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Success Story

SUNY Geneseo

A gem of the State University of New York system invests in its advancement office, with powerful results.

The Situation

SUNY Geneseo prides itself on offering a top liberal arts education with the access of a public university. With its small class sizes, dedication to inclusivity, strong sense of community, and wealth of opportunities outside the classroom, the college represents tremendous value to its students, who often form lifelong relationships with their professors.

As state funding has continued to dwindle, the Geneseo Foundation Board recognized the need to shore up their advancement department in preparation for mounting a capital campaign.


The Solution

The Geneseo Foundation Board, plus a group of engaged alumni, were especially collaborative partners, taking quick ownership in the project. Their in-depth knowledge of the university helped Graham-Pelton conduct a thorough development assessment. We evaluated processes in need of improvement and uncovered issues that had led to recent staff turnover.

With this information, we made recommendations for more aggressive investment in the advancement office to create departmental continuity and ensure that Geneseo’s leadership and staff were all working toward maintaining the level of excellence the school is known for. We outlined roles for campaign staff and volunteers. We also crafted a Case for Support and later incorporated it into a $50 million-plus capital campaign that was part of the university’s strategic plan.


The Success

Our work focused on building confidence within the advancement office and Foundation Board. We counseled leadership on recruitment of a new advancement leader, whom we helped coach—and who is still in the role to this day. With a more commanding approach to fundraising, SUNY Geneseo now feels equipped to follow through on the strategic planning process and meet its fundraising goals.

You can raise more money. We can show you how.