Penn State

Penn State prepares for new fundraising campaign

The next fundraising campaign for Penn State is getting started.

Even if it doesn’t have a name or a definite dollar goal yet.

On Thursday, Penn State Senior Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations Rod Kirsch outlined progress for the newest multiyear plan to encourage financial contributions from alumni and other supporters.

“There are three main mandates or pillars,” Kirsch said.

Those pillars broke down to “open doors,” “transforming experiences” and “world impact.”

The pillars go along with some of President Eric Barron’s goals, like access and affordability, making sure students get the most out of their education and developing research and technology that makes a mark.

Kirsch said the campaign will get a test-drive starting May 24, when it will begin to be presented to focus groups around the country. Those groups will will be composed of about 30 people, but they won’t be picked at random.

“This is really the first public introduction,” he said, telling the university trustees’ outreach, development and community relations committee that the groups were carefully selected from people expected to be leading donors to the campaign.

A name and a goal are two of the things that may come out of the focus groups before the official start on July 1.

However, he told the committee not to worry about the rough-draft aspect.

“We’re still in the sausage-making part of the process,” Kirsch said. “But don’t worry. We’re going to have great bratwurst.”

The last campaign, titled “For the Future,” topped $2 billion over its seven-year stretch. Before that, “A Grand Destiny” brought in $1.4 billion between 1996 and 2003.

The new campaign is set to coincide with the university’s new strategic plan goals.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce