Sharing the Annual Fund Fundamentals
What is S.T.A.F.F.?
The S.T.A.F.F. organization is a representative group of 44 small, selective liberal arts colleges, which joined together 28 years ago to implement successful and innovative annual giving programs through the sharing of information and networking. The organization relies upon the expertise and involvement of its volunteer membership for the management and execution of the annual conference and related activities.
The Annual Conference
Beginning with the first conference hosted by Colgate in 1986, S.T.A.F.F. has grown and changed to bring its members the latest information and ideas that have led to success in annual giving campaigns. This conference has addressed topics from the "Challenge of Integrating Annual Fund into a Comprehensive Campaign" to "The Next Generation - Getting Young Alumni on Board", presenting the latest cutting edge thinking, and more important, the opportunity to discuss and debate with peers. As S.T.A.F.F. enters its twenty-fifth year, the conference sessions are as strategic and topical as ever.
S.T.A.F.F. membership is limited to 44 member institutions at any given time. In 1986 when the first conference was held at Colgate University, the founding members created a gathering with the objective of bringing together a small group of like institutions in an inexpensive way. The group set out the following criteria for membership:
- The institution should have between 1,000 and 3,500 undergraduate students
- The institution's endowment should be at least $100,000,000
- The institutions should receive at least $2 million in annual gifts
In addition representatives of member institutions are expected to attend the annual conference each year. Each institution may bring three annual giving professionals to the conference annually. Active participation in S.T.A.F.F. requires that members serve as session panelists or presenters at the annual conference, facilitate a session, host an activity or event in conjunction with the conference or serve as a volunteer on one of the planning committees, and complete the annual surveys.
The S.T.A.F.F. organization produces a number of documents annually that assess that status of the member organizations. These include
- Salary Survey - a compilation of the salary ranges of annual fund professionals in the member institutions.
- Statistical Survey - a comprehensive document that measures and bench-marks annual giving program performance among member institutions across a wide range of indicators
- Technology Survey - a document detailing member institutions use of technology in the operation of their annual giving programs
- Membership Directory - a directory of annual giving staff at each member institution, along with contact information
- Fiscal Year performance reports of member institutions
There are two listservs available for use by our member schools. The director's listserv is designated for annual fund directors and supports inquiries regarding the management of annual fund practices. This listserv also is the vehicle where official STAFF business is presented and where voting is conducted. The assistant/associate director's listserv is open for all other annual fund administrative staff and supports communications that incorporate best practices in our various fields.
- Directors - STAFFDIR-L@listserv.stlawu.edu
- Assistant and Associate Directors - STAFFAD-L@listserv.stlawu.edu
For information about signing up for these lists, please contact Barbara Knauf at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Four guest institutions are invited to participate in the summer conference each year. These guest institutions must meet the STAFF membership criteria (see above). After two consecutive years of attendance, a guest institution must skip at least one conference before being considered for a guest institution slot again.
- Must submit an official application to the Steering Committee Membership Coordinator by December 31.
- Need not re-apply to attend the summer conference for the second consecutive year.
- May register two professionals, which includes the director (or acting director) plus one staff member.
- Are invited to submit summer conference break-out session presentation proposals.
- Do not have access to STAFF products (above) and do not qualify for early-bird conference pricing.
To suggest additions or changes, or to submit documents for posting, contact the site manager, Matt Fedde at email@example.com.