Wednesday, September 10, 2014

BC sends a message about Sports fundraising in BC Magazine

I know it seems like BC Sports is always at a turning point, but I think it is true with regards to fundraising. If you don't believe me, you just need to look at the full page breakdown in the latest issue of BC Magazine. In the graphic BC shows our rank among ACC schools in Annual Athletic Gifts and Total Donors and then shows the corresponding ranking in the Learfield Directors Cups given to the school with the most overall successful Athletic Department (implying there is a strong correlation). This ranking was done before the most recent ACC expansion, so BC is listed as 10th in Annual Gifts and 11th in Total Donors and 11th in the Learfield Cup. North Carolina was first among ACC schools in the Cup ranking but only 9th in Gifts and 4th in Donors. Wake was 12th in all categories.

You can argue over the correlation between giving and on field success, but it doesn't matter what we think or what the statistics prove. What matters is that the people in the Athletic Department and the Development Office think there is a strong correlation. And BC's ability to raise funds for sports is going to determine what sort of facilities we have and how many sports we support.

The Master Plan was supposed to have been released last year. It is done but not being widely shared. The reason is fund raising. BC and Bates need to raise enough money for certain aspects of the Plan to make the whole campaign viable. They cannot announce "here is our plan" and then raise a fraction of its cost. Not only would the projects fail, but BC would be crushed by our competitors on the recruiting trail. But the fact that it has taken this long to raise enough money during a quiet period is not a good sign. Bates and his team need to get this project further along.

The type of funds you need to support a Master Plan are not going to come from a one-page ad in BC Magazine. Big gifts (six and seven figures) are solicited over months and in face-to-face meetings. But the magazine does set the narrative to the wider community. BC wants to step up its sports giving and if we don't we will suffer on the field.

I don't give to the Flynn Fund and no one from BC has shared the Master Plan with me directly. I support the project but will continue to direct my small gift to the BC Fund and let the school decide how to use the money. I have faith that BC Sports will come through and ultimately build the Master Plan. That will save football, but I wonder about all the other non-revenue sports. If we want baseball or want to relaunch Lacrosse, many donors will have to step up in a significant way. BC knows this and that is why they are using valuable communication space to send that message.

UPDATE: Of course BC doesn't have the graphic online at the Magazine site. Here is a picture I took with my phone.


mod34b said...

i did not see the article on the link you provided. maybe you can supply a better, more precise link.

mod34b said...

I give money to BC in many ways, but almost always to the academic mission of BC.

I do give to the University's athletic department by buying my kid various season tickets. That's it. Ok, I'll spring for some merchandise too. Flynn Fund? yuk yuk yuk.....nyet.

I think, at least, for football and hoops, those sports should be revenue positive and not be in need of my money. I really cannot even concieve of giving the big sports money.

I think Hockey should be able to pay for itself too.

As for the other sports, save money and cut the expensive ones. Switch them to club status. BC should give minimal funding to these:

Cross Country
Swimming & Diving
Track & Field

Sorry Brad.

ATL_eagle said...


I added a copy of the graphic.

Hoib said...

I give to the Flynn fund for 2 reasons
1 I was on the golf team, years ago we had our own fund, the Samson Fund, to raise money for the team. A number of years ago the school consolidated it into the Flynn fund. I assume they did this w/ similar funds for other non revenue sports,

2 I am passionate about BC football and basketball, and want to support them so I give. There has only been one time over the years that I've felt compelled to contact the AD over an issue, and that was dumping Donahue. I got a response from the department acknowledging my concern. I think allot of other Flynn fund members were doing the same thing, and so we got the result we desired.

Just my perspective.

Greg said...

I was on the fencing team and it sure felt like we got minimal funding.

bceagle91 said...

For those who get the magazine, it's on page 79.

Big Ern said...

This is a result of a bigger issue than just Bates. The BC athletic department has alienated alumni for the better part of the last decade. My interaction with those in the athletic department has been terrible.

There have been well documented rifts between former members of the athletic department and very large donors. Much of this was due to the departures of two coaches who not only enjoyed a certian level of success but were in some circles very popular.

In addition to this I am sure that the Spaz years drove many away. I am sure that I am not the only one who gave up tickets and stopping giving. I live no more than 15 minutes from BC and just couldn't stand how I was treated there. That is in addition to the abysmal performance on the field.

Bottom line there is a new regime and it is up to Bates to get alums to pony up for these big ticket improvements. He needs to sell sell sell. A one pager in a BC magazine is not enough.

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Unknown said...

Thanks for this article, i've really enjoyed reading this. I've recently discovered Tony Charalambides fundraising blog - you should check it out.