Want your alumni’s donations? Get their attention first!

Alumni need a reason to donate to their old school. They need to know their donations will be put to good use and make a difference to a new generation of students. But above all, they need to be made aware that you would very much appreciate their hard-earned cash. Don’t be low key when launching a new fundraising campaign; you need create a buzz across multiple media platforms, you have to create something for your alumni to be truly excited and interested about. Step forward Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School.

Bishop Vesey’s is not one to rest on its laurels when it comes to fundraising. The school has just launched its most ambitious fundraising campaign yet – The Vesey 2027 Campaign – 500 years in the making. Chairman of the committee, Clive Richards OBE, describes the campaign as ensuring “all new Bishop Vesey’s students enjoy the future as much as we all have enjoyed the past”.

To kick-start this campaign, Development Director Brian Davies oversaw production of a launch video with one of the school’s corporate partners Ark Media (where Old Veseyan Phil Arkinstall is MD). With plenty of shares and views across LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook already, this is an inspiring example of how to engage your alumni in a fundraising campaign.

We caught up with Brian to find out more about the Vesey 2027 campaign and how he plans to reach out to alumni.

Q. How did you make the video?
The video is a culmination of footage gathered from the filming of our Promo video (for our updated website) and interviews with several Old Veseyans in regards to their experiences at Vesey.

Q. What is the aim of the Vesey 2027 campaign?
To raise £10m over 10 years for three capital projects, which will hopefully be ready by our 500th anniversary in October 2027. We decided to launch the campaign 10 years out from this date to gather momentum.

Q. How are you fundraising?
By increasing the focus of our regular giving programme with parents. We are aiming to raise over £200,000 a year from our ‘Inspiration and Excellence’ fund, which will provide one fifth of the total costs of the Vesey 2027 projects. We will be writing bids to Sport England and National Governing Bodies such as the RFU, ECB and England Hockey to seek funding. We will then be tying in our bids with community usage for the 30 local primary schools we currently cater for, and outreach clubs for targeted groups from the NGB’s, such as girls and disability sport.

Finally we will be asking our alumni to support the campaign, with naming rights being offered for donations in excess of £50k for each 5-year, £5m phase.

Q. How important are alumni for the campaign?
Alumni are extremely important. We are hoping to identify a number of new, high-level donors who can support our projects to support the philanthropic ventures of alumni such as Clive Richards OBE DL and Peter Randon who have both been so generous in the past. With our online network, we’re looking to increase our reach of the Vesey community, and in particular alumni.