St. Mary’s College of Maryland is beginning preparations for the silent phase of a long-term, wide-scale school fundraising campaign, according to President Joseph Urgo and the Office of Advancement. A campaign statement is being constructed at this time to outline the priorities and initiatives of the fundraiser, and is expected to be complete within a few months. As of July 1st 2012, the campaign is anticipated to be a two year enterprise.
A “silent” or “private” phase is a common step in many collegiate efforts to gain funding and support from important individuals and institutions. In this stage of the campaign, the College is working to create a reasonable and impactful goal for the amount it wants to raise. The College will then finalize a campaign statement and begin private fundraising efforts to start working towards the goal. When 50 percent of the goal amount has been raised, the College will go public with the fundraiser, and announce their target amount. The purpose of the silent fundraiser is to prevent discouragement in the early stages when it may seem that growth towards the goal is slow moving and therefore unreachable, and to provide encouragement when the fundraiser goes public, and people see that half of the desired amount has already been raised.
Once the campaign statement is finalized, President Urgo and the Office of Advancement, in affiliation with the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Foundation, will begin fundraising activities and private outreach efforts in Maryland and other parts of the country, including areas with active branches of alumni organizations. President Urgo says that an important first step of these activities will be leadership-briefing meetings with key people and organizations to discuss the statement and the campaign.
When the campaign does eventually go public, a huge part of meeting the final goal will be the contributions of alumni, parents and friends of the College. The continued support of the St. Mary’s community serves as a crucial part of the success of the College’s fundraising efforts. Ongoing efforts to raise money that are oriented towards reaching out to alumni and parents include the Annual Giving 10 week phone-a-thon, in which students make calls as part of an effort to raise money for the St. Mary’s Fund, which disburses funds on a current-need basis. Individuals interested in making gifts to the college of their own initiative can do so on the college website, through the Office of Advancement.
More information on campaign activities will be made available in the coming months, once all constituents have been consulted and the campaign receives final approval. According to President Urgo, two of the key areas the funds raised will be going towards are need-based financial aid and faculty support, both of which experienced decreases in funding after last year’s difficult cutbacks. Urgo also mentions that his part in fundraising efforts will mean he must spend an increasing amount of time away from school. Because of this, he intends to prioritize being present for campus events when he is at St. Mary’s, and to continue to make himself as available as possible to the students.