In its 2007 strategic plan, “The Path to Leadership,” Saint Mary’s articulated the most ambitious vision in its 170-year history: the College would invest in a range of priorities centered on supporting women who aspire to become leaders in their communities and caring difference makers guided by their Catholic faith.
Knowing this plan required a philanthropic investment greater than any the institution had ever achieved, Saint Mary’s sought out the experienced fundraising counsel of Campbell & Company.
Following Campbell & Company’s development assessment and campaign planning study, Saint Mary’s launched its $80 million comprehensive campaign in June of 2008.
At the time, it was impossible to predict the trials that lay ahead through one of the worst economic downturns in U.S. history. Recognizing the compounding difficulty posed by the recession, Saint Mary’s worked with Campbell & Company to hone all aspects of its development program.
Campbell & Company brought together expertise from across the firm to help Saint Mary’s advance the campaign by providing strategic fundraising counsel, recruiting two development executives, assessing annual and planned giving operations, advising on metrics tracking, and developing campaign communications materials.
The Faith Always, Action Now campaign enabled the School to showcase a bold new vision, calling upon alumnae to act on their faith in Saint Mary’s by engaging their spouses, families, and friends in the effort.
“We wanted a firm that understood Catholic higher education, private institutions, women’s colleges, and fundraising with women. Campbell & Company understood these aspects of fundraising and helped us not only achieve our goal but surpass it by $25 million. ”
– Shari Rodriguez, Vice President, College Relations, Saint Mary’s College
Thanks to this thoughtful, comprehensive effort, the campaign met with early success—including a lead gift of $9 million. Momentum continued to build, and, in 2013, the campaign went public after achieving 75 percent of its initial goal.
Saint Mary’s ultimately exceeded its goal by raising $105 million over a six-year period: three times more than any other campaign in the College’s history.