The following institutions were selected in June 2015 to receive Venture Fund grants to support professional development and networking activities:

Kent State University (Kent, OH) $5,000.

Kent State University and Case Western Reserve University jointly propose the development of a networking and educational event for Ohio based universities looking to enhance corporate and foundation relations impact. This event will showcase topics of interest.

The program will also be bolstered through the partnership of The Fund for Our Economic Future, a regional group comprised of more than 50 foundations, corporate and education entities focused on driving economic development and regional collaboration in Northeast Ohio.

University of Wisconsin-Stout (Menomonie, WI) $5,000.

The University of Wisconsin System Alumni Council is a group of Alumni Professionals from across the state that collaborate and learn together twice a year. As a consortium of 14 institutions, we would like to bring in Patouillet Consulting for a customized seminar, entitled, “Creating Effective Development Metrics”. Each institution would have our current assessment efforts reviewed by the consultant and the group. Review includes best practices for sharing and using alumni engagement metrics.

St. Paul Academy and Summit School (St. Paul, MN) $5,000.

St. Paul Academy and Summit School is a college preparatory independent day school for students in grades K–12. In July 2011, staff at four Minnesota institutions created an “Annual Giving Professionals” group as a way for schools in Minnesota to better use limited professional development dollars and share best practices in the field of annual giving. Four years later, this group has a far-reaching impact on many CASE V member institutions: we have 66 members from 24 schools including public and private colleges/universities and independent schools. We meet quarterly at a rotating host school that provides meeting space and food. We are requesting a $5,000 grant, which will allow us to approach speakers who may require an honorarium and offer budget relief to the host institutions.

Ohio Wesleyan University (Delaware, OH) $5,000.

Ohio Wesleyan University with Ohio 5 partners (Denison, Kenyon, Oberlin, and Wooster) seek Venture Fund support to address collective training needs in gift planning. We look to engage gift planning expert, Anne Melvin of Harvard University, to deliver a broad appeal morning plenary session on personal solicitation strategies to Ohio 5 Annual Giving, Major Gift and Gift Planning staff as well as other invited Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio members. This will be followed by an afternoon session specifically for staff with gift planning responsibilities. Centrally located Ohio Wesleyan will host the event. Every development officer can benefit from a baseline knowledge of gift planning. Speaker honorarium and travel, attendee lunch and refreshments form the budget.

Lawrence School (Broadview Heights, OH) $3,000

Lawrence School is an independent, nonprofit day school that provides evidence-based education services to K-12 students with learning differences and attention deficits. We request a grant for a new development program targeting other schools serving this population. The goal is to bring development staff and school leaders together to learn and share fundraising and community building strategies. Lawrence will bring an expert in the field to discuss advancement strategies for this unique community of schools. The program will take place in 2016 (date to be determined) at Lawrence’s Upper School in Sagamore Hills, Ohio. Other possible schools would also serve children with learning differences and thus have unique fundraising needs as compared to other private and parochial schools. The $3,000 budget includes: speaker fees and expenses, mailing costs and program materials, and refreshments.

The first day would focus on annual giving topics and the other on cross-department strategies and donor engagement (all areas of speaker expertise). The tailored topics and intensive, intimate format present a strong opportunity for teambuilding and fruitful discussion. The collaborating colleges will provide funding to cover speaker hotel/travel and program food. We expect more than 40 advancement professionals from CASE V schools to attend, strengthening our institutions and the profession in our district.

Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) $2,000

Northwestern would like to host a round table specifically dedicated to mentoring in higher education. The purpose is to bring colleagues together for robust discussions on building, executing, marketing, and measuring impactful mentoring programs. This roundtable will convene leaders in the industry as well as those just getting started. We will develop a shared language of success, share best practices, and engage in thoughtful discussion. There are very few sessions on mentoring that are offered through large scale conferences. Even the two leading mentoring conferences (IMA and UNM) are not exclusively higher education.

Stark State College (North Canton, OH) $2,500

Stark State College (SSC), a very successful community college in NE Ohio, has just completed a merger of two alumni related organizations that provided little or no service relevant to its current alumni population. The new SSC Alumni Association serves to support and foster a mutually beneficial relationship between SSC alumni, the College, its Trustees, and the SSC Foundation Board of Directors, A two year Action Plan has been developed, which includes a Celebration Announcement. Invitations would be extended to members of successful alumni organizations from neighboring colleges and universities. This "neighbor-friendly-networking session would be followed by a speaker of interest. The speaker would serve to draw alumni from NEO institutions, as well as enhance the visibility and prestige of the new SSC Association, with the goal of increasing membership. A social-networking gathering of NEO colleges and universities has not been attempted.