September 12, 2008
What is a capital campaign?
Universities must continually raise funds to improve,
remain up-to-date and compete in the higher education marketplace. Periodically,
however, they conduct capital campaigns to elevate the fund-raising effort. A
capital campaign is a highly focused fund-raising drive to meet specific
programmatic goals and achieve an established dollar amount during a set period
of time, often several years. The term “capital campaign” once connoted a
campaign for buildings, but more realistically it now means an effort to meet
many needs and is more accurately called a “comprehensive campaign.”
How does a capital or comprehensive campaign differ from
an annual fund drive? How do the two relate to each other?
Annual fund drives raise money for ongoing operating
expenses, everything from utility costs to library resources. A comprehensive
campaign focuses on raising endowment and funding for capital projects. Whereas
annual funds are spent to pay immediate bills, endowment funds are invested in
such a way that the principal remains untouched, in perpetuity. Each year a
portion of the interest generated by the investment goes to support purposes
specified by the donor, so its use is “restricted” to those projects. Endowments
provide economic stability and ensure that priority projects will remain funded
and viable. The annual fund will continue to operate as an essential part of
SMU’s fund-raising. The industry standard is that during a campaign, gifts to
the annual fund count toward the campaign total, so all donors to SMU will be
critical to the success of the campaign.
With an endowment of $1.4 billion, why does SMU need a
capital campaign? Why can't it use its endowment funds for new programs and
Endowments already established at SMU are funding the
programs for which they were created. Although SMU's endowment of $1.4 billion
ranks 54th nationally among university endowments, we must attract additional
endowment to fund new priorities and enhancements. A campaign is the best way to
Why is SMU having another campaign so soon after the
successful campaign that concluded in 2002?
We want to keep moving forward. Thanks to many generous
donors, The Campaign for SMU: A Time to Lead was a tremendous success, far
exceeding its original goal of $300 million by raising $542 million. That
campaign provided 80 new endowments for academic programs, 171 new student
scholarships and awards, 28 new campus life initiatives, 16 new academic
positions and 14 new or renovated facilities. Because SMU had not upgraded its
campus facilities in several years, that campaign helped to bring SMU back up to
its standard of excellence in educational facilities, as well as to increase
endowment for new academic opportunities. We knew at the time, however, that SMU
would need a subsequent campaign to focus more heavily on endowment for
scholarships, faculty positions and academic programs, and to continue upgrading
facilities not addressed in the last campaign. The Second Century Campaign will
build on the remarkable success of “A Time to Lead” to seek a dramatic boost in
With an unstable national economy and the highest
inflation rate since 1981, why does SMU think now is a good time for a capital
Universities must plan for the long term, and the duration
of a capital campaign – usually five years – helps to accommodate fluctuations
in the economy. In addition, campaign pledges typically are paid over a period
of time. A critical factor is that SMU is at a high point in its history, having
generated a great deal of momentum in recent years, much of it sparked by the
last campaign. Student quality is rising, the campus has never looked better,
there is excitement among our constituents, we are approaching our 100th
anniversary and we have attracted the unique resource of a presidential library.
Our trustees and donors have affirmed that the time is right for SMU to make a
bold move. We also have a great deal of faith in the strength of the Texas
economy of which SMU is a part.
What are the goals of The Second Century Campaign?
The campaign seeks endowment in three areas:
- Student quality, including expanded scholarship programs
and study abroad opportunities, new leadership development programs and
increased support for graduate student research;
- Faculty and academic excellence, including increasing
endowed academic positions to 100, increasing by 50 percent annual external
funding for research and sponsored projects, endowing selected departments and
institutes, increasing graduate program resources, expanding undergraduate
research and investing in academic facilities and technology;
- The campus experience, including creating residential
colleges or commons as part of a new sophomore housing requirement, expanding
student services, enhancing competitiveness in athletics and enriching the
environment of the main Dallas campus as well as SMU-in-Legacy and SMU-in-Taos.
How were the funding priorities and amounts determined?
Priorities are determined according to the goals and needs
outlined in SMU’s Strategic Plan, the result of collaboration among the deans of
the various schools, the administrative leadership of the University and members
of the Board of Trustees.
