AR&P profiles: Kerry-Ann Hugo

AR&P have a team of college-based advancement managers who manage philanthropic fundraising for their colleges. Kerry-Ann Hugo is the Advancement Manager at the ANU College of Business & Economics (CBE). We talked to her about what it’s like to work on major philanthropic gifts and how collaborations with AR&P have been helpful to her work.

What does philanthropy mean to you?

To me, philanthropy is about positive change and the good that people can do in the world by making strategic gifts to causes that they feel personally connected to and passionate about. It’s about demonstrating impact and it’s about a community of people who are altruistic and trying to make a footprint outside of themselves.

What does philanthropy mean at CBE?

At CBE and across ANU generally philanthropy enables projects that governments often won’t fund; projects that are really innovative and at the forefront of what the University must do if it wants to have an impact in the world. CBE is no different: it’s about creating scholarships or research that will change the dial in that particular area.

How does your work at CBE intersect with Alumni Relations & Philanthropy?

Alumni Relations and Philanthropy is an integral part of the University. It’s a really good system having a central unit that works with the colleges to achieve mutually beneficial goals.

Last year CBE partnered with the Annual Giving Team in AR&P to run the College’s first Changing Futures Appeal. We wanted to raise $20,000 for a new scholarship and acquire 50 new donors – both of which we achieved. AR&P were integral to the success of the appeal.

The Annual Giving Team developed the appeal strategy, segmented data to select the target audience, designed collateral, and developed all the appeal messaging which included video content. Without AR&P this appeal wouldn’t have happened.

As a College-based Advancement Manager my focus is on major gifts. The Changing Futures Appeal was important to CBE as it created the building blocks of philanthropy within the College and the University; the awareness raising is as important as the actual dollars. We have now raised enough for one disadvantaged student to study at CBE. She has commenced her studies and donors will start to see the impact of their gift.

Annual Giving is a big part of creating awareness about philanthropy’s role in the future of ANU. We are running another appeal this year and a big focus for us is repeat donations. Out of the 50 new donors who gave to last year’s appeal, two have already given a six-figure gift.

What’s the most satisfying gift you have worked on at ANU?

I would have to say working with John Mitchell because he is such a true philanthropist. I have gotten to know him well and he sees ANU as a vehicle for change. John really wants to have an impact on domestic policy around inequality that has broad effects for people in Australia and across the world. We have a couple of academics who advise the World Bank and Treasury on income inequality so that research spreads beyond ANU and economic journals to have a real impact on areas like welfare policy.

In 2016, John established the John Mitchell Research Fellowship with a $490,000 gift to CBE. This will partly fund a young researcher working on income distribution and inequality, taking them to tenure track. John has also provided a $5million bequest for an Endowed Chair at the ANU Research School of Economics to ensure that there will always be world-leading research carried out into reducing income inequality.

I really enjoy meeting CBE alumni and donors and hearing all their stories about how they’re connected to CBE and what impact the college has had on them. This College seems to impact alumni like nowhere else I’ve worked – they’re still quoting lines that Alan Barton taught them in 1970!

What other aspects of AR&P do you find helpful?

Having AR&P as a central place to coordinate contact and communications with alumni and donors is excellent. Raiser’s Edge Software is key to my work and I feel lucky to have it available to me. It has really rich data on alumni and it helps me understand the relationship alumni have with all Colleges, not just CBE. It allows me to work in partnership with other Colleges when alumni have connections outside of CBE. It’s all about increasing the quality of experience that alumni have with ANU as a whole.

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