Hokie Club Drive for 25 progress

http://www.drivefor25.com/tracking/

We sit but days away from the start of the 2017 college football season, and I thought it would good to Open this can of worms again have the Hokie Club discussion again. As of right now we have 11,467 Members, this is down as best I can tell almost 1,500 members from just a year ago. After a ten win season, a great bowl game and Fuente doing well I thought the numbers would keep growing not decline. Where does this leave Virginia Tech sports in the long run if the high tide mark is around 12-15,000 not 25,000 like they need? What can the Hokie club do to bring in more members? It's even more surprising to me because the school as a whole saw another record breaking year in donations.

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Since I don't have auto withdrawal and haven't donated since before the 3/31 deadline this year, I'm assuming they consider me no longer a member, correct?

I definitely plan to donate again this time around, but it'll probably be closer to March when I do so.

Just trying to rationalize why this may be the case, but objectively as a member myself, I still feel like you don't really get a lot in return for your donation. The main incentive for membership is still a way to guarantee football tickets and now get slightly better seating depending on your giving level. Other than that, the average fan doesn't see much return in the investment. As I've said before, for your big money donors, the tax incentives and the "helping student athletes" message is great, but your average football fan doesn't care about that. They want something tangible in return. When most of these people are content with just buying individual game tickets on StubHub, they probably don't see the point in giving to the Hokie Club. Still feel we could do better marketing-wise too, because a lot of people either don't know about it or don't know how to join somehow.

Well said and totally on point. If they could find a way to replicate what they do with the Hokie Kids Club in some form I think that would go a long way. For $25 my kids get some swag (shirt, bag, stupid fidget spinner, etc) a birthday card from the Hokie Bird, 15 minute early entry to fan day, and a free game ticket. I'm not sure what the adult equivalent would be, but season tickets and tax deductions only go so far.

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

Hell, I'd be happy with a calendar with all the athletic dept. events on it.

An adult take on the kid's club would be nice though.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

I think they could work to partner with local businesses, hotels, restaurants, etc. and give members a Hokie Club season card for discounts on hotel rooms, meals, and the like around town for traveling fans. Maybe even discounts at the University Bookstore for gameday merch. Incentivizing people to spend more by getting a little something in return for the donation would be great.

That would be too easy. Every high school I can think of raises money for their athletic dept. using discount cards nowadays. The HC should be able to do this with little effort.

Edit: I'm thinking of some kind of card that shows you're an active HC member. Get businesses in and around Blacksburg that are interested to give like a 5-10% discount if patrons present the card. Have the HC furnish a window sticker for participating businesses to display like they do with credit cards and Hokie Passports. Profit.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Would that backfire though?

Look what VT has to do to get supporters act like a high school booster club

Also you have to get businesses outside Blacksburg to participate since most of the fan base and Alums don't live there.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I don't think that would be an issue if they did it the way I suggested in my edit. As far as your other point, the HC can only work with what they have. Doubt seriously they could get places around the country to accept it, but I'm sure some places in DC and Richmond would go for it. HC members could always use it when they're in town.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

An effort to reach out to the recent graduates and younger Hokie Club potentials, I think it would be pretty cool to have something along the lines of a mini NFL combine with all the drills you can think of, and add in some Virginia Tech specific ones, like receiver drills with Mike Vick at the spring game.

I would do that in a heartbeat.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

They did do a calendar for 2016, not sure why they didn't in 2017.

The HokieSports magazine is nice but I imagine that will go away soon as they are starting to post those online and print media is dying.

Yeah, the HokieSports magazine is a nice gesture, but with the limited amount of info coming out of the program these days, the entire magazine is essentially coach-speak. It is nice to keep up with the non-revenue sports a bit which aren't as visible all the time, but if you're a pretty dedicated fan and spend any time reading TKP or any of the other online sites and news sources, you probably already know everything that's in that magazine.

Agree with this completely. The money probably doesn't come from the same place as my donations, but I'd prefer they save the money and not send it to me.

stupid fidget spinner

Kinda want.

I've been drinking.

They are orange and maroon VT branded to boot. They are also annoying as all hell.

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

goddammit. Now I really want one.

I think I'm developing arthritis in my hands from fidget spinning pens all day every day.

I've been drinking.

Return, Investment. Terms that should not be used with a charitable donation. But I get it. People see collegiate football as "for-profit" venture with the huge sums of money that are garnered from tv and ticket sales. But, it's not. And as long as football is tied to all Hokie sports, it will always be a charitable donation.

🦃 🦃 🦃

Agreed, but I think the vast majority of average football fans don't view it that way. I give to the Hokie Club because its something important to me and I believe in what the money is going towards, by definition a charitable donation. I think a lot of others see the vast amount of money involved in college athletics and don't have the same perspective on the fundraising.

I'm a Hokie Club member as of this year, and I still really have no idea how it works... other than they take my money.

Recruit Prosim

I think it's still a daunting prospect to join as a new HC member. I'm just going to share my own recent experience with that:

We decided this was the year to join up. I spent a lot of time looking over the website to see exactly what was required in order to join/receive my benefits from doing so. 3/31 was the deadline "to receive all benefits for the 2017 season". This includes football seating priority. Turns out (and I triple checked on this) that nowhere does it say that you have to apply for priority seat selection 2-3 weeks prior to that date. The only way you'd know that date, to my knowledge, is if you're already on the HC mailing list. I've been given heads up to those deadlines now that I'm a member for things like Hoops tickets.

