Stewardship: Part 4

By Todd Cohen

Having received a scholarship without which she could not have attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Charlotte Roberts in the 1990s bought an annuity to fund an annual scholarship at the school that later was cashed out and became a permanent scholarship fund.

But it was not until 1999, when she delivered the keynote speech at what has become an annual event at the school to connect donors with scholarship students, that the impact of her gift became clear to Roberts, who heads a Sherrill Ford, N.C., consulting firm that provides executive-team coaching.

As a result, she created an endowment to support a program for an interdisciplinary study of women’s leadership, and plans to add to the endowment ever year and recruit other donors to make contributions to support it.

“Once I made the connection with UNCG as a donor,” she says, “I saw that I could give back what had been given to me.”

Patti Stewart, vice chancellor for university advancement at the school, says each donor should be recognized in a way that make the impact of a gift personal.

“The donor sees the benefit of their contribution through the eyes of the recipients,” she says, “and therefore may be more inclined to give to that particular fund or to start another fund.”

Other stories in the series:

Part 1: Charities aim to be better stewards by engaging donors

Part 2: Gap found between what donors want and how charities raise money

Part 3: Personal contact a strategy to boost giving.

Part 5: Charities engage donors to build their fundraising base.

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