Culture of Philanthropy

Building a culture of philanthropy is one of eight presidential priorities that are linked to and aligned with Towson University’s strategic plan. These eight priorities will help us build a stronger foundation for Towson University’s promising future. 

students with sign that says Thank You

Towson University will launch an ambitious and historic comprehensive campaign to support TU’s academic programs, student programming initiatives, financial aid, community engagement projects and partnerships, and faculty research, service and creative endeavors. The campaign will occur over a period of eight years and will involve several phases.

Campaign Preparedness Assessment and Feasibility Study

In August 2016, Towson University and the TU Foundation issued an RFP for assistance in conducting a two-part study to prepare and plan for the university’s next comprehensive fundraising campaign. After a rigorous review of highly competitive proposals, Marts & Lundy was selected to conduct a campaign preparedness assessment and feasibility study. Below is the timeline for these phases of the campaign. 

Campaign Preparedness

Timeline: November 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017


  1. Determine the capacity of the university and foundation to support the increased demands of a campaign
  2. Gather information to drive recommendations on campaign strategy and priorities

CAmpaign Preparedness milestones:

  • Delivery of a report concerning the university’s readiness to launch a major capital campaign
  • Development of the campaign prospectus, a preliminary case statement

Campaign Feasibility Study

Timeline: February 1 – March 31, 2017

Goals and Deliverables:

  1. Conduct key constituent interviews with top-tier and prospective donors
  2. Conduct an online constituent survey with mid-tier and prospective donors
  3. Capacity analysis results
  4. Delivery of a campaign planning report

Campaign Feasibility milestones:

  • Delivery of campaign planning report, which included identification of campaign goal and timeframe
  • Identification of leadership gift prospects and development of initial cultivation and solicitation strategies
  • Identification and articulation of fundraising priorities and opportunities

Campaign Planning, Launch and Execution

Campaign Silent Phase

Timeline: August 15, 2017 – June 30, 2019

Goals and Deliverables:

  1. Transform campaign prospectus into campaign case for support
  2. Conduct wealth screening of constituent database
  3. Recruit and train volunteer leaders for campaign committee
  4. Solicit lead gifts for campaign


  • Secured $10,404,151 in gifts and commitments during FY 2018, which represents a 26.9% increase over the FY 2017 fundraising result
  • Secured $29,728,611 in gifts and commitments towards the campaign total (as of September 11, 2018), which represents 23.9% of the campaign target of $125,000,000
  • Successfully recruited Karen and John (TU ’62) Schuerholz to serve as honorary chairs and members of the Campaign Executive Committee
  • Successfully recruited six (6) alumni and friends to serve as members of the Campaign Executive Committee, which will lead the university during the campaign period
  • Continue to recruit additional 10-15 volunteer leaders for the Campaign Executive Committee to be completed prior to December 31, 2018
  • Continue to identify and cultivate prospects for leadership campaign gifts of $100,000 or more
  • Continue to work with deans, vice presidents, and faculty and staff members on the identification of philanthropic priorities and the finalization of the campaign case for support and campaign materials

campaign silent phase Milestones:

  • Finalize campaign case for support
  • Recruitment of Campaign Executive Committee
  • Secure lead gift commitments totaling $25 million

Campaign Launch and Public Phase

Timeline: January 1, 2019 – June 30, 2022

Goals and Deliverables:

  1. Plan and execute public campaign launch
  2. Announce campaign goal
  3. Feature and celebrate leadership donors
  4. Solicit leadership, major, and annual fund gifts

campaign launch and public phase Milestones:

  • Host campaign launch event
  • Secure funding for campaign priorities
  • Establish new baseline for private support at TU