Committee forms to collect new ideas


Sophie Hillmeyer

The Internal Campaign Planning Committee formed this semester in preparation for a fundraising campaign that is
tentatively beginning in 2020 and is comprised of staff, faculty and students, NMU Foundation Director of Prospect and Advancement Database Management and committee co-chair Jane Surrell said.

The committee was created by NMU President Fritz Erickson and NMU Foundation CEO Brad Canale. The internal campaign that influenced the creation of the committee is the upcoming fundraising campaign. The main goal of the committee is to serve as an advisory board to collect new opportunities, or “big ideas,” to gain new donor partnerships that will make a difference for individual students or solve a problem in the community, Surrell said. She added that the committee hopes to create a set of three to five themes to serve as recommendations and priorities for the campaign.

“[Erickson and Canale] wanted to ensure a process that encouraged campus to pause from day to day duties, and to think strategically about the future and how they could partner with donors to enhance Northern’s levels of innovation and excellence,” Surrell said.

Since the committee formed, members have been working with different leadership groups on campus to explain the possible opportunities from the upcoming campaign and gain input while encouraging them to strategically plan proposals, Surrell said. She added that the committee has also been looking for ways to partner with donors that best benefit them along with the university.

“Working with donors who are passionate about making positive changes in the world is one of the most rewarding parts of my career,” Surrell said. “It is exciting to think about the opportunities that campus will come up with–the ‘big ideas’ that will help to drive NMU forward on our path as we continue achieving excellence with both local and
global impact.”

The committee is also creating a process for submissions of ideas that includes town hall meetings, departmental meetings and online submission opportunities. The committee will begin collecting the “big ideas” beginning next month, Surrell said.