A Taste for Adventure

By Alicia Pettis

Pitching to the Madison Trust

Given the innovative nature of the GOLD Network, I needed seed-money to be able to launch initiatives. In partnership with a cross-team colleague, we turned to the Madison Trust, a major donor funding-competition, where we presented a shark-tank like proposal. By effectively and succinctly communicating the research, approach, and strategic value, we were successful and received $12k of seed-money.


In 2014, the Madison Trust was launched as a way to fuel JMU innovations through contributions from philanthropic investors.

Given our office’s tight budget and lack of flexibility, I needed to look for funding for GOLD Network initiatives elsewhere. Therefore, I turned to the Madison Trust both in a practical way and a symbolic way to get more established alumni carrying on their legacy of giving by inspiring young alums to do the same.

I first prioritized the two most important drivers of YA giving:

From there, I partnered with a colleague in the Alumni Relations Office who was beginning to work on Career & Networking for Alumni. Together, we wrote a proposal and outlined a budget that was chosen to move forward to the final stage of the Madison Trust, a compelling 10-minute presentation in front of the philanthropic investors.

Below you can watch the full presentation, along with the Q.A. section.


Watch the full Madison Trust presentation.


With strong research behind us, we were successful in our pitch and received $12k of seed money. These funds supported both Career & Networking Month and Giving Day stewardship.

You can read more about the outcomes of each of the projects by clicking here: [Integrating YA Needs]

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