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The Johnson School Annual Fund: Class Gifts
Two-Year MBA and Accelerated MBA—Ithaca

One of the key strategies used by the residential MBA class gift team was the formation of the team itself. "We wanted to have a good mix of people who could reach out to each and every person in the class," says Verma. "So we sought out team members who reflected the diversity of the school. Together, we represented every work group, curriculum, and country."

They also made the "ask" amount almost impossible to refuse: $20.09 for the class of 2009, or multiples of this amount. "Few people said no because the amount was so small," Verma reports. The team agreed that gifts to the Annual Fund would address the school's greatest need, but students who wished were able to earmark their dollars for individual programs that were important to them. To kick off the drive, the team hosted a game night—all free, but with a pledge table. They sent six or seven rounds of e-mails during the semester. A thermometer chart in Dyson Atrium showed progress. As classmates accepted job offers, team members talked with them individually, asking them to make or increase gifts.