SBD/September 4, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Minding My Business With Univ. Of Delaware Senior Associate AD/Development Tim Ford



Ford's favorite form of relaxation is hanging out with his twin 11-year-old children
Univ. of Delaware Senior Associate AD/Development TIM FORD is in his first year at the helm of the school's fundraising efforts after nearly two decades at Yale. With the fall semester just underway, Ford spoke to THE DAILY about fundraising differences outside of the Ivy League, how to build trust with a potential donor, and which cities by the shore he chooses for his downtime.

First year on campus...
Our big push is trying to get out and meet people. Yale had a strong tradition of alums getting involved and giving back to the university. So across the board at Delaware, that’s something that we’re working on with our Central Development team, the university's leadership, obviously ERIC ZIADY, our new athletic director, to build that foundation; to create that engagement, that culture of giving back and being involved. 

Rebranding efforts...
First and foremost is putting the state logo on every one of our 21 varsity sports uniforms, and the state logo is now on our football field. We are currently fundraising for the Bob Hannah Stadium project. We’re also renovating our Delaware Field House, where we’re going to put a new synthetic turf to make it an all-purpose facility. We are about a year or two away from a university-wide campaign, and our plan is to have additional facility projects that will be a part of that.

Keys to fundraising...
You always want to match a donor’s interest with a need. You have to be a great listener to the things that are important to them and be able to match that. If you’re trying to force something that isn’t of interest to them, it won’t work out the way you want it to. The other piece of that is the communication and being very genuine in your approach. You have to be very straightforward and develop a genuine relationship with people you want involved.

Best advice I've ever received...
From my dad, DON, who passed away in 2010. He's someone I obviously have the utmost respect for. A couple things he would talk about were being able to treat people with kindness at all times regardless of the level of where they’re at. And then never compromising your integrity.

Best spot for a business lunch...
Main Street in Newark is terrific. It is a great college environment, great college town. There’s terrific restaurants and shops and all that. Taverna, an Italian restaurant, is wonderful. And then I like Catherine Rooney’s Irish Pub.

Best way to unwind...
Time with family. We have 11-year-old twins, KATIE and JACK, nothing better than being a dad and having time away with them. We enjoy Ocean City, New Jersey -- it’s a spot we love to go to. And Singer Island, Florida. When you get away with family there, it’s as relaxing a spot as you could imagine.

On the tube and playing tunes...
I love watching “BOARDWALK EMPIRE” and “HOMELAND,” my wife, KARIE, has gotten me into that in the last year. And I’m a huge BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN fan. There's a lot of E Street Brand on my car radio. I've been to approximately 20 Springsteen concerts. The ones we saw this past year were three-and-a-half hours, and I think the crowd gets more tired than he does.
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