Climbing to New Heights
Business student graduates with mastery of fundraising
KENNESAW, Ga. (May 13, 2019) — Gabe Valeanu reached new heights during his time at Kennesaw State University. From his time at the rock wall to his most recent work with the Center for Sustainable Journalism where he helped raised over $60,000, the economics major has challenged himself in everything he has done.
As a freshman in 2014, he wanted to get involved and experience the campus. He found the rock wall in the Betty Siegel Student Recreation and Activities Center, and his love for climbing was born. Joining in some of KSU’s Outdoor Adventure Programs, Valeneau has grown as a student and a climber.
“Climbing gives me confidence,” Valeanu said. “When you’re 60 feet up a rope, you really have to trust yourself.”
Valeanu learned to take on new challenges throughout his academic journey and last year applied his business skills to help spearhead fundraising for the Center for Sustainable Journalism. Beginning in May of 2018, Valeanu led the charge to raise new levels of funding for the center.
As part of his job responsibilities, he created the general campaign plan and helped guide the rest of the team on subscribers, both old and new. He coordinated a detailed strategic plan for social media postings and crafted email templates for the Center’s outreach efforts.
“I analyzed the different data sets of our responses and helped adjust content to match what donors were looking for,” Valeanu said.
During the months of November and December, the money raised by the Center was matched dollar for dollar by NewsMatch, a national matching-gift campaign to grow fundraising capacity in nonprofit newsrooms and promote giving to journalism.
“We had three things we were tasked with accomplishing: get more new donors than last year, raise more money than last year, and reach over 100 new donors,” he said. “We accomplished all three.”
The Center, based out of KSU, raised just over $17,000 in 2017. With Valeanu on board in 2018, the Center tripled the previous year’s fundraising goal, raising a record-breaking $61,720 and gaining over 150 new donors. Valeanu’s assistance and economics background gave the center an edge in reaching their fundraising goals.
Through his time at the Center, Valeanu has gained a new respect for the work that goes into fundraising and the importance of newsrooms and nonprofits.
He’s grateful for his unique experiences at KSU and can’t wait to see what new heights his future holds.
– Andrea Judy
Photos by Rob C. Witzel
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 35,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university's vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. A Carnegie-designated doctoral institution, it is one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.