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  Proposal to Increase the Number of Annual Giving Staff More With Less
Budget Reduction QuestionsReceiving approval to increase staff is always difficult, particularly in a small department where the increase may represent a relatively substantial increase in budget requirements.

Here's a sample proposal to increase staff with additional backup information to support the case.

Proposal for Increasing Annual Giving Staff Size

While we realize that current budgets are tight and office space is even tighter, we would like to place into consideration a proposal to increase the Annual Giving staff as new monies become available in the capital campaign and a new office location is planned.

One or two more full-time Annual Giving professionals are required to sufficiently serve an institution of our size and complexity, and such an expansion would make significant contribution to the office’s effort to identify new major gift prospects.

In the past two years, Annual Giving has initiated, been given, or expanded a variety of efforts, including the Annual Fund gift clubs, electronic funds transfer, the office Web site, and increased emphasis on faculty/staff giving.

In addition, we see the need for a parent solicitation program, a student development and senior pledge campaign, an exploration of e-solicitation opportunities, and new donor acknowledgment/donor retention efforts.

To even begin to cover these areas properly would require at least one more staff member, particularly if we follow our campaign consultants recommendation to triple the size of our calling facility, which will significantly increase the responsibilities of our Phonathon manager.  (The enlarged facility will not only serve Development efforts directly, but the Alumni Association is very interested in hiring our callers—when we have this capacity—to sell memberships, rather than outsourcing this service to telemarketing firms, a practice that has caused Development much concern.)

Further, our campaign consultant has advised us that Annual Giving should take on personal solicitation efforts, which he sees as completely distinct from—but vital to the success of—the major gifts officers’ efforts. Reviewing an earlier draft of the list of responsibilities, he said that while he thought the director could handle some personal solicitation in addition to other projects, he recommended that we hire another officer to spend full time on it—a staff member who would be hired at a significantly lower salary than the major gifts officers but who could meet local, higher level annual fund donors to screen their potential for larger gifts.

We believe that planning for additional Annual Giving officers as part of a proposed  capital campaign budget is necessary to ensure continued and growing participation of our alumni base.

Following is a chart showing the Annual Giving staff sizes of our peer institutions and others.

Annual Giving Staff Sizes

(Includes full-time, professional staff only.  Excludes secretarial and student employees.)

Peer Institutions: Annual Giving Staff Size:
University of Arizona  2
University of California Los Angeles 20
University of Cincinnati 3
University of Colorado at Boulder 10/0 (see note below)
University of Florida 2
University of Iowa 5
University of N. Carolina Chapel Hill 5
Purdue 10
University of Virginia 3
University of Washington 6
Other Institutions:  
Brigham Young University 7
Georgia Tech* 8
Michigan State* 8
Ohio State* 5


Rutgers* 4
UC San Diego* 4
Virginia Tech* 6

* Information collected by our peer institution, Cincinnati, as part of their research of other institutions they considered as having comparable programs.

Note: As a budget cutting measure, UC Boulder recently laid off 40 full time development officers, including the entire Annual Giving staff.  Their AG program now consists solely of an outsourced Phonathon operation.

Proposed Division of Annual Giving Office Responsibilities


Program Responsibilities

  • Direct mail

  • Matching gifts

  • Electronic Funds Transfer

  • Web site/E-communications

  • Personal solicitations


  • Budget

  • Reports

  • Responding to alumni concerns

Planning, strategy

  • Annual Fund marketing and communications

  • Donor acquisition and retention efforts

  • College Annual Fund consultation


  • Database management committee

  • Alumni Association coordination

  • Misc. ad hoc duties (legislature, campus and office committee assignments, etc.)

  • Representation on other boards and committees as required


Program Responsibilities

  • Interviewing/Hiring

  • Training/Supervising/Evaluating

  • Pledge reminders

  • College coordination


Program Responsibilities

  • Partners In Excellence (Faculty/Staff solicitation)

  • Student Annual Fund

  • Senior Pledge

  • Parents Committee


Program Responsibilities

  • Personal Solicitations

  • Gift Clubs

Contributed by ...
Jeffrey D. Driggs, Director, Annual Giving, University of Utah
Email AddressJeffrey D. Driggs has been director of Annual Giving at the University of Utah since 2001. Prior to coming to the U of U, he was associate director of Communications for LDS Foundation, where he spent 17 years producing development publications for Brigham Young University, BYU-Idaho, and BYU-Hawaii. He has bachelor's and master's degrees in English from Brigham Young University.

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