Colorado State University Pueblo’s three year On The Move Campaign will finish its second year this August, but the strong momentum it had in the beginning has begun to plateau.
Todd Kelly, president and CEO of the CSU-Pueblo Foundation said that they have raised about $13.5 million for the campaign whose objectives are funding scholarships, renovating the Occhiato University Center, and forming new and improved athletic programs. The goal of reaching $25 million by next August is more than 50 percent complete.
“We are a little behind schedule but we have a lot of people out there working hard and going forward; we still have about a year left,” Kelly said.
The resignation of four board members, Dan DeRose, Louis Carleo, Ken West and Mike Roumph also hindered progress in the campaign’s momentum this year.
“A solid university needs a solid community and vice versa they work hand in hand so we can grow both hands and make pueblo a great place.” -Todd Kelly
“It might have put us back a little bit because we had to bring our new board members in and restructure things, but all four of the people that resigned are still very supportive of what we’re doing,” Kelly said, “they’re very helpful, they donate, they come to events here, they come to the President’s Gala, they come to athletic events, they’re still a big part of our university.”
The two portions of the campaign that have gotten the most support this far have been scholarships and the Occhiato University Center renovation.
“We have found that our donors and alumni really want to help our students get into school, afford school and not leave with a large amount of debt and that’s good,” Kelly said.
Through the foundation the university was also able to add six new sports, which was a factor that helped grow the freshman enrollment. The new sports added were men’s and women’s lacrosse, women’s swimming and diving and men’s cross country and track and field.
“This past fall our freshman were up 15 percent over the past year, and we were able to upgrade our soccer field so we could accommodate soccer and lacrosse,” Kelly said.
Kelly said that the foundation awarded more than 800 scholarships which added about to close to $1.7 million. The university grants merit based scholarships in conjunction with the private scholarships the foundation awards.
“We work closely with the university scholarships rewarding to make sure our students’ needs are met,” Kelly said.
Another reason why CSU-Pueblo gained enrollment is because the university hired a private consulting company that specifically helps universities with their enrollment, Kelly said.
The company looked at the demographics of the students at CSU-Pueblo and then they looked at areas within their region that have similar demographics and then targeted their marketing efforts toward the kids in those areas. Places like Dallas, Fort Worth, Phoenix, Albuquerque and southern California are regions that were targeted and where the university saw an increase in students.
Kelly said that they focus their efforts recruiting people from Pueblo but then focus regionally, out of state and then internationally.
“Pueblo is our home base, we want to recruit kids from Pueblo; we want the best and brightest to stay in Pueblo,” he said. “We want people in Pueblo to know that they can get a good education here in Pueblo.”
To promote On The Move the foundation focuses more on in-person interaction, but because there are more alumni moving outside of Pueblo the foundation has tried to use direct mail to communicate with them.
A majority of the campaign’s donors are Pueblo residents or people from Pueblo that are alumni that live outside of Pueblo. The campaign’s efforts are to reach the community through press releases, television, radio, receptions at people’s homes, and one-on-one visits as a grassroots effort to get the message of On The Move out to people, Kelly said.
Kelly also said that there is large portion of alumni that live outside of Pueblo so next year they will start a direct mail campaign.
“We just want to reach out to them and let them know how the university is doing first and foremost, let them know what our campaign goals are, and third is to see if they want to support the campaign,” Kelly said.
Additional fundraisers have been hired to increase the range of the campaign outside of Pueblo. Building relationships and asking for support from alumni in Colorado Springs and Denver are the goals of the new efforts from the campaign.
“A solid university needs a solid community and vice versa they work hand in hand so we can grow both hands and make pueblo a great place,” Kelly said. “There is nothing more that I’d love to see than a thriving community and a thriving university.”