Rejoice! Sterling College

Sterling College recently dedicated the new Gleason Center Expansion, the first of three building projects that are part of a $25 million SterlingNOW campaign. The College also plans to build Zaid-West Science and Research Center, a 30,000 square foot science and math building, and renovate Thompson Hall, a 24,000 square foot building that currently houses the science, math, and business programs.

The Gleason addition features 32,000 square feet of new and renovated space, including three classrooms, 20 offices for faculty and coaches, the Dudrey Center for Health Sciences, the Mabee Wellness Center & Weight room, the First Bank Lobby & Hall of Fame, new and additional locker room space and the new Wilkey Fieldhouse.

For the first 13 months of our campaign, we employed another fundraising consulting firm to lead us through the College’s first campaign in over thirteen years. Among other concerns with the firm, we became aware that the feasibility study this firm conducted on our behalf was dishonest. Not the start that a first-time President, a new Vice President for Advancement, and a Board of Trustees had in mind.


Then Pat McLaughlin and Ron Haas of The Timothy Group (TTG) stepped in. They quickly helped us organize and re-tool our campaign. The training delivered by TTG to staff, board, and campaign committee members was outstanding and customized to who we are and where we were in the campaign equipping us very well for campaign success. Their research and evaluation of our campaign status provided our President and board the assurance that we were on track and that we could achieve our goal.

More specifically, TTG coached us through the intricacies of major gift solicitation. They sharpened the case for support when making the ask, refined our listening skills, and accompanied us in the field with donor briefings and solicitations. TTG built our confidence and helped us be bold with our prospective donors. They helped us craft the proposal and took part in our presentation that secured a $2 million matching challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation.

Personally, Pat and Ron were invaluable to me as they provided insight, encouragement, and took evening and weekend phone calls to help me in some of the most challenging times and situations during the campaign. The Timothy Group was integral to our success.

About the Author: Scott Carter is the former Sterling Vice President for Institutional Advancement and External Relations. After leading Sterling’s successful campaign, he now serves as Director of Development-Athletics at University of Colorado Boulder. Scott, Heather, and their two children live in Estes Park, Colorado and enjoy occasional visits from black bears and mountain lions.

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