Alumni Engagement and Fundraising Guiding Principles

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Fundraising is critical to the future success of the Berkeley Student Cooperative in continuing to meet its mission. Alumni engagement and fundraising are key to the BSC’s ability to seismically retrofit our buildings, perform remodels and other large capital improvement projects, increase accessibility in our units, pursue the purchase and/or development of new properties, and continue to expand our scholarship program. The only way to pursue all of these important projects, while also keeping our member rates affordable to those who truly need it, is through active alumni engagement and external fundraising.

To achieve our fundraising goals, the BSC is building philanthropic culture throughout the BSC and developing our organizational capacity for supporting alumni engagement and fundraising activities. As we prioritize this work, invest resources, and develop our strategic vision for alumni engagement, development, and fundraising activities, we will be guided by the following principles:

1. The BSC is committed to taking leadership responsibility in alumni engagement and fundraising activities, consistent with our student-led cooperative model and our status as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The BSC Board of Directors will set the strategic vision for alumni engagement and fundraising and BSC staff and membership will work to realize that vision. The BSC will also strive to provide clear external guidance to BSC allies — alumni, volunteers, donors, and other non-BSC members — so that our allies understand our needs and expectations and can support the BSC in ways that are most productive and aligned with the BSC’s guiding principles and strategic priorities.
2. The conversation about alumni engagement and fundraising belongs in all places within the BSC organization. Our vision is that all BSC members and staff will understand the BSC’s fundraising goals and what they can do to help the BSC achieve them. The BSC will provide the Development Department and Executive Director the resources and backing necessary to realize this vision, including a continuing commitment by the BSC Board of Directors to individually and collectively engage in development efforts.
3. Alumni engagement and fundraising, like all operations and functions at the BSC, should be approached from a stance of continuous rigor and improvement. The BSC will use due diligence in evaluating all development and alumni engagement programs which impact the BSC’s fundraising goals.
4. Alumni engagement and fundraising should be based on building authentic relationships. Authentic relationships with alumni and donors are part of a larger organizational culture that values relational rather than transactional interactions with everyone. The BSC will invest in these relationships by educating our members on our common mission and strategic objectives, and will continue to cultivate these relationships when members become alumni.

Directives for Spring 2018:

In support of these Guiding Principles, and in order to help the BSC develop and pursue strategic alumni engagement and fundraising objectives, the BSC Board of Directors commits to the following projects for Spring 2018:

1. The External Affairs Committee will develop and articulate the BSC’s strategic vision for alumni engagement, development, and fundraising, including prioritized activities and clear, measurable goals, which will be incorporated into the BSC’s next strategic plan.
2. The External Affairs Committee will complete its alumni engagement and fundraising research project and develop a recommendation for how the BSC can best organize and leverage its resources (including student leadership, members, staff, alumni volunteers, and other external allies) to best support the BSC’s alumni engagement and fundraising strategy and goals.
3. If the strategic vision, prioritized alumni engagement and fundraising activities, and/or organizational structure is different from the current approaches or structures, the External Affairs Committee will also recommend a transition plan.
4. The External Affairs Committee will work with the BSC Alumni Association to ensure that their activities and priorities align with the BSC’s strategic vision and goals with regard to alumni engagement and fundraising.
5. The Internal Affairs Committee will comprehensively review the staffing needs and job descriptions of the BSC’s Development Department to ensure that sufficient resources are provided to accomplish the BSC’s alumni engagement and fundraising goals.
6. The Experience and Training Committee will discuss the Alumni Engagement and Fundraising Guiding Principles and develop a concrete education/engagement plan to realize our vision of widespread membership involvement with alumni engagement, development, and fundraising.