BY VICTORIA KRUKENKAMP
Restructuring of the ESU Foundation was announced earlier this month, in a plan that will incorporate fundraising activities and alumni engagement into University operations —taking the responsibility away from the foundation.
The change has been in the works since October, and will go into effect on March 1.
By bringing some of the fundraising activities to the university side, administration hopes to increase community engagement in a tactic known as “friend-raising.”
“In order to create a better ‘friend-raising’ relationship where the University—Dr. Welsh and her efforts to engage the community into what we do—works better,” said Ken Long, ESU’s Vice-President of Finance and Administration.
“She’s just a natural friend-raiser, so we want to make sure we incorporate that.”
Mary Frances Postupack, ESU’s Vice-President of Research and Economic Development will take over the responsibilities that the university has absorbed from the foundation.
“She’s made in the Poconos,” said Long when discussing what qualified Postupack for the new responsibility.
Postupack is not only a graduate of ESU, but also has lengthy working relationship with the university.
Postupack outlined her plans for the future of fundraising activities as a three-step process.
“To be successful and to create a very positive culture of giving,” she said. “And to work with what will be the new ESU development alumni engagement team to meet the needs of our students, the campus, and the community.”
Long estimates that the change will save ESU anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000, because less funding will go into supporting the ESU foundation’s fundraising activities. Postupack plans to engage the community by making its members “more aware of all the positive things that are going on at the University,” and putting the past behind, she said.
Though one of the benefits of the move of fundraising activities to the university is the streamlining of redundancies between the university and the foundation, the goal is to minimize personnel impact.
“We are trying to leverage personnel and bring them into the university,” said Long.
This of course is primarily for staff level personnel.
The current President of the Foundation, Frank Falso will not necessarily have a place at the University once the merge occurs, according to Long.
“That’s a foundations call,” said Long.
“The foundation would have to determine if there was a role for him. As a separate organization, we don’t control that, but that would be up to Christian Steber.”
Christian Steber, ESU Class of ’91, is the current ESU Foundation Board Chair.
Postupack empasized that fundraising is a responsibility that needs to be taken on by the entire ESU community.
“Fundraising is everyone’s job,” said Postupack. “Student voices are really important.”
The relationship between ESU and the community isn’t just the responsibility of the Administration.
“It’s all about all of us being ambassadors,” said Brenda Friday, Director of University Relations.
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