For this edition of Almabase Spotlights featuring Liberal Arts Institutions, we shine the spotlight on Wartburg College, and how their unique Fund the Fortress crowdfunding campaign drove fundraising success and found new donors even during the pandemic.
💡 An Idea To Host Affinity-based Crowdfunding Campaigns
The Alumni and Parent Programs Office at Wartburg College had started their Fund the Fortress crowdfunding campaign back in 2017. The idea behind it was simple - the campaign catered to specific needs and appealed to alumni with an affinity towards those needs. By urging alumni to raise funds for a cause that they care for, the College was able to garner tremendous support, while acquiring new donors along the way.
🏰 Wartburg College’s Fund the Fortress Campaigns
The Office typically serves those needs that their annual budget can’t fund, but which certain alumni groups care deeply about. They initially started off with one project in the Fall of 2017, but owing to the great success they witnessed from their motivated alumni community, the College ran multiple projects simultaneously. Today, they commit to a plan of eight projects per year - four each during the Fall and Winter term respectively. The Office recently concluded a project on raising funds for exercise science equipment. They encouraged funds from alumni with an affinity towards the project (alumni groups consisting of Exercise Science Majors were targeted), and it turned out to be a huge success.
What is remarkable about this campaign is that the College has been able to find new donors to support their projects, even during the pandemic. Participation among younger alumni was particularly high because they tend to see the value in contributing towards something tangible (like exercise science equipment and computers).
The Office is currently raising funds to create a living classroom in honor of a beloved faculty member who passed away a year ago. We absolutely loved the messaging and sentiment behind something so thoughtful and endearing, and it is great to see the traction and support that the campaign is receiving💙.
⭐ Our Source of Inspiration
Robert Ruchotzke currently serves as the Director Of Annual Giving at Wartburg College. He has been working with The Alumni and Parent Programs Office at the College for nearly four years. Under his skilled leadership, the College’s Annual Fund received more than $1.2 million in support for three consecutive years.
He previously worked at Missouri S&T as an Annual Giving Officer, where he managed to raise over $1 million in phonathon gifts for the University during the two years he ran the program.