The Pattern of Giving at Schulich
Not everyone is comfortable asking people for money, but Bill Graham (MBA ’86) is. Having contributed to the Schulich School of Business since 1986, starting with $20, he is a true ambassador for the Schulich Annual Alumni Fund, which raises money for the school’s highest priorities and student financial aid.
“Because I give, I have no trouble asking people for money – people who have gained from Schulich and done well for themselves,” says Graham, a retired executive. “Everybody can afford $20. It’s really about starting to donate and becoming a regular donor.”
Graham calls it the “pattern of giving” that sees increased support from donors year after year. For Graham and his wife, Jennifer, their support of Schulich has exceeded $100,000 over the last three decades.
“It comes down to engagement,” he says. “I came to Schulich as a mature student after working 14 years. The connection was there. I gained a lot from it, so it’s not difficult to contribute to it.” This past year, Schulich celebrated its most successful annual fund campaign to date with more than 25 per cent growth from the previous year. The campaign also saw a 74 per cent increase in total funds given by new donors. To engage those who have given $1,000 or more, the school launched the Dean’s Society to offer them special thanks and recognition.
A goal to secure 50 inaugural members was far surpassed at the end of the campaign. Graham is among the first Dean’s Society members inducted this year.
“You have to ask yourself what impact can you make to better the school,” Graham says. “As you grow, we are betting you are going to succeed, because you went to Schulich.”