I wrote copy for Allen MAC client Duke University’s annual giving solicitation brochure.
Annual Fund Brochure
The Duke Team: Out to Win Your Support!
Dear Fellow Alumni:
When you think of a team at Duke, you probably think of basketball players or gridiron stars.
But there is another Duke Team which needs your support: the team of volunteers for the Duke Annual Fund.
Our team has more than 400 players with titles like Class Chairman, Class Agent, and Special Gift Committee member.
We are all alumni, ranging from the Class of ’29 to the Class of ’85. We are doctors, engineers, community leaders, business executives, nurses, lawyers, stockbrokers, teachers, homemakers, and journalists. Some of us are retired, others are studying for advanced degrees. All of us share a deep love for Duke and a sense of responsibility for the future of our alma mater.
On the pages of this brochure are pictures of the 51 Class Chairmen for the Annual Fund, ten of whom are leading Reunion Gift drives this year. Whether or not you remember your chairman (and the faces may have changed a bit since graduation), he or she knows you. These volunteers take a personal interest in the gifts of every single member of their classes. Your annual gift is not a “drop in the bucket.” You are a valued member of our team and you are needed to help Duke keep on winning.
You and other Duke alumni have responded to this message in record numbers in recent years, helping move the Annual Fund to a new level of achievement. In 1985, Duke was awarded the prestigious U.S. Steel Award by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. This recognized Duke as the first place winner in Sustained Performance of Alumni Giving among major private universities. Yale and Stanford were among our competitors.
This award is something all alumni can be proud to have earned for Duke. Our support demonstrates to the world that we care about our institution, that we value the education we received, and that we are taking responsibility for her future. Your support in 1985-86 can help the Duke Annual Fund continue to serve the needs of our University. Please join the team again this year by making a generous contribution.
Individual achievement is said to be its own best reward, but the sweetest of life’s victories may well be those shared by members of a winning team. This year, Duke’s alumni class chairmen are out to win your support and, in achieving victory, to make you part of a winning team—the 1985-1986 Annual Fund Team. The stakes of the game have never been higher. Duke’s new president, Keith Brodie, has described the University as being “poised on the threshold of true preeminence.”
Outstanding alumni support of the Annual Fund has brought Duke to that threshold by creating a reliable source of financing for educational programs that are the heart of Duke’s excellence. It’s that generous support, year after year, that recently made Duke a first-place winner in the CASE/U.S. Steel Alumni Giving Incentive Awards program. Last year, Annual Fund gifts found their way into virtually every part of Duke’s operating budget, where they—
- Underwrote the new Technology and the Liberal Arts program designed to help undergraduates better understand technology and its underlying science.
- Helped Duke become the first major university in the South to offer a master’s degree in liberal studies. Supported Duke’s first study abroad program in the Soviet Union, sending 30 students and their professor to Leningrad.
- Partially funded the Office of Residential Life which seeks to provide a supportive and stimulating community for Duke students through faculty involvement, cultural activities, Outward Bound experiences, and volunteer programs.
- Helped finance the opening of Duke’s new Center for Biochemical Engineering.
- Enabled Duke to remain one of the few major universities to cover 100 percent of demonstrated need through its financial aid program.
Last year, the Duke Annual Fund reached unprecedented levels in the total amount given and in the number of participants. Some of the most generous gifts came from members of reunion classes who made special contributions in honor of the occasion, thereby setting a new record for the Reunion Gift program. Membership in the gift clubs which recognize leadership donors also increased dramatically.
“Duke is doing an outstanding job of providing a high quality education,” said a member of the William Preston Few Association for annual donors of $5,000 or more. “I find a great deal of satisfaction in being a real part of this pursuit of excellence.”
“The Annual Fund gives me an opportunity to repay Duke for all it has given me,” wrote a member of the Washington Duke Club, now in its 20th year, for donors of $1,000 to $4,999 annually.
A member of the Dean’s Club, which recognizes donors on a sliding scale based on years since graduation, wrote, “Duke University gave me exceptional opportunities to learn from great books and distinguished professors and to experience the richness of lasting friendships. When I send what I can afford to the Duke Annual Fund, it makes me feel good!”
President Brodie believes Duke’s future will not be determined by any one person but will instead “be forged through consensus, nurtured from the collective wisdom of those who care and are a part of Duke University.”
As a Duke alumnus, you’re part of that collective wisdom. With your gift, you become one of a growing number of people who believe a Duke education is worthy of their support. And when you accept your rightful place on Duke’s award-winning team, the victory you share is sweet indeed.
Note: Contributions to the Duke Annual Fund support the educational programs of Duke University and should not be confused with Duke University General Alumni Association dues which fund general alumni association programs, such as club activities and reunions.