So, you’re a fundraiser and you’re wondering how to get started.
Asking your classmates for a gift is similar to any other invitation. The way you ask will depend on your relationship with your classmates and their relationship with the College. It will also depend on your style. Successful interactions have common elements that increase your chances of a positive outcome.
The Art of the Ask
Introduction and rapport building. Identify yourself in the first line of your text or email or as you begin your phone call. Find common ground by mentioning Middlebury.
Purpose. Explain your role and why you’re reaching out. Be friendly, but also be up-front. Tell classmates that you’re in touch to ask them to contribute to Middlebury.
Articulating the need. Middlebury’s top fundraising priorities are the Annual Fund and financial aid.
Urgency. Remind your classmates of the benefit of giving now. The sooner a gift arrives, the sooner it can be put to work on campus.
Expressing gratitude. Thank your classmates for their time and for considering your request. Annual Giving can provide you with thank-you cards and templates.
Tips for Practice
Lead by example. Make your own gift before reaching out to your classmates and share your reasons for contributing.
Practice. It’s okay to be nervous. You can kick-start your outreach by reviewing the sample email solicitations in the Volunteer Portal on GiveCampus.
Understand why. If a classmate says no to giving, it can be an opportunity to learn why. Share that feedback with Middlebury staff. Many alumni are grateful for the opportunity to express their concerns.
Get in touch. If you are not able to address objections, please contact us. We’re happy to provide resources or be part of the conversation.
Stay in touch. The Annual Giving staff, as well as members of the Annual Fund Executive Committee, are here to help you do this important work. You can email or call your class liaison anytime for support.
Good to Know
The Annual Fund. Year after year, the Annual Fund plays an important role in helping Middlebury thrive, providing essential funding that supports every aspect of the Middlebury experience. Annual Fund gifts can be spent as they come in, making an immediate impact on the lives of students and faculty.
Financial aid. Middlebury provides financial support to over half the student body, with an average grant of $57,000.
Some alumni wonder about the impact of smaller gifts and whether their participation matters. In a typical fiscal year, gifts of $250 or less from alumni and parents total nearly $1 million. In recent years, that is enough to provide about 17 students with Middlebury’s average financial aid grant of approximately $57,000.
The most recent figures are available on the Admissions website. Each fall, we also produce the Financial Aid at a Glance info sheet that you can download and use to support your outreach.
The fiscal year. Any gift made between July 1 and June 30 will count in the current fiscal year and toward your class gift.
Alumni and Families
700 Exchange St.
Middlebury, VT 05753