Long story short, we got our seats and it wasn't a big deal, I just had to select them when then went on sale to the public. But that's a lot of extra hassle and a little extra money than we'd have spent on the secondary market. Since access to the benefits is a big reason people donate, I think they need to simplify the process a little bit for prospective members.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Member before the drive, still a member now. But it is to give back some to my school, and mostly to reserve my decent football tickets. I don't like being dependent on stubhub and like the people that I normally sit with.

They were at 13,600 in July so I'm not sure what caused the dip. I guess it has to do with the timing of renewals.

So an even bigger drop than I thought over 2,000.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I brought this up in a thread yesterday because it shocked me so much to see it drop off so considerably. At first I just assumed there was some kind of mistake with the Drive for 25 website. Whit has to be shaking his head wondering what the hell he has to do to get people to give enough of a damn to donate.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

I have no facts to back up this claim,

But having a solid majority of our alumni living 4+hrs hours away in one of the most expensive areas in the country to live in (read: NoVA) must have a big effect on the ability to grow the alumni donors.

It was a catch!

If I made a funny comment I probably stole it from Reddit.

Living in NoVA.... I will back your claim

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Where do most LOLUVA, MD, etc fans move to live and work?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

From what I have seen and know for UVA based of friends and others who went there, they either move out of state or stay in the Charlottesville area

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

This. Tech is like Hogwarts.

Recruit Prosim

Set up a streaming service for ALL athletics regardless of blackouts/ACC agreements. I literally can't watch without buying DirecTV and dropping absurd amounts of money on it, and getting lucky its not blacked out. Can't afford that or season tickets. He could have $100 a month to be able to stream all athletics events though.

“I remember Lee Corso's car didn't get out of the parking lot.” -cFB

With the amount of money Whit has invested in the program so far in terms of additional coaches and facility upgrades, this is certainly concerning...

Hokies United l Ut Prosim

I renewed my membership and had planned on increasing my donation until they promised 3 pts per BaB ticket and then gave out none. I organized a group of friends and bought 12, so a huge swing in my point total. They claim an error as a result of changing to the new system, but never kept a records backup. Poor management. I give to help provide scholarships, but would like to be able to take advantage when the team travels to the Midwest. So far I have been unable to get tickets for 2/3 games through the Hokie Club. Glad fans travel well, but minimum donation at this point as I see few benefits to moving up in the Club.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

It's true. If you don't live near Blacksburg and get season tickets, your club points may never amount to enough even to get tickets for a game near you. You have to donate a lot to get into the upper echelons of Hokie boosters. Probably a lot less than a lot of top college teams, though. I can relate to your comment because I'm in exactly the same boat. I donate every year, and I also went to the Battle at Bristol.

You may not get much in terms of direct benefit, but you're supporting your university and your team. VT is able to hire good coaches, recruit, and play in nationally-televised games. They even managed a pre-season ranking. If you have a VT degree, it's arguably worth more because of the success of VT athletics.

Ultimately though, if you think it's a worthy cause, the satisfaction needs to come from the giving, not in the getting. They can send you some additional swag, but then you know it's coming out of your donation instead of going to the cause you're donating to.

All my BaB points were credited to my account last year (I bought 30 tickets, so I got a huge jump), but weren't this year. I think that is what the promised, to be honest.

I agree here. At the town hall meetings, it was explained that Battle at Bristol would qualify for points on the old system, then when the new system began, everyone would be at square one. I do not agree with how it was handled, however.

I'm beginning to worry that, outside of Whit and maybe a select few at the top of the chain in the Hokie Club, the entire organization as a whole doesn't know what the hell its doing, and is comprised of some seriously incompetent individuals who don't know how to run a fundraising organization.

I'm a member of the local Alumni Chapter in the area, which comes as no surprise to the TKP members on here who are also in it, and earlier today I had a message forwarded to me coming from the main Alumni offices. The general understood gist of the email was that the Alumni Association is now tasking Alumni Chapters to essentially run the main Hokie Club fundraising for their area going forward. Mind you, we already have a Hokie Club chapter in the area, and the Alumni Chapter is a 100% volunteer organization, for which Blacksburg isn't providing any additional resources outside of some graphics to use in mailers and social media posts to help with the fundraising efforts. To say this kind of mandate of a volunteer organization that is already being tasked with far more than it should is turning off a lot of active people from wanting to be involved anymore.

tl;dr - They're essentially trying to pass the buck on doing the majority of the legwork to get this going from the people who are employed by the school to unpaid part-time volunteers while not providing them the help necessary to make it work.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

To play devils advocate here, local people especially Alums would know more about the local Hokies than someone in Blacksburg on the small Hokie Club staff.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Sure, but to do that, you should have the Hokie Club fundraisers leverage and work with the locals to make that fundraising work, and not perform a complete dump-and-run.

And, if you ask me, the Hokie Club should be absorbed within the Alumni Association to make fundraising at VT more efficient. Have the same people overseeing both, and combine best practices of each to make everything else better. Hell, make it so academic giving can help with athletic priority to help encourage giving for both. (maybe treat it like airline miles... single points for academic giving, double points for athletic). A lot of the problems I have personally seen in the past is that we just never have a consistent message coming from Tech, and that desperately needs to change.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

A lot of the problems I have personally seen in the past is that we just never have a consistent message coming from Tech, and that desperately needs to change.

