Gonzaga College High School

To elevate Gonzaga’s $75 million endowment campaign in celebration of its Bicentennial anniversary, Orr Group is providing strategic direction around planned giving and most recently helped secure a $10M blended gift.

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For almost 200 years, Gonzaga College High School (Gonzaga) has offered young men from a wide range of backgrounds across Washington, DC a values-oriented and academically challenging education according to the teachings of the Jesuit Order. Gonzaga came to Orr Group seeking an assessment of the potential for a significant fundraising campaign to grow its endowment and generate revenue for capital improvements.

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Orr Group assessed Gonzaga’s current fundraising infrastructure, capacity, and assets to determine its ability to conduct a successful campaign. Our assessment included 30 conversations with high-level stakeholders and donors and an online survey to reach Gonzaga’s broader constituency of parents, former parents, grandparents, alumni and other stakeholders. Through a wealth screening of Gonzaga’s alumni and donor base, we were able to prioritize potential donors according to their affinity to Gonzaga and ability to give and identify new prospects to include in the strategic conversation process as a first step in engagement.

We presented Gonzaga leadership with a high-level campaign road map that included recommendations for recruiting campaign leadership, hiring additional fundraising staff, outreach to and cultivation of campaign prospects at the highest levels, and production of compelling campaign collateral. In response to our recommendations, Gonzaga retained Orr Group to serve as Campaign Counsel for their $75 million Bicentennial Campaign. 

To elevate campaign goals, Orr Group has provided strategic direction to Gonzaga around planned giving. In partnership with Orr Group, Gonzaga identified and tiered their top principal and major donors for the campaign with a focus on gift planning to maximize philanthropic impact. The approach for gift planning was systematically integrated into the campaign to facilitate gifts that focused on two primary aspects: a donor’s philanthropic impact and the donor’s total wealth.

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After identifying the top donors, Gonzaga’s leadership approached donors with requests for transformational blended gifts using the tools provided by Orr Group, including: descriptive gift planning definitions, talking points directed at learning more about a donor’s philanthropic impact and total assets, and proposal language directed at securing transformational, blended gifts. To date, the Gonzaga campaign has raised $60 million, including securing a $10 million blended gift.