Dalton State College Wins Big with First Campaign
Dalton State College, a growing regional college in Northwest Georgia, has provided an accessible and affordable college education to area students for 40 years. Today the college has a new president, 4,500 students, and is embarking on a major construction project made possible by an incredibly successful fund-raising campaign launched in February of 2006. Two years later, the Dalton State College Foundation announced they had exceeded their campaign goal with over $21 million in gifts and pledges from nearly 500 donors.
Prior to launching the Fulfilling the Vision capital campaign, Dalton State College Foundation engaged the services of Goettler Associates in a careful process of campaign planning, including a study. With the assistance of the college administrators, a well-developed vision for the future was articulated through the case for support.
The campaign planning study indicated that Dalton State was well positioned to launch a major capital campaign with a goal of $16 million. The leaders of the Foundation Board and key community members rapidly took on the planning of the quiet phase of the campaign with the assistance of an experienced team of Goettler Associates campaign consultants.
The early phases were so successful that the Fulfilling the Vision campaign goal was raised to $20 million by March 2006. Over $15 million had been secured before the public phase of the campaign was launched in March of 2007. Campaign momentum built rapidly and Goettler Associates Campaign Consultant, Dick Parker, commented that the DSC program “represented the fastest assembling of a steering committee that I have ever experienced.”
The ultimate vision is to transform Dalton State College into a university campus with over 7,500 students. This vision may become a reality sooner due to the astounding success of their campaign. The college administrators’ vision and passion were embraced by the DSC Foundation trustees and committed volunteer campaign leaders, all of whom worked to exceed the stretch capital campaign goal by over $1 million.
David Pennington, Mayor of the City of Dalton, believes in the importance of DSC as a vital part of the economic vitality of Northwest Georgia and the city of Dalton in particular. A 1973 graduate of what was then Dalton Junior College, Pennington supports the growth and expansion of Dalton State and is working to assist the institution by donating his mayoral salary to fund two student scholarships. “I don’t call that ‘giving’ to the College,” he says. “I see it more as investing in our future.”