Funding the advancement of James Madison University
Q: Why does JMU invest a portion of qualifying gifts into the fundraising operation?
A: On the "Why Madison" Listening Tour, President Alger heard often from alumni who do not financially support JMU that the reason they don't is because, "they've never been asked to give." One of the main factors causing this gap is that JMU's Advancement team is quite small compared to our peers. So, Advancement's capacity needs to grow to reach more potential donors. The reinvestment of qualified gifts will fund growth in the reach of Advancement, and ultimately the amount of private support directed toward JMU.
Q: Why doesn't Advancement just grow its capacity like the rest of the university — by asking for more Education and General funds from the Commonwealth?
A: One of the main reasons JMU is so popular with prospective students and their parents is the close connection to faculty and staff. A gift reinvestment program represents a way of growing new revenue streams for the university while minimizing the pull on E&G dollars needed to fund faculty positions and other key aspects central to the student experience.
Q: How are the extra funds generated?
A: As of July 1, 2014, JMU invests 7 percent of qualifying gifts into expanding efforts to further grow the private dollars necessary to sustain and enhance the Madison Experience.
Q: What will JMU do with the additional funds from the gift reinvestment?
A: Our goal is to significantly increase the number of donors to JMU during the next eight years and to increase gift income from about $12 million per year to more than $20 million per year. All revenue generated from this gift reinvestment will be dedicated to programs that better inform, engage and inspire our constituents to financially support the university and improve the Madison Experience.
Q: Will the gift reinvestment generate all of the needed revenue?
A: Initially the gift reinvestment will generate some of what we will need to realize the potential of our fundraising and outreach operations. As these efforts reach more alumni and friends, we will be able to invest more in University Advancement efforts at the same time we are building our endowment.
Q: What do other universities do?
A: Many universities across the country use this approach or something similar to fund their advancement efforts. For instance, several universities enjoying great philanthropic support including Virginia Tech, U.Va., Rutgers, UConn, University of Florida and UCLA reinvest portions of gifts to the university into their efforts to build private support.