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Purdue University Fort Wayne

Services Provided: Philanthropy Fundamentals for Academic Leaders

Annual Development Plans for Academic Units

The arrival of a new vice chancellor for development served as the catalyst for the first formal coaching experience ever offered to PFW’s academic leaders. This young institution also has Division I athletics, so the delivery of AAP’s Philanthropy Fundamentals for Academic Leaders was also opened to the athletic director and the 14 head coaches of men’s and women’s teams at PFW. 

Rather than a one-day experience, PFW opted to spread the program over five sessions (90 minutes each), to be delivered monthly between February and June 2020. The academic and athletic cohorts were delivered separately, but on the same date. This worked well for the February and March sessions, but then Covid-19 changed everything. AAP seamlessly transitioned the remaining three courses over Zoom. Participants also continued to receive individual one-hour coaching sessions throughout the remainder of the program. Dr. Aaron Conley delivered the entire program and was joined in the third session by Paula Jenkins to discuss working with high net worth individuals, and in the final session by Carl Jaedicke to discuss corporate relations and volunteer advisory boards.

This experience was so impactful, AAP was retained for a second project to help each dean create a 2020-21 development plan for their school. This process included reviewing past giving data, working with development staff to project anticipated major gift solicitations, and implementing specific stewardship responsibilities for each dean to increase their engagement with donors at all levels.

Select comments from program participants:

“The course provided many useful and realistic ways to begin the development process in our individual areas.”


“As a beginner, this really gave me an understanding of the many facets of philanthropy, which I wasn’t aware of previously.”


“The real life examples given during the training was really helpful to see how these items are applied in realistic situations.”


“Although I went into the individual (coaching) session with some anxiety because I have never had much experience in this area, I thought that ended up being the most beneficial part of the program for me personally.”


“I really enjoyed having the workbook in addition to the book. It will be a great resource for me to look back on.”

These comments were provided through the confidential evaluation conducted at the conclusion of every AAP teaching and coaching program. Completed evaluations are provided back to the client to help evaluate program effectiveness and other opportunities for fundraising improvement.

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