The IDEA Blog



Read the thoughts and impressions on a variety of topics written by IDEA staff as well as occasional guest bloggers.

A Challenge: Consider Making a Gift and Making an Impact
October 25, 2016

Dr. Brad K. Mazon, 
Director of Fundraising and Advancement

On October 3rd, IDEA kicked off our first-ever Impact Challenge fundraising campaign in support of our IDEA Impact Grants. Impact Grants are supported through private donations and corporate contributions that directly fund projects with an aim to improve teaching, learning, and student well-being at colleges and universities throughout the United States. IDEA is one of just a handful of nonprofit organizations supporting the advancement of teaching and learning in higher education from two angles - our work to improve learning through research, assessment and professional development, and the financial support we bring to the field through our grantmaking.  With sources of funding focused specifically on improving teaching and learning in higher education scarce, our IDEA Impact Grants are filling an ever-growing void.

I am happy to report that we are beginning to see the preliminary results of Impact Grant funding at some of our grantee institutions. For pilot grantee Point Loma Nazarene University, their faculty mentoring program is already changing the pedagogical approaches that PLNU faculty use to create a learning-filled environment in their classrooms. At the University of Massachusetts – Lowell, Impact Grant funding for their Teaching the Science of Learning project has supported the development of evidence-based learning strategy videos that UML students and faculty can use in the classroom. The timelines for our other grantee projects vary, so we look forward to reporting to you on those results in the near future.

We could not do any of this without private support. Our year-end IDEA Impact Challenge kicked off in early October with the goal of raising $25,000 in private donations. If we are successful in doing that, a generous donor will make a $5,000 donation to IDEA in support of our IDEA Impact Grants. IDEA Board member Dr. Charles Phillips, Associate Dean for Curriculum and Assessment at Drake College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, is serving as our Impact Challenge Chair. The committee is working hard, along with so many others, to tell IDEA’s story and our grantees’ stories to individuals who believe in the power of improved teaching and learning and long-term student success.

The mission of IDEA has not changed since August of 1975. We remain focused on efficiently collecting survey data that offers feedback to enhance faculty development. We also remain true to our mission of improving student learning in higher education through research, assessment, and professional development. Our new grantmaking only builds on that tried and true mission. Through our Impact Grants, IDEA is able to leverage our nonprofit mission in ways that directly improve best practices in real-world classroom settings.

It’s an exciting time at IDEA for sure, but in order for us to fund more teaching and learning projects and new research, I’d like to ask you to consider making a donation to our year-end fundraising campaign by December 31st. Perhaps one of our fundable projects will appeal to you. Regardless of the donation option that resonates with you, the need is urgent so that we can meet our $25,000 goal to receive this generous $5,000 challenge.   Consider a gift and make an impact!  Thank you!

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