“Share the Wonderful” aims to generate broad-based support
It’s about to get wonderful.
A concentrated new multimedia annual giving campaign, called “Share the Wonderful,” has begun and runs through October.
The campaign, a collaborative effort involving the University of Wisconsin Foundation, the Wisconsin Alumni Association and UW–Madison, is aimed at letting more alumni know that their support is crucial and makes a difference.
Annual giving is increasingly important as the university looks to more philanthropy to support its core budget. Gifts to annual funds allow the chancellor and deans the resources they need to improve the students’ educational experience, and recruit and retain top faculty to inspire them.
“Share the Wonderful” comes at a time when the university is addressing its financial challenges by making efforts on several fronts to improve and streamline the way it does business.
“Securing our position in the world for the future will not happen by doing things the way they have always been done,” says Interim Chancellor David Ward. “We have to do things differently because there is no way we can continue on the same path. Too much is changing around us, so we must change ourselves.”
“Wisconsin alumni are notorious for their affection for their alma mater. If that affection can be translated into a modest increase by all in annual giving, it would make a huge difference to our future.”
Instead of multiple fundraising calls throughout the year, the university’s annual campaign redirects resources for a coordinated effort — streamlining requests and offering a new way to reach and engage our alumni and friends. “Share the Wonderful” will also have an entertaining campaign microsite accessible at http://www.sharethewonderful.org. (The site is best viewed on the latest versions of most common Web browsers.)
Already, graduates are finding in their mailboxes cards that say simply “You are Wonderful,” which will be followed by other, more detailed messages.
Michael Knetter, president and chief executive officer of the University of Wisconsin Foundation, says annual-fund giving and unrestricted gifts are key to the university’s health as an institution.
Currently, fewer than 10 percent of the university’s 390,000 alumni make gifts to support UW–Madison’s academic mission. The campaign is designed to let many more alumni know their support is needed and appreciated.
“I know firsthand from my time as dean of the Wisconsin School of Business how vital alumni support is to the educational experience at a time when state dollars are scarce,” Knetter says.
“Wisconsin alumni are notorious for their affection for their alma mater. If that affection can be translated into a modest increase by all in annual giving, it would make a huge difference to our future. This campaign asks each of us to reflect on what the university meant to us and to consider sharing that experience with others by giving back,” Knetter says.
To access or contribute news and views about the campaign on Twitter, watch the hashtag #ShareTheW.