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The Luck of the Irish



    Saint Patrick’s Day is March 17, and will be here before we know it. And along with St. Patrick’s Day every year comes a reminder of “the luck of the Irish.”


    In many fundraising cases, luck is what you make of it, as suggested by an old quote: “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” And with that knowledge comes the reality that for most of our fundraising successes, we’ve had to work pretty hard. Certainly, there are the occasional gifts that fall into our laps, but for the most part, the gifts received by our organizations result from making the calls, making the visits, and making the effort to maintain our relationships with our donors.


    How do we increase the likelihood that good luck will befall our fundraising programs? One way that we in academic fundraising can all use to leverage our success is to partner with our faculty. Professors are often an overlooked resource when reaching out to alumni. Many of the alumni whom I’ve engaged over the years recall at least one favorite professor. Sometimes the professor has passed away or has long been in retirement, and other times the professor is still active. Alumni sometimes want to honor the professor with making a gift in memory or in honor of the professor. I’ve worked with several donors who’ve taken that track.


    So this month, let’s work on increasing our luck, and let’s all be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with some good luck. Enjoy!