Goucher College

“Campbell & Company went the extra mile to understand us—and to deliver work and advice that was absolutely tailored to Goucher, our staff and our situation.” 

Margaret-Ann Radford-Wedemeyer, Vice President for Development and Alumnae/i Affairs, Goucher College

About Goucher College

Located in Towson, Maryland, Goucher College provides students with a robust liberal arts education and requires a study abroad experience as part of its curriculum. Primarily focused on undergraduate education, Goucher also has a small—but vibrant—graduate program, and those who know the institution consider it one of America’s best colleges for liberal arts education. 

The Challenge

Following a successful capital campaign, Goucher College developed a strategic plan—“Transcending Boundaries and Transforming Lives”—charting an ambitious path forward for the College. The plan outlined exciting opportunities for continued fundraising and institutional growth, particularly toward the goal of building a community committed to “Goucher for Life.” Yet this strategic plan was also developed amid concerns about a shrinking donor base and the College’s advancement potential. 

Furthermore, it had been nearly 20 years since an outside party had reviewed Goucher’s development department, and the College wanted experts in the field to assess the good work its fundraisers were already doing—and identify the areas where the College’s development department needed to grow and change.

As a result, Goucher College sought counsel to help it build its fundraising capacity to support its strategic plan—and to help create a culture of philanthropy among its alumni, Board members, and other internal and external stakeholders.  

The Approach

The Campbell & Company fundraising team dove right in, reviewing and analyzing materials related to fundraising and alumnae/i affairs activities and performance in annual, major and planned giving, Board involvement in fundraising, staff organization and expectations, and department policies and practices.  Campbell & Company’s Strategic Information Services team facilitated a predictive modeling exercise with strategic partner Target Analytics, using sociodemographic and financial information to build statistical profiles of Goucher’s donors, then analyzed these database profiles to determine the likelihood that they might make a gift, and estimate a gift range. 

The team also completed a benchmarking survey of Goucher against its peers with regard to fundraising performance, staffing and budget, as well as a focused assessment of the effectiveness of Goucher’s website and social media activities in generating engagement and philanthropic support. Our assessment of Goucher’s development department ranks among the most comprehensive development assessments our firm has completed. 

Among other findings confirming the incredible giving potential among Goucher’s donors, the work determined that the potential giving among all parents in Goucher’s database was equal to the total giving to Goucher during the 1990s.

The Results

Armed with Campbell & Company’s findings and recommendations for how to structure its fundraising efforts, Goucher’s approach to fundraising has become more donor-centered and more data-driven—and it shows. In 2013 the College achieved its fundraising goals for unrestricted and restricted annual giving for the first time in years!