Reflecting on the course of the summer, I’m still surprised by the size and scale of development operations at U-M. In my very first blog post, I mentioned that I was surprised by “how extensive development operations at Michigan are.”
However, the aspect of my internship that most surprised me this summer was how supportive development staff from other universities were. A huge part of my project was to benchmark peer institutions who had recently finished a fundraising campaign to determine what post-campaign marketing strategies worked best for their university in order to provide recommendations for the Office of University Development. I was worried that people from other schools would not be willing to talk to me for a variety of reasons. Luckily, this was not the case because the success of my project hinged on their participation. I was very surprised by how many schools (20) agreed to be interviewed about their post-campaign marketing plans and what worked well and what did not.