Spot on right there. I think this is an issue that has been ingrained historically in a ton of areas, from internal organizations having overlapping and duplicate functions, to branding, merchandise, social media outreach, and so forth. We've gotten better, but there is a lack of cohesion at times.

NotGoodBob.gif

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

There's obviously problems with the management from the outside looking in as well. Not that I'm a fan of getting telemarketing calls, but I get pestered ALL the time to donate to the University side of things. Literally never heard a peep from the Hokie Club. I agree with posts above that it doesn't seem like you get much outside of ticket selection for joining, but there also seems to be little to no effort to get new members/increase giving levels either.

As a graduate of Tech you should have received a Drive for 25 letter and information packet. It went out to every address they had one file for alums.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Hmmm guessing they have an old address...

I was just about comment that I never got a mailer and the only reason I really know anything about the Drive for 25 is TKP.

I suppose its possible it just got lost in the mail. The school has an up to date address as I get mailings from Alumni Association, Pamplin, Bookstore and the Academic giving side.

I'm assuming you're in the Triangle Hokies chapter (might see you at the event tomorrow night at Tobacco Road). I personally think our chapter is weak for as many Hokies are in the area, and if a place like Raleigh-Durham that isn't too far from Blacksburg is weak, I can only imagine that many others would be the same way. This is a big problem, as having strong local chapters across the country would be key to driving membership.

Yep. Work permitting, I'll be there tomorrow as well.

Turnout for our chapter does tend to be a bit weak, but its not for lack of trying. We've been expanding the number of events we have, and we've been trying to utilize every avenue we can to get out the word, but its been like pulling teeth to get any traction. I think a big problem we have turnout-wise, is that people just simply don't care about the chapter in general. We have the largest alumni footprint outside of the commonwealth, and we're lucky to get 60 people to a good event. And our chapter takes up the entire Triangle, stretching from Chapel Hill to Garner, and a lot of the feedback we've received is that, if people have to drive more than 15-20 minutes to get to an event, they won't bother to try.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

That is a downside of covering such a wide area. If the events were in somewhere like Chapel Hill regularly I probably wouldn't drive that far either.

And the thing is, our chapter isn't that big. I thought it was a pretty big chapter landmass-wise, but then I went up for a gathering a couple years ago and realized the Iowa Chapter is just that. All of Iowa.

A big problem we have is that we compete with UNC and NCSU for relevance in the area during football season. For game-watching parties, we tried to scour locations all over that would make sense after the old Ale House closed, and we found it very tough. Most bars wouldn't guarantee us a spot, which we would need as we can get 40, easy for a who gives a crap game. Some wouldn't give us the time of day. We looked into a couple spots, like the Ale House downtown, but ran into roadblocks because we'd have to pay to park, and trying to get downtown for a night game could be hellacious. We settled on the Tap Room because the owner was more than willing to work with us, and its been great. Even with that said, we still get people constantly bitching that it isn't in Durham/Chapel Hill/downtown Raleigh.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Our local Hokie club covers about 1.5-2 hours driving distance. Same with Alumni Chapter here.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

How do I establish a chapter? I see a (relative) shit ton of VT alums in SW Michigan and we don't have a chapter. SE Michigan has one but that's like 2 hours away.

Recruit Prosim

Its up to you to do the rest. I started one in Western KY (died after I moved).Email the VT Alumni Association. They will give you a list of all known Hokies in a 60-70 mile radius of whatever you want to base the club (pick a city/town you would likely meet in). Keep your expectations low, we only had about 5 people show up for games and I had a hard time getting them to answer emails about much else.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

What can the Hokie club do to bring in more members?

Put a signup sheet in one of these things... would get me every time.

“I turned down 12 other opportunities. You know what I mean?” - Fuente

I take it you went to a lot of AGR parties?

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Center/Houston Street. I'd give all my buddies a dollar to walk through there and end up with my pockets stuffed of mini cans.

“I turned down 12 other opportunities. You know what I mean?” - Fuente

Skoal and/or Cope stopped coming to our parties my Soph year in 2008. Legally not allowed to do it at colleges anymore, I believe. I don't dip, so when I was pledging, I would have to sign up multiple times under multiple names to get the free samples for a bunch of older brothers. Fun times.

Ultimately the attitude and approach needs to be 'I'm giving to try to help buy a natty' instead of 'I'm giving to get football seats'. I say this as a non member who will join at least at the bottom by the end of the year.

I live 1553 miles from Lane Stadium. I haven't been on campus since Nov. 24, 2012, when I fucking froze my ass off, I will never get any 'value' out of belonging to the HC, but I'm going to pretend that I'm like the Glazer family and hope I can help buy a natty or two.

I've been drinking.

100% agree with this. I'm not even an alumni and I keep getting closer and closer to joining. Kickbacks should not be a motivating factor to donate to anything. Honestly, I did not join thekeyplayersclub for the extra coverage access. I did it to support this site and as a thanks for those who make it possible.

Hear, hear.

Me, too.

I joined TKP because at a certain point, I realized the value of this site to our Hokie alumni/fan community. The same applies to Hokie Club membership.

If they send me trinkets, it comes out of the money I donated. I'd love to have enough priority to get tickets to away games that are near me, but people with higher priority have no doubt donated more than I have over the long term.

