Cornell Receives $50 Million From Billionaire David Einhorn

Cornell University has received a $50 million gift from a trust established by David Einhorn for its new Engaged Cornell initiative.  The initiative is aimed at getting Cornell students to “become active citizens and to tackle critical challenges by participating in hands-on, practical learning experiences in communities at home and around the world,” the university explained in a statement.

Donor Bio 

Einhorn, an American hedge fund manager, who grew up in Wisconsin and graduated from Cornell University, is now the Chairman of Greenlight Capital. By getting Einhorn on board, Cornell hopes to attract other donors and raise another $150 million for the new initiative.

Relationship Report 

The report below, generated by Prospect Visual, gives us a glimpse into some of the relationships that exist between Einhorn and Cornell and gives us some insight into the reasons why the billionaire chose Cornell to be the beneficiary of his gift.

Cornell and Einhorn

$50m gift from Jim Haslam shows UT is maintaining links with Haslam Family

Last week it was announced that the University of Tennessee trustees were to vote on renaming the business school to James A. Haslam II College of Business after a $50 million gift from the aforementioned Jim Haslam.

The Relationships between UT & the Haslam Family

Haslam and his family have donated to UT in the past – in fact, UT’s business school campus was overhauled with the aid of a prior gift from the Haslam family and already bears their name as does the school’s new music building and practice fields. This clearly shows that the school enjoys a good relationship with the Haslams.

Further evidence of connections between UT and Jim Haslam in particular can be found in this relationship report from Prospect Visual – it shows that he has several Board-level connections with constituents at UT. And if you’re a regular reader you know that strong relationships with donors can often result in substantial gifts.

Haslam - UT

UT believes that Relationships Matter

UT understands the importance of maintaining strong links with one of Tennessee’s most prominent families. Renaming various schools, campuses and buildings is their way of publicly declaring their appreciation and gratitude.

Is your institution doing all it can to reinforce the relationships with your biggest donors?

Fatal Networking Mistakes You Can Avoid

network mistakes

Trying to maximizing opportunities by networking?  Make sure you’re not caught out by these three common mistakes.

Mistake #1: Being “too embarrassed” to ask for help.

If you need help from anyone, make sure you ask! The concept of networking relies on the exchange of favors. At some point in the future you’ll be the one in a position to help.

Mistake #2: Not keeping in touch.

Truly valuable networks are not built overnight – which means that as time passes it’s important that you take the time to ensure you maintain the relationships with your contacts. If you don’t all your initial work will have been in vain.

Mistake #3: Not thanking people.

As we mentioned in point 1, the concept of successful networking relies on asking for and returning favors. Thanking people in an appropriate way is an important part of this equation. If you’re gracious when someone helps you out, it will strengthen the link between you.

As you go about building your network, give yourself a head-start by making sure to avoid these mistakes!

Engaging with Lost and Lapsed Alumni

Do you want to know how relationship mapping can help you re-engage with lost and lapsed alumni? Watch the video to find out about a Prospect Visual customer was able to do just that.

If you want to get more details on how Pamela and her team re-connected with some great Prospects, click here to view the original post.

To contact us about Prospect Visual’s relationship mapping or alumni append services please use the form below.

The Value of Fundraising Networks via

Here’s a great article we found on about Fundraising Networks and the value they can bring. If you’ve been wondering what a fundraising network can do for you, read on for a sneak peak and click on the link to get to the original article.

 The members of your fundraising networks can raise money, hold events (both ask and non-ask “get to know us” events), send out fundraising letters, sell tickets to your organization’s large events, find new members for your network, generate publicity and buzz, and lots more.

In short, building good, relationship-driven fundraising networks is a key task for any charitable organization, school, church, or other group that is looking to raise money to support its activities.

Joe Garecht, “Building Fundraising Networks” via

College of William & Mary Gets $3 Million Gift from Henry C. Wolf and his wife

Earlier this week it was announced that the College of William and Mary were to receive a $3 million gift from former rector and student, Henry C. Wolfe and his wife, Dixie.

