Hamilton College is a private four-year liberal-arts institution in Clinton, New York, the third oldest college established in New York State.
Hamilton needed a critical examination of their entire suite of advancement communications and their annual giving leadership society, and a strategy to improve volunteer leadership and engagement to leverage increased support. At a later point, the College required an interim development director to lead advancement strategy.
Led by Innovative Resources’ George Nehme, we began by conducting a series of studies, employing focus groups, individual interviews, and comparative research. With the results of these studies, we developed a slate of recommendations for implementation. We also developed marketing and communications materials, proposals, and position statements.
Innovative Resources’ relationship with Hamilton evolved to include heading a group tasked to develop a comprehensive engagement strategy to foster philanthropy through major gifts, annual giving, alumni relations, and gift planning. Because of Nehme’s success in leading advancement efforts for Hamilton, he was brought in as interim development director to manage staff and strategy and to oversee the College’s Bicentennial Initiative.
The Bicentennial Initiative was a very successful five-year comprehensive campaign that secured gifts to support key initiatives. Unrestricted annual giving grew by approximately $1 million annually, with alumni participation consistently above 50 percent. The comprehensive engagement strategy that Innovative Resources initiated and that Nehme executed as development director is still being used successfully by Hamilton College today.