I'm a Hokie Club rep - if you have any questions or I can help push you over the last hurdle to joining, drop me an email anytime. HokieClubPete [at] gmail [dot] com

You can also respond back here, I just don't TKP hard enough sometimes due to work, so it may take me longer to see than an email.

Thanks, fam.

What's the minimum one cash donate and be in?

$100 is the minimum donation amount to become a Hokie Club member.

yeah, I was gonna bitch about 'after we get a house bought blah blah blah' and then I googled it and saw it's only a hundred bucks. Which then made me embarrassed that I hadn't already joined, which then made me embarrassed that at the end of the month I don't have the hundred bones. So I left that part out.

Prorating my cable subscription and buying the SGA shirts, I've probably got like 200 bucks into being a fan for this season. Before beer. And Bourbon. So, it's going to be time to start ponying up the cash.

I've been drinking.

Here's a leg to soften the blow.

That's how I see it as well. While I'm on campus more often than you, I don't ever expect to actually use points or anything else. With the minimum pledge being lowered to $100, it's not any different from becoming a member of TKP: I want to financially support the things that I enjoy.

I'm a Hokie Club rep - if you have any questions prior to joining, I'd be happy to answer them for you. Drop me an email anytime. HokieClubPete [at] gmail [dot] com

I joined the Hokie Club last month as an Orange & Maroon member. Got 2 football tickets basically so I can make sure I have a seat for the Clemson game. I'll be at all the other home games but I haven't really seen a reason to stay in the club long term if I decide I won't be able to make it to the majority of football games in the future.

Unless your a high-level donor (which I am not) i don't really understand the benefits of it.

It was a catch!

If I made a funny comment I probably stole it from Reddit.

i don't really understand the benefits of it.

You receive the benefit of making a charitable donation to a scholarship fund for student athletes. Why everyone gets hung up on getting benefits in return to donating to a charity is beyond me. I don't ask Children International to reimburse me with benefits for my donation.

I'm not trying to single you out. This is just another example of this mentality that seems to be so pervasive in our fanbase.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Well, it's a club. Joining a club usually entails benefits and exclusivity of some sort. Maybe we should just market it as the Hokie Fund and just say "please donate now so we can win a natty."

Then you have to win a natty.

I'm OK with that, but they can't really promise it.

At that same time, would it really be that difficult to do some nice, cheap kickbacks for being a HC member? I know for years when I was buying a mini-season ticket plan for the Carolina Hurricanes, they'd include an annual giveaway that only STH would receive, and they were always something that was actually nice. It made you want to keep buying in to keep the kickbacks coming in.

I just don't see that with the Hokie Club. We got what, a Drive for 25 lapel pin this year? BFD. I'm not saying it has to be a super nice kickback or anything, but an exclusive gift that makes you feel appreciated wouldn't be the worst idea in the world.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

It's going to be hard for the HC to straddle the line of giving out generic cheap swag and giving out 'nice, cheap kickbacks'. It's a chicken egg situation. HC doesn't have much to spare to give out nice free stuff to incentivize folks to continue donating because some folks aren't interested in giving unless they get nice free stuff. I wish I had a good answer for you, and I'll bet HC does too.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Well, they have figured it out in some ways. Whit formed the football support club that gives you special access depending on how much you shell out. I wonder if or how this affected the HC numbers.

http://www.hokiesports.com/football/recaps/20160822aaa.html

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

This is just another example of this mentality that seems to be so pervasive in our fanbase.

It's not just this fanbase; it's society at large. There is competition for every donated dollar. There are more charities for more causes than anyone can count. From the Hokie Club's perspective they can either adapt to it or fall back. Lamenting that people don't just give is a waste of time and energy. However, more specifically to this fanbase, the HC was extremely poorly run for a long time and had an attitude of entitlement as oppose to gratitude.

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

It's not just this fanbase; it's society at large.

Maybe so, I'm just drawing my conclusion on this from comparisons with other athletic scholarship funds in the ACC. For example, NC State having a larger number of donors is just baffling to me. Even if they don't raise as much money overall it still strikes me as odd that we can't be around where they are in number of donors.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Without knowing anything about NC State's situation I would venture to guess that, in the past, they did a much better job of advertising it and getting the "first dollar" from people. Until I join TKP I had no idea the Hokie Club existed or what it did. I knew that you had to make a donation to get season tickets but I thought it was just to school. As someone who attended a lot of sporting events during my 4+ years it's sad that I had no idea.

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

You're not the only one. For years, the Hokie Club was an almost clandestine organization which served to give tax incentives and ticket benefits to a relatively small number of high-level donors who funded the program. If you didn't already know a Hokie Club member, chances are you didn't know much about it, found it rather confusing, and/or didn't want to participate. The organization didn't evolve as athletics fundraising was growing nationally, so we find ourselves playing catch up and trying to shed a very negative stigma the organization has carried throughout the years.

The tax incentives truth be told don't matter unless you're donating at a pretty high level. Joining the Hokie Club has not be a requisite for season tickets in some time either, as plenty have been left over for general public sale. I think rebranding and better marketing/awareness will help people catch on. It will take some time, and we are heading in the right direction, but there is still plenty of room for improvements.

I think 2011 was the first season since the '90s that season tickets were made available to the public. From about 1998 until 2010 you had to be a HC member just to be able to purchase tickets at all through the school, and in 2011 they still sold out through public season ticket sales. It wasn't until 2012 that single-game tickets were sold, but we managed to keep the sellout streak alive until 2013.