According to a release from the college, the gift will be in aid of establishing the 1779 Scholars Fund for students at Law school and will also go towards funding the Wolf Gallery of the History of the College of William & Mary, a section at the Museum of Art which will explore the history of the institution.

A connections report from Prospect Visual reveals the relationships that helped act as a catalyst for the donation.


As ever it seems that alumni with close ties to existing constituents represents the most fertile pool of prospects for Universities and Colleges.


International Donations to US Colleges – what’s the story?

After the excitement of two major donations from Hong Kong brothers and businessmen Gerald and Ronnie Chan to two US universities, we got to thinking about international donations in general and about Hong Kong in particular.

Well it seems we weren’t the only ones getting curious because the Wall Street Journal published an article a couple of days ago about just this topic. Take a look below to read a summary of the numbers their analysis revealed! (And if you want to take a look at the original article: click here)

International Donations to US Universities: A Summary

  • Largest source of gifts to US colleges: Hong Kong
  • Amount donated between Jan 2007 and Nov 2012: $181 million
  • Hong Kong donations = 17% of total international donations to US Universities
  • Beneficiaries of HK donations, ranked by amount received:
    1. Princeton University – $67.6 million
    2. Stanford University –  $39.3 million
    3. UC Berkeley – $28.8 million
    4. Harvard – $19.6 million*

*Note: Harvard numbers do not include Gerald Chan’s recent $350m donation

So what does this all mean?

In a nutshell – it’s time for US colleges to make a concerted effort to identify and keep track of their connections to international alumni. A relationship mapping service such as Prospect Visual can be a great way to start.

Re-engaging Lost & Lapsed Alumni

Carleton University alum donates $10m to Business School

Carleton University graduate Wesley Nicol was last week announced to be making a donation to the University’s Sprott School of Business. Nicol graduated from the institution with a BA in 1954.

His donation is to be directed towards the building of a new facility to house the business school.

As with all high-capacity alumni, Nicol would have automatically been a high-value prospect for his school. What made him much more likely than others to actually make a gift though are his relationships. A quick connections report from Prospect Visual reveals that he is connected to several constituents of the school at Board, Trustee and Senior Executive level.

Nicol - Carleton

Oculus CEO says Mark Zuckerberg helped influence $31m donation to UMD

“When we met Mark Zuckerberg, and he committed to the vision, this kind of sequence of events started and we found ourselves back on University of Maryland for a hackathon,”

Brendan Iribe, CEO, Oculus

It was announced on Thursday that Oculus CEO, Brendan Iribe was to donate $31 million to his alma mater, the University of Maryland.

Iribe has stated his desire to contribute to the public school system in Maryland, where he grew up, however it’s clear from the quote above that the meeting with Zuckerberg was an important catalyst in making the gift. Our team was pretty excited to see this in the news, but not surprised. After all, as our regular readers will know, we’ve firm believers in the power of peer influence when it comes to philanthropy.

If you’re a University or a Nonprofit, the best way to take advantage of this is to use a relationship mapping service to make sure you are fully aware of your constituents and existing donors’ relationships. Understanding who you have the potential to reach through them can help you focus on identifying high-value prospects with whom you can gain a peer introduction.

Hong Kong billionaire donates $20m to a US University

This morning the Wall Street Journal reported that Hong Kong billionaire Ronnie Chan was to donate $20 million to the University of Southern California’s occupational science and therapy program.

If you’re feeling a some deja vu reading that headline, it might be because it comes less than two weeks after Chan’s brother Gerald Chan made the news by making a $350 million gift to Harvard University.

Ronnie Chan said in a statement, “”I am grateful for the opportunities that USC afforded me and my sons, and our gift to the division is one of several ways we intend to continue supporting USC in the future.”

It’s clear both brothers are dedicated to the schools whom they credit with helping them get where they are. As we hear more of international donations such as these, it’s becoming more and more apparent that universities need to ensure that they make a strong effort to maintain relationships with alumni in foreign countries to make certain that they don’t lose track of a fertile pool of prospects.