Faculty Annual Fund Co-Chairs Employ Various Strategies for Success

Collegiate School 1st Grade teacher Sarah Williamson, Middle School math teacher Mike Peters and Upper School English teacher Will Dunlap pulled out all the stops as 2019-20 Annual Fund co-chairs to encourage their colleagues to reach 100% participation.
The three met in the Collegiate Development Office with Director of Annual Giving Jennifer Wilkins and Associate Director of the Annual Fund Katherine Bulifant to learn more about how the Annual Fund supports multiple areas of need at the School. Armed with the information, a timeline and the tools for success, they were off!  
 
For each Lower School faculty member who contributed, Sarah gifted him or her with a delicious Cougar paw cookie from the Cougar Shop.
 
“It benefits the Cougar Shop, which benefits the School,” she said of her cookie encouragement.
 
Will relied on periodic, witty emails to nudge his colleagues to make a donation.
 
“It’s not a hard thing to do,” he said. “I try to use humor, and I emphasize that the size of the gift doesn’t matter.”
 
Mike made an announcement at a Middle School faculty meeting, handed out donation forms and contacted his colleagues via email. He said he was happy to take on the role of faculty Annual Fund co-chair.
 
“I get to see a lot of ways the School uses its funds to give back to faculty and students,” he said.
 
Whatever their tactics, they worked. The race was tight, with the Upper School in the lead at first. The competition heated up when Head of School Penny Evins offered an incentive of several blue-jean days. That may have pushed the Lower School ahead of the Upper School, because every faculty member in those two divisions made a contribution to the Annual Fund by Oct. 25. The Middle School came close, with 82% by that date. (This time last year, faculty participation was about 40%.)
 
“It always feels good to win,” Sarah said. “And it was for a good cause.”
 
Will agreed, however grudgingly.
 
“To have three divisions at 94% participation that early is a record,” he said. “It displays a unified front from the faculty. It’s important to see that everyone is behind the School in every way possible.”
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