The Wolfpack Club wasn't that great until recently. Then they rolled out the god awful Wolfpack In The House campaign about 10 years ago, and almost immediately you started seeing that shit all over town. They aggressively pushed that campaign during sporting events for about 5 years straight, and it took off.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

I think this is one of those areas that its better to spend money to make money that Whit has perfected through his coaching hires in basketball and football. Spend money, get noticed, rake in the money down the line.

And it doesn't have to be anything super nice, but just a little something would be appreciated. For the Canes, one year we got tailgating chairs, the next year we got tailgating coolers, each embroidered with the Season Ticket Holder logo. Imagine if the Hokie Club did something similar for each member annually. Giving out things people could actually use at tailgating like those chairs or coolers. Maybe car flags one year, and stuff like that. As I said, doesn't have to be top of the line anything, but stuff that people can actually use on campus to create brand recognition that gets others wanting to be a part of that.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

And, honestly, you want an idea of something we should be doing right now? We should be giving out that NC2VT logo that we're using on social media (that I am using as my avatar) as a small car magnet in the same vein we gave out the This Is Home magnets last year, especially as giveaways to all the Alumni Chapters and Hokie Club Chapters in NC. We make this big online push to make something like that happen, and then completely drop the ball to make that relevant on the streets. Heck, that whole This Is Home magnet giveaway seemingly got brought to completely random areas last year, completely bypassing the entire Triangle when, as stated above, we're the largest alumni network outside of the Commonwealth.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

And, honestly, you want an idea of something we should be doing right now? We should be giving out that NC2VT logo that we're using on social media (that I am using as my avatar) as a small car magnet in the same vein we gave out the This Is Home magnets last year, especially as giveaways to all the Alumni Chapters and Hokie Club Chapters in NC.

Love this idea. This is something that makes members feel like their part of a movement. It makes them feel like they are contributing to the team, or even like they are part of the team. This is (part of) how you build a community.

Twitter me

You and I understand that. But how many others out there don't?

You might be reading too much into that last statement. It's not a knock on the athletes but there's zero incentive besides the self-gratification of helping an athlete (which is nice and all...) and being able to order season tickets a bit earlier. I'm not trying to sound selfish, sorry if I came off that way.

It was a catch!

If I made a funny comment I probably stole it from Reddit.

Why everyone gets hung up on getting benefits in return to donating to a charity is beyond me.

Well, for one, because one of the selling points for joining Hokie Club is that you get the ability to buy tickets, and you get better seats. They advertise this as a perk. Some of the members do benefit. If you're able to go to multiple home games each year, then you get a lot of utility.

I also think that members who frequent games and/or spend more time in the area have a different/more emotional connection to the university. I'm sure the people who see a Children's International commercial every 10-15 minutes are more likely to donate than people who don't. I'm sure that people who spend time with impoverished children are even more likely to donate. Similar rule of thumb for the Hokie Club - the more time you spend around Hokies, the more likely you are to donate.

Which brings me to my next point... One of the benefits that Hokie Club can, should and must offer is a community, starting at the local level. This is how every successful non-profit promotes reoccurring donations. The Hokie Club is failing here. I've lived in the middle of Atlanta for 4 years, and there hasn't been a single event inside the city during that time, nor has anyone has reached out to me in my time here. I know GA/ATL doesn't have the most Hokies of any state (In fact, Georgia has the 8th most Hokies of any state), but I think it would make strategic sense to target the largest city in the Southeast United States.

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Tomorrow night they are having a sendoff for new and returned students.

Every Alumni Chapter is. It's a requirement from Blacksburg, especially in areas of high concentration to have an event tomorrow at the same time to welcome new alumni to your given area. Think of it like that Dunder Mifflin online party from that one episode of The Office.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Right but it's an event, people are constantly saying there are never events when there are events. Whit Babcock spoke in his city just last year for example.

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Thanks! I do appreciate this, but of course, I have complaints too.

First of all, if you google 'Atlanta Hokie Club' this website is the first thing that comes up - the event is not listed there. Additionally, if you go to http://hokieclub.com/events/ and filter by the Atlanta Chapter, you also see 'no upcoming events'.

Secondly, this isn't in the city, it's way out in the burbs. That's a one hour drive from the city on a weekday night. And I don't mean to sound selfish - I understand that the Hokie Club probably gets far more money from the burbs outside of Atlanta than inside the city, but have they ever had an event inside the city? Does the Northern VA chapter ever have events inside DC/Alexandria/Arlington, or is it always in Fredericksburg?

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You're looking at the Hokie Club Chapters when it's the Alumni Chapter that is having the event. Find them at AtlantaHokies on Facebook.

And this is another problem, the Alumni Chapters are generally the most active across the nation, with the Hokie Club Chapters being passive at best. When people look for local events they look for HC gatherings, see nothing and assume there just isn't any interest in the area.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Most alumni chapters are bigger since you can't start a Hokie club Chapter until it can donate a certain amount of money by itself.

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I don't ask Children International to reimburse me with benefits for my donation.

Nicely put.

Though you do get some entertainment from your Hokie donations. Even if those who don't donate also get it as "free riders".

Honestly, it's not a charity when they start attaching price tags to your football (or basketball) seats. I didn't want to give more, I didn't expect any trinkets. I had to give more just to keep my regular seats or watch the games from home.

