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Alumni Board Initiative and Donations

  • 1.  Alumni Board Initiative and Donations

    Posted 11-08-2019 01:38 PM



    Our student engagement sub-committee (made up of 2 people) of our alumni board secured a significant donation from a constituent they know professionally based on a caveat that the money would go to a "Student Engagement Dinner" that he (the donor) would be the Keynote Speaker. The VP of Advancement directed the money to the leadership society of our annual giving program. The VP directed the Alumni Relations Department to facilitate/pay for the first Student Engagement Dinner. 


    The VP also informed the sub-committee that if they wanted to do future Student Engagement Dinners, they would need to secure donations. The sub committee members then went and secured nearly 25 donations from various alumni doctors in their network with the enticement that they would get access/networking with the students through these dinners. The University doesn't know what the exact conversation was between the board members and the donors. The contribution checks were written to the University and handed off to a board member who has had them in their possession for over a month. We are waiting for those to be sent to the University. We are greatly concerned about the safe handling of the funds not the mention the timing delay for acknowledgement and proper deposit. The alumni board wants a dedicated fund for these donations and are also insisting they need an online donation page for future donations to this initiative.


    While the first student engagement dinner was successful with the students, and we would like to incorporate the idea into our current student engagement programs, we are up against the precedent being set that these board members were allowed to operate independently of the institution and promises were made to these donors we are not 100% clear of. 


    Any insight on how to handle a Board and leadership who does not seem to understand the ramifications of not following policy and procedures for the donations and the institutions oversight on programing that touches the students. Thanks for your help!




    Lauren Nielsen | Director of Advancement Services
    1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta, GA 30060
    P: 770-426-2832   F: 770-426-2748 | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


  • 2.  RE: Alumni Board Initiative and Donations

    Posted 11-08-2019 02:06 PM
    Lauren, it sounds like you need a formal policy that addresses this as well as other externally driven fundraising efforts.  You will find in the Downloads Libary a collection of "Third-Party Fundraising" protocol that you might find useful.


    John H. Taylor
    John H. Taylor Consulting, LLC
    2604 Sevier St.
    Durham, NC   27705
    919.816.5903 (cell/text)

    Serving the Advancement Community Since 1987

  • 3.  RE: Alumni Board Initiative and Donations

    Posted 11-11-2019 02:28 PM

    Hello everyone,


    The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA has an opening on our wonderful team for a Donor Services Associate! You can see the full posting and apply at the link:


    The Donor Services Associate is an integral part of our dynamic and high-energy Development and Communications team working in a highly collaborative environment to inspire support for the Center. This position provides database, administrative, and logistical support to the department and reports to the Donor Services Manager.



    • Performs daily gift entry and gift audits. Imports and reviews incoming gifts from external sources for accurate data reporting
    • Continuously identifies ways of making processes more efficient and effective while also providing possible solutions
    • Manages and supports seasonal and temporary data entry support personnel
    • Prepares mailings, acknowledgement letters, and other Raiser's Edge based letters
    • Performs scheduled data entry audits to ensure a high level of accuracy and adherence to quality control guidelines for data entry
    • Performs ongoing maintenance of donor records
    • Maintains complete and up-to-date donation and bequest files
    • Provides database support for the Development department in a timely and professional manner
    • Identifies and communicates problems encountered by Development staff and makes suggestions for possible solutions or improvement
    • Maintains organization of materials including policy and procedure documents
    • Carries out general office duties, including filing and the management of donor services volunteers
    • Assists with other duties and projects as assigned


    • Develops workable solutions when confronted with challenges, and/or ambiguity; takes a structured approach to problem solving using data to make decisions
    • Proven success within a highly flexible and visible, entrepreneurial culture; comfort keeping track of complex processes under tight timelines in a fast-paced environment
    • Leverages effective systems and tools to meet deadlines, fulfill commitments, and achieve goals
    • Brings a track record of productive relationships with a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders
    • Demonstrates a meticulous level of follow-through and attention to detail in the completion of tasks
    • Knowledge of Blackbaud's Raiser's Edge 7 and/or Luminate Online/Convio highly desirable
    • Ability to work flexibly and independently in a team environment under a variety of circumstances while being diplomatic and decisive
    • Ability to supervise seasonal support and volunteers on administrative tasks



    The Marine Mammal Center was founded in 1975 by three local citizens: Lloyd Smalley, Pat Arrigoni and Paul Maxwell. Since then, and thanks to their vision, the Center is now a global leader in marine mammal health, science and conservation and is the largest marine mammal hospital in the world. The Center operates physical locations in Sausalito, Morro Bay and Moss Landing, CA, as well as in Kona, Hawai'i, and has an annual operating budget of $11.5M. A team of 80 staff and 1,200 actively engaged volunteers make the Center's impact possible and keep the Center operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 


    Kelly Dewees

    Donor Services Manager | T: 415.754.4047 |

    The Marine Mammal Center, 2000 Bunker Road, Sausalito, CA 94965