STORY BY JESSICA LYNK
What started in October 2010 as $73 million has now grown into over $216 million.
After five years, the Distinctly Drake campaign came to a close after surpassing its goal of $200 million.
“We always talked about how we want to be the best Drake we can be,” Vice President of Alumni and Development John Smith said. “We simply wanted to be the best Drake that we could be and from that we landed on Distinctly Drake to capture that sentiment.”
The comprehensive campaign was designed to have multiple buckets for donors to invest in.
“Institutions have lots of priorities, but you also want to have the flexible in those given options that your constituency can find their own personal connection to that area,” Smith said.
By the time the campaign ended, it crafted more than 208 scholarship funds with over $48 million.
“The number one priority was to create access to the Drake experience and access comes through scholarship support,” Smith said. “That felt like a promise delivered to our current and future generations of students.”
The next step of the campaign was to deliver to faculty.
“It became clear that Drake needed to find multiple avenues to invest in our faculty,” Smith said.
One way the campaign achieved this was through endowed faculty positions, which give to programs that faculty are working with. Through Distinctly Drake, 11 endowed positions were created. More than $33 million was given to faculty through these positions.
The campaign also donated to the capital needs of Drake. These have evolved over the time of the campaign.
“The Distinctly Drake campaign is reflected of that evolution of time because opportunities emerged that we hadn’t even considered when the campaign started,” Smith said.
Examples of those opportunities are the basketball practice facility, the Patty and Fred Turner Jazz Center and the Cline atrium.
From the start, the campaign had intended to redesign classrooms and labs and creation of Cowles after-hours.
The last section of the campaign is the Drake fund, also referred to as an annual fund. The fund comes from donors of $5 to $10 thousand.
“This advances the daily operation of the institution,” Smith said.
All of these divisions of funds were created not by the campaign managers, but through planning by administration.
“We also say in development that those of us in development do not set the fundraising priorities of the university,” Smith said. “Those emerge through the leadership of the provost office, endorsed through the direction of the president and the board of trustees, but created by the academic deans in the colleges and school. They identify and define the highest priories of the institution.”
The Distinctly Drake campaign reached its goal well before the closing date of June 2015. Smith is happy with how the campaign went overall.
“Campaigns are as much about raising resources as they are about branding the institution and messaging to our alumni and friends,” Smith said. “Campaigns give an opportunity to identify the institution’s priorities, but have them really tell a story of who the institutions aspire to be.”