Your Hokie Club donation does nothing but pay for scholarships, a football scholarship costs just as much as a women's track one. Your donation is paying to help a person get an education while competing for the university. For some people the only way they are getting that education is from their athletic scholarship.

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Yes, I understand that. But when the costs of living and various other things keeps rising the extra money the people are willing to spend goes down, every large donation/ large purchase is scrutinized more.

I'm fortunate enough to live within driving distance of Blacksburg on game days. But for the people outside of that the only thing they get is that self-gratification. Helping a student get an education is a great thing, don't get me wrong.

But whats out there to pull people in and say "Hey, our good cause is better than this other good cause. Give us your money instead."?

I'm having a difficult time trying to explain myself over an internet comment...

It was a catch!

If I made a funny comment I probably stole it from Reddit.

It would make sense if peer institutions and nearby colleges didn't have an easier time of getting people to donateZ

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Just got my thank you letter for next year I forgot you get a 10% off card for purchases on Hokie Club gear.

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lolz

In all seriousness, who is actively buying Hokie Club merch other than HC reps? That right there is exactly what I'm talking about with giving away useful swag annually to HC members. Maybe even up the ante for a 1 time nicer swag gift for milestone anniversaries at 5, 10, 25, etc years of consecutive giving.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

I don't think I've seen one idea of yours I haven't loved on this thread.

Alum07 for HC president!!!

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

There is probably a correlation between the University's fundraising going through the roof and the Hokie Club's decrease. Maybe a lot of people are prioritizing giving to academics instead?

Living within driving distance and having ca$h to "donate" is a plus for us. We are not educationally affiliated with VT but love the Hokies as much as a grad. However, when I decide to retire, we will not longer have ca$h to donate. My fear is that people like Whit and CJF and CBW will leave as financial support continues to wane. Today's economy is tough and grads are spread out across the US. VT is beautiful and provides a quality education you grads are proud of. However, VT is remote and difficult to attend functions once you graduate. Hopefully, we can all continue to donate our $100/year for the scholarship fund and not expect too much in return.

foresthokie
US Navy Vet

To mitigate the "only local members get benefits", they should have priority single game tickets for Hokie Club members.

As long as I donate my $100 a year, I can get good seats at face value the one or two games I'm able to make it to each year. Could have a signup ahead of time, like when purchasing season tickets. That's enough incentive for me.

Well your in luck and I hope you sign up. Hokie Club members get first offer of single game tickets at face value from the school, along with season ticket holders that are not Hokie Club members.

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What's the cycle for this? When do I have to sign up by to get priority on single game tickets? When will single tickets no longer be sold by the school for face value? Do I get face value tickets for away games?

Thanks for answering all of these questions (throughout the thread)... Is there a place online where this is all explained in one spot?

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Giving has to be done by march 31, you can give monthly so for next year it would be just over 14 dollars a month. Not sure about question for face value. As a Hokie Club member you can put in for away game tickets you might even get some games like Miami or BC.

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Is it difficult to get tickets to away games through the school?

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Yea it's based on priority points and giving level to Hokie Club so games like LOLVA, UNC or big trips like ND get picked up fast. But I've gotten bowl game and ACCCG tickets each year and lowest level of donating because most people get secondary market tickets.

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Sadly the Hokie Club tickets for the big games, etc. are generally the worst seats in the house. That has not stopped my from buying through the school so we meet our obligations.

The 2010 ACC CG was horrible seats and I was a golden hokie. Second balcony in the corner. Really?

Yea many places have crap seats but this year for ACCCG I was in decent seats and for bowl game My tickets were 35 yard line second row wish I could gone.

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The tickets the school has gotten have gotten better in recent years for neutral site and bowl games. For a long time, a large portion of the school allocation was upper deck endzone (or similar). I was shocked how good my seats were for the Belk Bowl last year.

UVA, UNC, Duke, NCSU, and Wake are always tough to get through VT. With the current rotation where we only play at FSU and Clemson every 12 years, those will probably be tough too. Louisville may be tough too, at least the first time we play there. GT, BC, Cuse, Miami, and Pitt are easy to get through Tech. I'd also note though that you can usually get cheaper tickets on secondary market for those games.

I'm a Hokie Club rep - if you (or anyone reading this) has any questions about Hokie Club, feel free to email me anytime- I'll respond as quickly as I can: HokieClubPete [at]gmail [dot]com

For Hokie Club member priority status, you have to sign up by March 31st prior to the season in question. So for 2017 games, your donation must be in by March 31st, 2017. If you were to join now, you would be eligible for 2018.

For Season ticket holders priority status, you simply have to be a season ticket holder. So buy a season ticket and then you get access to the single-game ticket priority sale.

Single game tickets are sold for face value until the stadium sells out. Trend has been for there to be about a week for Hokie Club / Season Ticket Holder priority sales before the single game tickets go on sale to the public.

As an example from last year, Single-game tickets were made available to Hokie Club members & Season Ticket Holders on September 2nd, 2016. Sales were opened to the general public on September 6th, 2016.

Note that there is no guarantee that single-game tickets will be available for a particular game. There's a chance we sell out all seats via season ticket sales (unlikely lately), and there's a chance that certain games sell out via season ticket & mini-plan sales combined.

Also Note that the face value of all 6 home games this season $395 and season tickets sell for $350 (+minimum donation for certain sections)

They opened single game ticket sales this week for UD & ODU. The highest tier HC levels were able to start buying Tuesday at 10am. On Wednesday at 10am, it opened to the rest of Hokie Club members and season ticketholders. Thursday at 10am it opened to the general public. This is in line with how the released mini-pack ticket sales as well, but as one of my feedback points this season, I'm going to suggest they space it out a little more in the future.

