The Goldie Company

Parley: November 2006 - Martha Piper on Fundraising

Martha Piper is a turnaround artist among university presidents. In 1997, the onetime early child development scholar took over a woefully underfunded University of British Columbia and rebuilt its finances and its international reputation. Her tenure saw dramatic increases in enrolment, the number of research chairs and the size of endowments – among the gifts, $20 million each from forestry tycoons Ike Barber and William Sauder.

Writing for Report on Business, Gordon Pitts asked Martha this question:

One of your achievements was to get a bunch of publicity-shy business tycoons to part with their millions. How did you manage that?

We decided early on that we wouldn’t run a major capital campaign with a whole lot of glitz. Instead, we went about developing relationships, working with individuals who we thought would care about the university and, over time, would contribute slowly and thoughtfully.

We developed a program of what we call sustained giving and mission-based giving. I think that approach has been unique in this country. I’m surprised others haven’t picked up on it.

Source: May 2006 Report on Business