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Columbia College adopts innovative model to recognize financial contributions
Monday, September 29, 2008

(COLUMBIA, Mo.) -- Columbia College unveiled a new philanthropic model Sept. 26 at a "Tradition meets Tomorrow" event for benefactors and friends of the college.

Dr. Gerald Brouder, president, announced that the college has moved from a traditional "donor recognition" model to an innovative "contributor appreciation" model to better reflect the college's appreciation of those who make a contribution to its mission.

"We believe that we have created a unique way in which to convey our gratitude to contributors," he said. "To our knowledge, we are the first institution of higher education to adopt this model."

Michael Kateman, executive director of Development, Alumni and Public Relations, explained that 'donor' simply means one who gives, but 'contributor' implies one who shares in the giving. "Likewise, 'recognition' can be impersonal, but 'appreciation' goes beyond recognition to include gratitude," he said.

The college also introduced new logos -- developed with the help of ME&V Advertising and Consulting of Cedar Rapids, Iowa -- and presented the new contributor appreciation societies.

Guests who attended the event were excited to learn that alumni and friends have given a total of $35.5 million to Columbia College. "We’re excited about the direction we're heading," said Kateman. "Financial contributions from our supporters allow this fine institution to continue to improve its facilities, services and academic programs."

Kateman also said he wouldn't be surprised if other colleges and universities follow suit in revamping their donor recognition programs. "This very well could be the start of a trend in the philanthropy field," he said. "In tough economic times, it is especially important to be cognizant of the financial gifts our supporters make to the college in support of its mission."

Lindsay Young Lopez, senior director of development, said the contributor appreciation model allows the college to set a precedent. "Philanthropy has historically played an important role at Columbia College," she said. "This new structure allows us to better acknowledge our contributors, who form a lifelong relationship with the college and are integral to its success."

"Columbia College has a rich and storied past," said Brouder. "It goes now into a very bright and opportunity-filled future."