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!
LIFE UNIVERSITY Lauren Nielsen | Director of Advancement Services 1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta, GA 30060 P: 770-426-2832 F: 770-426-2748
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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.
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