I'm trying to think of ways to better help with fundraising.

My initial thought is what I said above, in that they should first and foremost absorb the Hokie Club within the Alumni Association to consolidate fundraising efforts. When you get a call from Tech in regards to fundraising, it won't be a Athletics vs Academics thing, it'll be a choice on whether or not you'd rather your money go to Athletics or Academics, or a percentage to each. Make it easier to give to VT in the most efficient way while reducing noise. The added bonus here is that nationally, our Alumni Chapters are far more active than the Hokie Club, and if you officially absorb the HC within the AA, you have a better change of truly developing the grass roots effort they're clearly trying to create. Also, when there are movements that the Athletic Department is trying to make, such as the current #NC2VT campaign, you can legitimately leverage the Alumni Chapters of that area to help spread the word to make everyone feel more involved.

Second. while getting ticket priority is a good incentive for giving now, I think there needs to be a small kickback for Season Ticket Holders of football, basketball, baseball, and any other revenue generating sport. Something that people can use when they come to campus that is plastered with the Hokie Club logo and Season Ticket Holder status. I'll go with my example above that I experienced with the Carolina Hurricanes, and say that things like tailgating chairs, coolers, car flags, etc that people can and will use on a weekly basis should be what we're targeting here. Create Hokie Club and STH brand recognition that makes people want to be a part of that group to get those kind of kickbacks.

Third, rethink the way in which we handle the rewards program for joining the Hokie Club. Lets be honest, in this economy people are much more mindful of how their money is spent, and the disposable income where you give for the sake of giving is drying up. When people invest nowadays, they expect a return. Right or wrong, that's just the way society has gone. Right now, the primary reason to join the Hokie Club is for football seating priority. For people in the Commonwealth, and within driving distance of Tech, that's a pretty good incentive because you will be able to use Season Tickets. But for everyone else, the return on investment just isn't there, so my proposal is to move towards a rewards program where you can collect points that can be redeemed for a variety of things, one of which being seating priority for football and/or basketball. Treat it like airline miles where the more you give, the more redeemable value you earn, and have it so people can cash in whenever they want. If they want to dump it all for better season tickets, they can, if people want to save up and ensure they have Bowl Priority, they can. If people want to maximize their chances of basketball season tickets, they can. Also allow it to be redeemable for single-game tickets, parking passes, and even online merch. Make it so there's legitimate value to the giving where people who can't necessarily make it for all the games still see value in giving to hook them for what you can. And this is where my first point would come into play where you can give an incentive to donate to all of Tech instead of just Athletically. Earn regular rewards points for Academic giving, and double for Athletic, get bonus points for any season ticket package purchased.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

I stand by my previous statement upthread. Get this man's ideas into action.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Perhaps a nice bottle of HC branded whiskey for new members?

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

Now you're cooking with gasoline.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Great summary of the major issues with HC, and great ideas moving forward!

Love the loyalty program idea. If I could donate $100 a year for the next 5 years, and exchange that for priority when FSU comes to Lane next, I'd be all about it.

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You already would get priority over people who had not given or were not Hokie Club members.

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The hardest thing to do is to get that new member to initially join. Its much easier to maintain membership. Therefore, I would propose some sort of first year free period to join and make the paperwork as absolutely as painless as possible. My theory is that you would get a bunch of initial freeloaders but a large percentage would maintain membership.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

The Hokie Club has a free student Hokie club and recent grad reduced price option.

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My UF friends are (were?) a member of a 'recent graduate' donor club. They have their own section in the stands, their own dues, and their own local club events. Because let's face it, most of us are much closer to a college student than a real adult for our first 3 years out of college.

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They have their own section in the stands

What I wouldn't give for this. I don't want the NEZ experience anymore, but I was less than thrilled to be sitting in front of a curmudgeony TSL reader for the past couple of seasons. That was in the east stands, too.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

A recent grad seating section for season tickets would be a cool idea. The question would be is there enough demand to set aside a section?

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Not currently a member for a number of reasons (still paying student loans, not local, etc) plus the new deal with Liberty really rustles my jimmies... but with that said...

Whit, if you're reading this. I will be a member for the rest of my life if you bring back Stick It In.

I happen to live in Roanoke, so there is some incentive for me (better tickets, etc). However, in order for the HC to grow it needs to be attractive to everyone.

I think we should establish a Hokie Club point system for contributions. Put together a swag catalog of items where you can spend your Hokie Club points. Make the swag high end stuff that people will want to save up for.

Make the "effect" t-shirts one of the entry level items that even the entry donor can get.

We need to make the Hokie Club a "thing" around the world. Why not give out cool advertising stuff?

.
"Step on a crack, break Miami's bak"
- ThatOneGuy

"Hurricanes are uncontrollable and the models predict continued chaos"
- Eshiben5 (probably)

I am not sure how some of this would work, but if you gave a really sweet shirt or sweatshirt for donors over $X, I think that could work. Don't half ass it though, find something that people would want to rock on gameday to show they donated.

@hokie_rd

Here is my idea to increase fundraising.

