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Nice story in the Democrat on the status of the $1 billion campaign.  Looks like things are going well so far and Barron/Jennings are hard at work.  I am surprised that they have already reached the $400 million mark.  I will look forward to seeing what kind of midpoint fanfare they have in mind!

Anyone know anyone with $100 million lying around?  $50 million would work too.

Link: Barron leading $1 billion campaign at FSU2/5 9:41 PM | IP: Logged
What does $100 million get you? Naming rights to Doak? Sacrilegious, maybe. But $100 million is a lot of scratch.
2/18 9:02 PM | IP: Logged

Originally posted by Mister_Tog:
What does $100 million get you? Naming rights to Doak? Sacrilegious, maybe. But $100 million is a lot of scratch.
I think the $1 billion campaign is only academics, not athletics. When this first started I was hoping it meant a $1 billion endowment. That doesn't seem to be the goal. They're collecting $1 billion and spending most of it. Our endowment actually declined last year (although a lot of others did as well).

Speaking of naming rights though, FAU sold the naming rights to their stadium today. I wish we could sell the rights to Doak. I don't think it's a big deal. If we acquire the Civic Center, I'd like to see that name sold too. Anyone who thinks it's sacrilegious needs to get with the times. It's ok to have ads plastered everywhere and commercials whenever there's a break, yet we can't sell the name?
2/19 9:29 PM | IP: Logged
I am certainly sending in support.  I wish it could be millions.
2/20 4:10 AM | IP: Logged
A few points...

1) The $1 billion will most certainly be the overall total raised by the university, including athletics. Keep in mind that far more dollars are annually raised for academics than athletics (despite commonly held perceptions to the contrary).

2) The majority of dollars raised over the course of the campaign will likely be for endowed funds - scholarships, graduate fellowships, professorships, eminent scholar chairs, endowed centers and institutes, etc. Unfortunately, much of the endowed dollars annually raised by Florida State are dedicated to undergraduate scholarships. In a world of bright futures, the need for more undergraduate scholarships simply is not as great as more pressing needs elsewhere. Don't get me wrong, the university is thankful for all gifts. But graduate fellowships are a much bigger need and unfortunately a much tougher sell for all schools to make.

3) While endowed funds are critically important so too are annual fund and facilities gifts. Deans and administrators badly need the discretionary money that is derived from annual fund gifts. If you anonymously polled all the deans as to what they most need, I suspect money to recruit top flight graduate students (graduate fellowships) and discretionary dollars would appear toward the top of most lists. Meanwhile, facilities fundraising can have a transformative impact as well.

4) Capital campaign's are a PR tool - a very dated one in my opinion - aimed at creating a reason, an impetus for prospective donors to give NOW. A dirty secret is that ALL campaigns fail to achieve funding all of their outlined needs. In fact most fund probably less than half the needs they outline at the outset. Campaign are counted as successful if they raise the overall monetary goal, $1 billion in FSU's case apparently. But even then, Florida State will not raise $1 billion in five years. It will raises gifts and pledges totaling $1 billion over the course of several years as a back count of gifts made between the last campaign and this one is typically included.
2/20 11:38 AM | IP: Logged
Thanks jr. It does seem like it's all talk. I like to look at the NACUBO endowment rankings every year they come out. There hasn't been a significant change in our endowments growth since the campaign started. Recently we've also either been over spending or our investments are under performing compared to the average.
2/20 3:45 PM | IP: Logged
No problem, Crazed. I haven't kept up with endowment figures and investment performance the past three or four years. I do know that our endowment took a HUGE hit in 2008-09. Many relatively new endowed funds actually went underwater.

Anyway, unless procedures changed, earnings on say a scholarship fund with a $100 K principle balance would be used as follows: 4% of earnings or $4000 would go to the scholarship recipient; about 1% of earnings would be used to fund Foundation operations (the Foundation fully supports itself on investment returns); and any additional earnings would be rolled back into the fund's principle to keep it growing. It's accordingly hard to imagine drastic overspending, but I suppose it is possible if investment returns were poor enough.

(It also occurred to me that if NACUBO figures declined/fluctuated drastically since 2009, I'd wonder whether FSU reported both Foundation and Booster endowments. In the past they haven't always so done.)
2/20 5:29 PM | IP: Logged
A $100 million gift probably takes a wealth level of a billion+. How many billionaire FSU alumni do we have? A recent article I read said Harvard had 52 -- Stanford and Penn had something like 25. Cornell about 12. I'm guessing FSU has maybe 5. So a $100 million gift is a very tall order, but not impossible. Incidentally, Stanford set a one-year fund raising record of $1billion last year (IN ONE YEAR). The rich get richer. JOE
2/20 11:13 PM | IP: Logged
Yep, fundraising consultants are replete with charts that indicate you need X number of legitimate prospects capable of giving at Y level in order to realize one gift at Y level. It's a numbers game.

What's interesting is that Florida State in both campaigns raised substantially far more six and seven figure gifts than consultants would say ought to be expected given the size of our prospect pool while not receiving the number of eight (let alone a nine figure gift) they tend to argue is necessary. (In other words, over-performance against expectations in six and seven figure gifts helped make up for under-performance at the top level.)

This post was edited on 2/21 11:42 AM by jrfsu

2/21 11:41 AM | IP: Logged My wife and I have talked about endowing a scholarship but the 25,000 min to start it up I thought would have been for undergrad only. I know we could break up the gift over 5 years but it is still tough. Especially with 16 month old twins and hopefully another one on the way. I wish I could do more.

Posted from

Posted on 2/23 10:17 AM | IP: Logged

Contact the foundation or chair of the program you are interested in supporting. Undergraduate scholarships are not the most pressing need. Program support and graduate student support are far greater needs. Tell them you want to start an endowed fund in your name, but you're only able to commit to giving 2,500 per year over 10 years. I guarantee (1) that they will be delighted to work with you, and (2) that you will end up giving much more than expected. I did that and ended up contributing several times what I ever expected. Very rewarding and a nice family legacy to which my children and their children can continue to contribute long after I am gone. JOE

This post was edited on 2/23 6:04 PM by tallahasseejoe

2/23 5:47 PM | IP: Logged
Great info, Joe.  Thanks!
2/23 9:51 PM | IP: Logged
There is also absolutely nothing wrong with contributing whatever you can to an existing endowed fund.
2/24 9:43 AM | IP: Logged
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