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Rising Stars Series - Vince Fraumeni, Director of Planned Giving, Cal Poly Pomona

Updated: Oct 3, 2023






At Pleiades, our reason for being is to passionately offer precise navigation for nonprofits to successfully enhance their leadership and fundraising efforts with hands-on guidance, assistance, and even full implementation… So that the nonprofits we serve can realize an abundance of revenue to boldly move forward to achieve their greater mission goals.


One of the best ways we can inspire you as you aim to improve your fundraising programs is to point to those who are making great progress in their own endeavors.


For the next while, our blog will feature the Rising Stars we see doing great things in the industry.


Today, we would like to introduce you to Vince Fraumeni, Director of Planned Giving, Cal Poly Pomona. Please join us for the interview that follows:


...

Pleiades: Hi Vince, you're no stranger to the gift planning world here in Southern California. As I talk to any number of organizations, eventually your name gets brought up in our conversations. Can you share a little about yourself and your history as a consultant and as the main gift planning officer with Cal Poly Pomona? Where are you located, and what is your target demographic for your organization’s services?


Vince: Yes, I First began at Cal Poly Pomona as a consultant and was hired four plus years ago as Director of Planned Giving. Just beginning 42nd year in Planned Giving. Prior to accepting the position at Cal Poly Pomona, I was a consultant for 20 years. Cal Poly was my last client as a consultant.


Pleiades: They must have loved you that much so as to not let you go. You have been with Cal Poly for a while now. Can you share what things looked like when you first arrived and contrast that with what your gift planning shop looks like today? I would love to hear more about some of the initiatives you have started during your time so far.


Vince: Cal Poly Pomona has a long history of bequest expectancies dating back at least forty years. In those early years a lot of cultivation was done by an alumnus who became director for alumni relations and fundraising and used a very personalized approach. When I arrived, marketing and promotion was sent with a limited frequency of print newsletter mailings that focused on business owners. We have implemented a more comprehensive and integrated marketing effort that includes electronic newsletters, topical E-blast messaging, an interactive user friendly estate planning website, virtual seminars, and concentrated legacy society promotion and recognition. We have expanded marketing beyond the planned giving office to include newsletters and website links with other programs, recognition groups and colleges on campus.


Pleiades: It sounds like you have put a robust strategy in place. So often, gift planning can be a "nice accident", but your program appears to be very intentional. Can you share more about that? What initiatives have you made to help move the needle in a more positive direction?


Vince: Beginning in 2020, donor prospect E-Newsletters have been mailed to a updated population segment of our donor base each month with articles that drive traffic to the university’s planned giving website. Supplemental E-Blasts have the same purpose and are focused on specific gift arrangements such as IRA Gifts, Gifts of appreciated assets, CGAs, bequests, and beneficiary designations.


Pleiades: So, you are marketing for specific giving vehicles then. I would imagine that you have an annual and cyclical approach to your marketing calendar. Have you seen how your marketing has encouraged more giving from those specific giving vehicles?


Vince: We have multiple seven figure bequest expectancies of record. We currently receive many six figure bequest distributions and expectancy notifications throughout the year. The more complex non-cash gifts tend to be real estate. We have a Retained Life Estate that continues to be gifted in undivided interests every six years. We have a bequest expectancy of a residential property designated for students with housing insecurities that is located too far from campus to warrant regular policing. It challenged us to be creative and formulate a swap between the future donated property with campus housing designated to benefit students with housing insecurity. It enabled us to meet the donor’s wishes. The plan including renting and eventually selling the real estate parcel in order to fund and eventually endow student housing on campus. Another parcel of real estate was used to create three undivided interests to fund three CRUTS.. These types of real estate gifts combined with donor interests and gift planning opportunities allow us to think creatively and keep our edges sharp.


Pleiades: I love hearing how you're not daunted by complex giving situations. Most tend to avoid them like the plague. Yet, it is in those complex giving solutions that we discover where opportunity abounds. What words of wisdom would you give to those who say they don’t have enough time to give to developing their gift planning programs?


Vince: If you keep on doing what you’ve been doing (or not), you will keep on getting what you’ve been getting. If you do nothing else, start promoting bequests. Look first to already existing publications such as organization E or print newsletters to include an ad or message about how simple it is to make a charitable bequest through a will or trust. Include advantages to the donor and benefits to the charity. Add the following words under your email signature line: “Please remember (Organization) in your estate plan.


Pleiades: Regarding the future of your gift planning program, what would you say is most pressing for you to address?


Vince: More time for face to face to face, virtual, and phone contact with donor prospects. Important to initiate or follow-up with donor prospects personally. Reaching out beyond email to donor prospects for whom we do not have email addresses using print and postal services.

Pleiades: Solid stuff, Vince! Thank you for giving us a snapshot of what you’re working on, Vince. Our takeaway is this: Start with marketing and discover what opportunities come your way. That, and don't shy away from complex giving options; instead, move towards developing sound strategies to see them through. Vince, We're so grateful to have you with us today. Thank you.


Vince:Thank you for having me!



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