Office for Faculty Development

Fundraising and Stewardship

In the language of college advancement, "cultivation of donors" refers to building a relationship with potential donors and educating them about the possibilities of a gift to the University. "Stewardship of donors" refers to maintaining good relations with people who have already made gifts to the University.

Why should a department chair be involved in any of this when there's a whole office of University Advancement dedicated to this purpose? Because sometimes our connections, or our interaction with someone already in conversation with the Advancement Office is just what is needed to help initiate or clinch a gift. 

There are many ways to make a gift to the university, but gifts to departments tend to come in three forms:

  • cash gifts to current funds,
  • cash gifts to increase or supplement endowed funds, or
  • gifts in kind (such as lab equipment).

Gifts, especially in the form of endowed funds, can be an enormous resource, opening up enhanced opportunities for faculty and students. Gifts might fund faculty research, outside speakers, departmental colloquia, library expenditures beyond the college budget, and prizes and scholarships for majors-depending on the gift agreement. All funds must be used in accordance with A Note Concerning Grants and Gifts.

Please contact University Advancement if you have questions about art or gifts as there are strict IRS guidelines on acceptance and documentation.

Department chairs have played, and will continue to play, an important role in these gifts, in either the cultivation or stewardship phase, or both.