2022-2024 | NDSU Foundation
2022-2024 | NDSU Foundation
Brick reliefs carved by artist, Katie McCleary
Brick reliefs carved by artist, Katie McCleary
Forging Connections | Fostering Support | Facilitating Outcomes
To build enduring relationships that maximize advocacy and philanthropy to support North Dakota State University.
Background and Context
At the NDSU Foundation, we believe in connecting those who are passionate about NDSU; developing partnerships involving teamwork, accountability, and transparency to improve lives and outcomes of North Dakotans and the world; and stewardship, communication, and service to advance the mission of our student-focused, land-grant, research university.
With tremendous gratitude to our alumni and friends, the North Dakota State University Foundation has elevated its philanthropic impact to new heights thanks to the rousing, record-setting success of In Our Hands: The Campaign for North Dakota State University (2016-2020).
When the last gift is counted on December 31, 2021, more than $460 million (final number to be updated in February 2022) will have been raised in six years to support all of campus, far exceeding our original $400 million goal and seven-year timeline. In the process, a new standard of engagement, performance and impact has emerged, positioning the Foundation for even greater possibilities to make a difference.
At the end of the day, it is our students, faculty, programs, and citizens of North Dakota and beyond that benefit from alumni and friends who connect, advocate for, and give back. Philanthropy is a vital revenue source to advance the missions and goals of nearly all colleges and universities in the United States.
Now, we direct our attention to the next three years, 2022-2024, with goals to sustain momentum and expand our mission impact: Forging Connections, Fostering Support, Facilitating Outcomes, and Once A Bison, Always a Bison.
Broader context is important in setting the stage. The national landscape for public higher education faces numerous challenges and opportunities; NDSU is no exception. There are those who question the value proposition of a four-year degree and the costs associated with obtaining it. Student loan debt incurred continues to be a barrier to helping new generations of alumni get a productive start to their personal and professional journeys. The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting how education is delivered, how people engage, and how they work. State appropriations continue to remain flat at best, if not trending downward.
And, then there are looming demographic shifts, which result in lower numbers of traditional age college students entering the marketplace. Competition for student enrollment is fierce and will only intensify. While philanthropic support from benefactors has grown dramatically in recent years, most of these gifts are designated for specific purposes according to donor intent. More and more, universities are seeking unrestricted resources — from anywhere — to recruit and retain students, balance budgets, and relieve day-to-day operational costs that state appropriations and tuition are unable to cover.
It is essential for the Foundation, alumni, and friends to acknowledge and understand these changing dynamics in higher education and be prepared to adapt and respond to what NDSU’s future needs will be. Lastly, as we support the arrival of new university leadership in 2022, we look forward to an opportunity to work together in setting an expanded agenda for NDSU’s future.
A longer-term view of what NDSU needs over time has been contemplated in the development of the following three-year strategic plan for the Foundation; however, the plan will remain flexible, adaptable, and responsive to the university’s goals. NDSU’s 2021-2026 strategic plan, “Our Future: Innovation, Outreach and Education” is one roadmap we considered in the plan’s development.
A second report we evaluated was the post-campaign assessment conducted by BWF, our campaign counsel for In Our Hands.
At the end of the day, our accomplishments will be measured by outstanding performance in areas of support to campus, growing resource generation, enhanced financial position, and vibrant staff and Trustees all working in alignment to advance the Foundation’s mission.
The NDSU Foundation takes seriously its strategic partnership with NDSU, and we will be a catalyst for fostering meaningful connections and inspiring enduring generosity so that the University is empowered to honor its founding purpose, deliver on its mission, and flourish.
Cultivating an authentic, connected Bison family, seeds will be planted for strengthened relationships between the University and stakeholders, forming to build enduring engagement, advocacy, and ‘singing the tune’ for NDSU and the difference it makes in our state, region, and beyond.
Through events, volunteerism, and networking, engagement of alumni and friends will intensify, helping external stakeholders take ownership in NDSU’s future success.
Cultivate the next generation of donors through creative communications, digital strategies, and story-telling opportunities to connect and inspire the Bison family.
Influence and relationship-building will strengthen in an effort to build a guiding coalition of supporters regarding local, state, and national affairs that matter to NDSU’s future.
By aligning donor passions and intent with NDSU’s compelling priorities for impact, the Foundation will secure more than $180 million in new fundraising production over the next three years.
Through donors motivated to establish immediate impact and lasting legacies, with particular focus on principal and transformative gifts, the Foundation will sustain annual fundraising production of $60 million a year.
Partner with the University to identify designated and unrestricted funding priorities, crafting cases for donor support that are creative and compelling, as well as responsibly steward previous gifts while instilling a sense of pride in philanthropy.
Nurture donor passions to support what matters most to them through near-term and long-term philanthropic planning, utilizing a variety of gift planning resources to meet intent.
Through sound financial services and management of crucial private resources, the NDSU Foundation will provide more than $90 million in gift support to the University over the next three years.
Increase university support in all areas, facilitating donor and university partnerships to achieve impact on students, faculty, and programs, enriching the environment and preparing tomorrow’s leaders.
Grow the endowment to $450 million by January 1, 2025 through prudent investment strategy and acquisition of new capital through fundraising to fuel key fund support in propelling NDSU forward.
Strategically invest in the Foundation’s programs, people, technology, and infrastructure to support and accelerate core business strategies by maintaining a growth-oriented, sustainable funding model that grows the annual budget to $10 million+ and 65+ employees.
Showcase mission impact by sharing our compelling stories, honoring outstanding alumni and friends, and reporting financial performance through multiple personalized and mass marketing communications platforms.
Once a Bison, Always a Bison
Retain, develop, and recruit mission-driven people who are a part of NDSU’s family and are passionate about its future and how philanthropy can help.
In recognition that organizational success rests squarely with our people, the Foundation will deliver best-in-class workforce recruitment, professional development, and onboarding to develop a diverse, inclusive, experienced, and mission-driven team.
Engage and involve volunteers as Trustees to strengthen and advance Foundation best practices in governance and advocacy for NDSU, creating the pinnacle volunteer experience that an alumnus could seek.
Ensure organizational systems, technologies, policies, and procedures — and the people who create, manage, and work with them — reflect the highest standard of integrity, risk management, and stewardship.
Evolve where and how we work to meet the needs of an increasingly more flexible workforce, enhancing productivity, repurposing the Harry D. McGovern Alumni Center, and advancing technology to promote job satisfaction.
By 2025, the NDSU Foundation will demonstrate mission achievement by accomplishing key performance indicators as identified in the plan goals described previously, including:
- Annual sustained fundraising – $60 million+
- Annual sustained support to campus – $30 million+
- Endowment value – $450 million
- Annual sustained Foundation budget – $10 million+
- Return on Investment – $1.00 in Foundation budget produces between $3.00-$4.00 in Support to Campus
- Employee personnel base – 65+
We anticipate by 2025, NDSU and the Foundation will be in the advanced gift/organization phase of the next multi-year fundraising initiative designed to take the university to the next level. Timing will be influenced by institutional leadership, strategic priority setting, and the overall business environment to support philanthropy.
We believe that a great North Dakota State University is possible. We aspire to build a great Foundation to deliver superior value to our future students, faculty, and programs. Thank you for your partnership in advancing our mission.