“Fundraising for Athletics is going excellent,” reports Seminole Booster President and CEO Michael Alford of an annual campaign that began on November 9, 2020. “We’re nearly 50 percent to our goal of 13,000 members, with 1,000 new members, so people are stepping up. But more importantly 63 percent of our pledges have been received and that’s a great sign.”
As of February 19, 2021, there were 6,412 members who had made their commitment for 2021, which represents more than $9 million.
Alford believes the early response is due to a clear message.
“We’re proactive in our communication and sharing our vision,” Alford said. “Letting people know where their annual fund contribution goes, and how it supports the leadership and educational opportunities for all 500 plus student-athletes.”
Rather than promoting a generic message about contributions being the lifeblood of FSU Athletics, funding the operating budget for both men’s and women’s 20 athletics teams, this year’s One Tribe campaign message (https://boosters.fsu.edu/onetribe) drills down on specifically how a donor’s contribution will be used, including:
- Career planning/Professional Development ($380k)
- Strength and Conditioning – Preparation/Injury Prevention/Performance ($650k)
- Nutrition – Wellness/Energy/Performance ($675k)
- Coaches – Leaders, Mentors, Execution ($18M)
- COVID-19 – Testing, PPE, Sanitization, Medical Services ($2M)
- Scholarships – Educational Opportunities, Room and Board, Books ($11.6M)
- Equipment – Tools for Practice and Conditioning ($1.2M plus Nike)
Message not ticket-priority based
The Boosters’ 2021 message is also designed to appeal to all Seminole fans, whether they intend to attend a game or not.
“It’s just a different message we’re delivering to our constituents, not basing our appeal just on ticket priority,” Alford said. “We’ve had a lot of people join who are not season-ticket holders. We have reached out to people who do not live near Tallahassee, who we have conveyed the importance of joining the Boosters to let them know how their contribution supports Athletics and the student-athletes.”
Alford points to the 1,000 new members who have already hopped on board to support the program.
“I talked to a gentleman who is never going to make a game, never had season tickets, and he told me, ‘I want to support the university and the student-athlete and you’re giving me a reason to do that. You’ve conveyed a reason to support them.’ ”
In addition to articulating specifically how an individual’s gift will be used to fund the program, the message also provides the donor a more personal look at the individuals their gift is helping, with humanizing features on the student-athletes who benefit from the donor’s gift.
“It has always been very important to me to deliver personal stories about our student-athletes and how your contribution is helping them,” Alford said. “Many of these kids are the first in their family to attend college and you find people who find that very appealing.”
For more information, or to donate to the Seminole Boosters Annual Fund Campaign, call 850-644-3484 or visit One Tribe Campaign at https://boosters.fsu.edu/onetribe