Our Philanthropic Advisory Services
Donors value their relationships with universities which tend to be many years in the making and, hopefully, have resulted in impactful and transformative gifts. To reach such a cusp of success, a university becomes a partner in a donor’s strategic giving. University Donor Advisors (UDA) focuses on helping donors become more strategic in their giving and assists them as they evaluate the success of their gifts.
In the words of Stephen Covey, we believe that a donor must “begin with the end in mind.” We do not discount the motivation of achieving personal financial savings from bestowing a gift, but the true reward emanates from the transformative effects of gifts to universities. UDA is a thoughtful philanthropic advising service that helps donors research and delineate high quality, targeted giving opportunities that marry university mission with donor objectives and values.
UDA undertakes a thorough, objective and independent analysis of the university’s mission, strategic plan, competitive advantages, peer comparisons, and institutional centers of excellence. This evaluation informs the donor as he/she attempts to discover unpolished university gems that could be transformed, boost the profile of established competitive advantages, or assist the university in positioning itself with new or emerging programs.
Identifying the object of the funding is a progressive step in the right direction. The “how” to accomplish the final goal entails determination of the funding. UDA assists the donor in determining the resources needed to accomplish the level of excellence desired and the mechanism required to reach the goal; e. g. endowment, annual gifts, gifts with lump sums to be distributed over a limited timeframe or planned giving. The financial consequences of these decisions are determined in close consultation with the donor, his/her financial advisors, attorneys and accountants.
Mutual success of the donor’s wishes and the institution’s efforts is measured by accountability. UDA assists the donor in designing accountability and implementation mechanisms that are realistic, measurable and support the university’s objectives. Reporting metrics are tailored to the project with realistic timeframes based on the program’s stage of maturation. Of special importance is UDA’s assistance in designing evaluations that support and complement the university’s strategic plan and its quest for excellence. Thus, UDA’s mission is accomplished when it has successfully completed services that ensure that a donor’s gift has created academic excellence in the chosen university.