Embracing the Art & Science of a Capital Campaign (Bob Pierce)

April 2023

Will you be ready when it's time to conduct a fundraising campaign at your organization? Nearly every nonprofit is in some stage of campaign planning: thinking about one, implementing one or recovering from one!  As a leader, you will likely have to manage a campaign at some point in your career. In episode #207 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, we turned to the leader of the University of Alabama's highly successful Rising Tide Capital Campaign, Bob Pierce, for his best advice. Bob shares straightforward strategies that you can implement today in the planning and execution of your next campaign. 

"There's a science and an art to fundraising, and you've got to embrace the science and put plans in place for your prospects"



Bob Pierce assumed the role of Vice President for Advancement for The University of Alabama in September 2015 and immediately began laying the groundwork for a $1 billion+ capital campaign. In his over seven years at UA, the Advancement Division staff, which now includes 110 members, has grown by 40 percent. In September 2021, UA announced the public phase of The Rising Tide Capital Campaign with the goal of generating $1.5 billion in charitable gift commitments by September 2026. More than $940 million had been secured at the time of the announcement, and by March 2023, The Rising Tide was approaching $1.127 billion (84 percent of the Campaign goal) with over three years remaining. Prior to returning to UA where he earned his master's degree, Pierce spent 17 years at The University of Southern Mississippi including 12 as Executive Director of the Southern Miss Alumni Association and five as Vice President for Advancement. Pierce is a 2003 graduate of the Capstone with a Master of Arts degree in Advertising and Public Relations. Pierce earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with an emphasis in sales management from Southern Miss in 1991. He was inducted into the Southern Miss Alumni Hall of Fame in 2018, and he and Kristi are Life Members of the Southern Miss Alumni Association as well as President's Circle level donors to the USM Foundation. Pierce has also been inducted into the Order of Constantine recognizing lifetime service to Sigma Chi Fraternity.