Dutton leads fundraising goals at the College
Deborah Dutton, who has worked in the development field for the past 20 years, is now working to boost alumni donations to the College as the new vice president of development and alumni relations. Since arriving on the Hill five years ago, Dutton has served as the associate vice president for college relations as well as the interim vice president for college relations, a position that she held from the summer of 2010 until her recent appointment on February 14.
Dutton played an integral role in the College’s Reaching the World campaign. While she served as the campaign director, Dutton worked with President William Adams, trustees and the campaign staff to ensure that the College would meet its campaign goals. Ultimately, the campaign raised $376 million on June 30, exceeding its original $370 million goal. “The fact that we could raise $376 million dollars in a bad economy…that just speaks to the commitment and devotion of the community to the College,” Dutton said.
Dutton is now focused on increasing alumni participation in the Colby Fund, which parents, students and alumni donate to annually. The College spends the money raised through the Colby Fund in the year it is received, Dutton said. Alumni participation in the Colby Fund is extremely important because it is “a measure of loyalty [and] confidence,” Dutton said.
Since fewer alumni contributed to the Fund during the economic downturn, Dutton is working to launch new fundraising initiatives. She said that the College is testing a method of solicitation that would allow alumni to “text a gift” to the College and then pay for their donation on their phone bill. Additionally, Dutton said, “We’re going to try to do three communication pieces this spring that just focus on why participation matters at Colby, and some of it has to do with the value of a degree…the more well-regarded and well-respected Colby is, the more valuable your degree is when you’re out in the community.”
Speaking about her new role at the College, Dutton said that “the great thing about working at a place like Colby is that people absolutely love Colby. The students love Colby, the alumni love Colby [and] the parents love Colby, and there is such a strong tradition of philanthropy here at Colby…being a part of a culture and a community [in which] alumni and students recognize that philanthropy has made Colby what it is….[is] just an amazing thing to be a part of.”