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Guidelines on Fundraising "Mini-Campaigns"

Background and Key Points 

In order to best utilize the resources in our Office of Advancement, the College of Arts and Sciences continues to focus its fundraising efforts on securing major gifts.  A “major gift” is defined by Indiana University as a gift of at least $50,000 from an individual donor. 

It is the College’s and University’s experience that fundraising via “mini-campaigns” – small, focused efforts that target groups of individuals (by phone or mail) for a specific objective – requires a substantial commitment of  time and resources with relatively low return.   In addition, these campaigns may run counter to Indiana University's centralized Annual Fund appeals and can negatively affect giving to the College of Arts and Sciences by redirecting annual support. Therefore, it is the College of Arts and Sciences' practice to not undertake mini-campaigns.

Requesting an Exception

Exceptions to any proposed mini-campaign must be approved by the Dean of the College. To request an exception, please submit a written proposal to the Dean, with a copy to the College’s Assistant Dean for Advancement. The proposal must include the following:

  • The purpose of the campaign
  • Campaign dollar goal
  • Names of leadership gift prospects (leadership gifts are defined as individual gifts equal to 80% of the goal) along with a summary of each prospect’s ability to give and his/her documented interest in the campaign purpose
  • All prospective donors  (individual names or a description of the target group)
  • Proposed method(s) of solicitation (i.e. Do you plan to print a brochure? Send letters by US mail? Solicit funds via email messages?)   
  • Campaign timeline

(Please see the following link for additional issues to keep in mind when requesting exceptions.)

In the event an exception is granted for a mini-campaign, the Office of Advancement will provide its assistance for drafting direct mail letters (print and/or electronic), advising on target audiences, ordering alumni/donor/mailing lists, and providing suggestions on assessing the success of electronic solicitations.

All expenses associated with preparing and disseminating the direct mail mini-campaign (including, but not limited to, stationary, envelopes, postage, labor, etc.) will be the responsibility of the sponsoring department or program.