Western Michigan University, a nationally top-100 ranked public research university in Kalamazoo, Michigan, found itself in a unique position: in the spring of 2021, they received a $550 million gift, earmarked for the university, its 10-year-old Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, and Broncos athletics.
The donation was the largest ever made to a U.S. public higher education institution. But if the announcement of the gift wasn’t strategically planned, the university could miss out the multiplier effect that comes from attracting additional donors.
Because Graham-Pelton had led the university through a Campaign Planning Study, the WMU advancement and communications team turned to us to advise them on a coordinated fundraising communications strategy.