What is the geographic scope of the campaign? Where will
the funds be sought?
Because SMU alumni and donors are successful leaders and
professionals in all areas of the world, the campaign will be international in
scope. We will have special kick-off events in selected cities where we have
particularly large concentrations of alumni – Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles and
New York City, as well as a campaign reception in Mexico City. But we are
expecting broad participation among alumni everywhere. Our goal is to have 25
percent of all alumni contribute each year and to have 50 percent of all alumni
contribute over the life of the campaign.
When and how will the Bush Library campaign be
conducted? How will SMU keep its campaign from competing for the same donors?
Fund-raising for the Bush Library will be conducted by the
Bush Foundation, a separate 501(c)(3) organization. Fund-raising for SMU is
conducted by SMU. They are separate but supportive efforts – supportive in that
donors unrelated to SMU who are attracted to the Bush Library project will
become familiar with the University and may become interested in also supporting
our goals and needs. SMU donors attracted to the Bush Library project will
remain donors to the University as well. We expect friends of the President in
Dallas to be supportive of the Bush Library, but the majority of the library
funds will come from beyond the SMU donor community. In addition, both projects
show a sense of momentum, and that is a key ingredient in raising funds for any
effort. When the library opens, it will attract hundreds of thousands of
visitors to campus who typically would not become familiar with us. That will be
a tremendous opportunity for cultivating new donors and prospective students.
But, will any of SMU's funds raised end up going to the
No, all funds raised by SMU will be for University projects
as outlined in our case statement. However, some funding raised for the Bush
Library eventually will benefit SMU. The legal agreement between the University
and the Bush Foundation stipulates that, when fund-raising for the Bush Library
moves beyond basic construction costs, a percentage of additional funds raised
by the Foundation will be provided to SMU to develop programs related to the
So, are any of the same people involved in both the Bush
and SMU efforts?
SMU has appointed some representatives to the Bush
Foundation Board. Of the 14 members of the Fund-raising Committee, four were
appointed by SMU — President R. Gerald Turner, trustee Ray L. Hunt, trustee
Jeanne L. Phillips and civic leader Fred Meyer; all served on the steering
committee for SMU’s Bush Library proposal. For SMU’s Second Century Campaign, we
have a 15-member Campaign Leadership Council and 39 steering committee chairs
who will be focusing on the University’s funding needs, and hundreds of others
will be involved as the campaign moves forward.
What is the time schedule for The Second Century
Campaign? Why is it called The Second Century Campaign?
The quiet phase of the campaign began in December 2005. The
kick-off events on Sept. 12, 2008, mark the beginning of the public phase of the
five-year campaign. The Second Century Campaign is so named because it will
coincide with the centennial of the University's founding, in 2011, and end two
years before the 100th anniversary of its opening, in 2015. It will
usher in our second century of achievement.
What is the campaign structure? Who is responsible for
raising the money?
A 15-member Campaign Leadership Council is headed by
Convening Co-Chair Gerald J. Ford and Co-Chairs Ruth Altshuler, Ray L. Hunt,
Caren H. Prothro and Carl Sewell, all SMU trustees. The CLC has guided SMU in
planning the campaign's quiet phase and will continue to oversee leadership gift
solicitations and the campaign's volunteer organization, working with
professional staff. Chaired by other volunteers, 16 campaign steering committees
with 270 members will guide fund-raising efforts in SMU's individual schools and
other units, as well as in major cities in the United States and abroad.
Hundreds of volunteers, 327 to date, will play leadership roles in the campaign.
What is the role of SMU's Board of Trustees during the
The Board plays a critical role in providing leadership for
the University as a whole and also provides guidance for campaign operations and
policies. The trustees help to determine Strategic Plan goals, a factor in
establishing campaign goals. In addition to their own generous financial gifts,
Board members assist in obtaining the support of others. As ambassadors of SMU,
all Board members help to advance understanding and support of the University
and its aspirations.
For more information:
Patti LaSalle, 214-768-7660, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kent Best, 214-768-7673, email@example.com
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