminated 1 FTE staff position and reassigned 1 FTE staff position to Administrative Affairs.

• University Advancement is continuing a significant reorganization in order to re- focus on major gifts as well as to establish systems and infrastructure for a comprehensive campaign. At the same time, the division has made the majority of its 18.3% budget reduction as part of campus-wide reductions.

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