David Clithero, senior executive director of advancement for MU’s Office of Gift Planning and Endowments, is one of the major players in the “For All We Call Mizzou” fund-raising campaign. Clithero’s typical day includes drafting endowment agreements, alumni newsletters and thank-you notes.
“I enjoy working with donors,” he said. “I help them realize their dreams and in doing so help students obtain an excellent, yet affordable, education.”
Trips are another part of Clithero’s job — he visits people every month to talk about making a gift to the university to thank them for one they have made already.
Clithero worked in fund raising 17 years before coming to MU in 2003. Former employers include Truman State University and Washington University.
No special techniques of persuasion are involved in his interactions with potential donors, Clithero said. “I think donors already have a feeling in their heart that they want to give back to the university.”
Clithero and his staff of seven try to encourage this feeling by distributing quarterly newsletters profiling MU donors and ongoing campus projects. His office also provides information on the pros and cons of different gifts an alumnus may choose to give, including real estate, stocks and life insurance.