TRU aims high with fundraising

But first the university needs $45,000 for a study

SYLVIE PAILLARD / Kamloops Daily News
December 3, 2012 01:00 AM

Thompson Rivers University is close to launching a major capital campaign with the hopes of raising $70 to $100 million.

But just how much money can TRU realistically raise? That's the million-dollar question an upcoming study hopes to answer.

The TRU office of advancement will ask the board of governors to approve $45,000 to hire a company to conduct a study identifying the potential donor markets locally, provincially and nationally.

A request for proposal will go out through B.C. Bid soon, said Christopher Seguin, vice-president of advancement.

His office's submission to TRU's Finance Committee for the funds to hire a company lists the fundraising goal of $70 to $100 million over the next six years.

It's an impressive figure considering that $12 million has been raised over the last four years for such projects as the Brown Family House of Learning.

TRU recently asked a company called KCI to provide a sample proposal for such a study. KCI's response was included in the agenda for the Dec. 7 Board of Governors public meeting.

"As per our discussion, I have prepared a brief overview of KCI's data analytics services and the options we believe would bring the most value and impact to Thompson Rivers University as you seek to identify new potential prospects for a $75-million campaign," writes Rose Terzariol, vice-president of KCI in a letter to Seguin.

Seguin said hopes shouldn't be raised quite so high this early in the process.

"That's a sales letter so it's discussing the possibility of doing a feasibility study of what could be raised," he said. "That $75 million is an arbitrary number that means nothing right now."

And $45,000 for the study is only an initial estimate, he said.

"When we run the RFP we'll get a better idea of what it's going to cost to do the study."

The university's prospect pipeline currently includes 430 donors valued at $23 million, according to KCI. The company estimates prospects will need a total combined value of between $150 and $250 million to reach the stated goal.

They recommend reaching out to the university's 12,000 donors and 25,000 alumni as well as external markets.

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