Have your debit/credit card attached to your Hokie Club account so that every purchase rounds up to the nearest dollar and that is automatically donated to the Hokie Club. Example: Spend $19.50 at Kroger and you pay $20 with the $.50 going into the Hokie Fund. This way people aren't intimidated by having to worry about finding $100 all at once to donate and will probably donate more than that over the course of a year without even realizing it. That would be an easy way for new grads to build up points towards their lifetime giving and get involved early.

Most banks already have a similar system, and you could set up an account specifically for the Hokie Club if you wanted, and just not touch it until you sign up in the spring or whenever. There's no way that would work with the "change" going directly to the HC because of card fees, it would have to be processed as two separate payments.

They already offer monthly payments.

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I'm less worried about this than worried about general alumni participation in fundraising.

I graduated from PSU a few months back and was repeatedly invited to join the alumni association. When I went to go sign up, I had the opportunity to become a lifetime member for like $650. So I signed up why not.

I went to see if I could do this at VT and...there were no options for anything like that. The hell VT let me give you money in the way I want and get the value I deserve dammit.

For as long as I can remember, the VT alumni association has a proud motto of "No dues for life". Which tbh backfires on them ... it's almost the antithesis of IPTAY.

I mentioned this in responses to a few posts above, but I'm a Hokie Club rep. If anyone has questions- either about process to join, how the point system works, etc. feel free to respond here or email me and I'll get back to you. Maybe if I get enough questions I'll do a Hokie Club FAQs thread.

And if anyone is not yet a Hokie Club member and is going to join, if you don't mind helping a fellow TKPC member out, shoot me an email prior to donating so I can give you my full name. By adding my name in the comments box on the Hokie Club site when making your donation, I get "credit" for a referral. Being a Hokie Club rep is just a volunteer thing, but there are a couple perks I can qualify for if I'm an "award winning rep" which is mostly based on referring the most members.

My email address is HokieClubPete [at] gmail[dot]com

Annual renewals. I am guessing having monthly payments benefits a lot of members or the Hokie Club. In either case, don't care, just do an annual draw of my donation. I want to give money, make it easy to do so.

@hokie_rd

I have phone call with Hokie Club tomorrow anyone object to me using your ideas, complaints or anything else in this thread?

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Want to know if the progress website actually works. As someone who also tries to actively increase the number of members, it is kind of disingenuous to have a website that may or may not be accurate by magnitudes of 1K with a base of 10K.

@hokie_rd

I've been thinking about this thread today and just wanted to weigh in for anyone listening that I too would like to have a system where we could use Hokie Club points for some sort of swag / merchandise. I doubt I ever buy season tickets because I just don't enjoy the games from Lane Stadium maybe as much as some folks. Being really tall with especially long legs, I find almost every section extremely uncomfortable due to insufficient leg room between rows. And with the old alumni unwilling to allow me to stand up the whole game without bitching at me, sort of makes the experience uncomfortable at best and miserable at worst.

I can see myself continuing to donate just because it's a cause I believe in and I'll probably still buy mini plan tickets for friends and family who want to experience Lane Stadium. But if we could use those points for some sweet new Hokie gear, I'd be stoked. Just my opinion though and there may be issues with this idea I'm not seeing.

So today at 10:00 am Hokie Tickets opened up a limited number of Clemson tickets for Hokie Club members (perk) and current season ticket holders. I know a lot of people are looking for tickets. Hopefully you are a member of the Hokie Club and can jump on this chance.

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They've done this twice now. Thank you, football Gods!!

The wife finally gets to experience her first night game in the Terror Dome. I knew my meager donations would pay off.

Well this is a blow to the good guys.

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Is that a joke about promiscuous cheerleaders?

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Who?

Considering the track record of the Hokie Club, I am not sure losing anyone from the current organization is a real loss. We all know the stats, I think VT's fundraising branch could use some new leaves.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

Scott is by far the best, thus why a major program like PSU is hiring him. He is the guy who goes out around the country and meets with Hokie clubs, gets major donors to agree to specific needs with the department, helps get Hokie clubs speakers for their events.

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While all of what you say could be and is probably true. There are a million people that can do this job. It really isn't complicated.

I'm sure he will be missed but I seriously doubt it's going to be back breaking.

Its not back breaking but it's a setback especially during this critical year where the team isn't doing as well.

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Isn't doing as well?

Wow.

VT is 7-3 and has been ranked most of the year. Will be going to a bowl.

There's still a possibility of a 10-win season (though the injury rumors today are a bit troubling).

Two weeks ago we thought we were going to beat Miami and get to the playoffs. The expectations just got out ahead of us. The future is bright. Let's not be those fans.

Not doing as well isn't an objective thing when it comes to donor willingness or perception. Last year was perfect for reseating and drive for 25 campaign this year by reps own admissions the sell has been tougher.

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Seems like to me last year should have been good from a fundraising perspective. This year we saw glimpses of what the future of the Coastal will look like. Lunchpail vs turnover chain.

Miami is bak. Though the rest of this season might be rough, VT is trending up.

I'm still going to bet on Fuente over Mendenhall. The glass is half full.

Last year as Whit has said could not have gone better. Again no one is saying a different coach would have been better. This is about the normal flow of fan involvement. How do you break the up and down cycle with really good people leading your organization. Hokie a Club has few of them and one of the best is leaving.

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I think you're putting too much stock in one guy.

I'm sure he's great, but in a couple of years where we hired some home-run type coaches, made it to the NCAA tournament, started selling out basketball games, were ranked most of the year in football, and unveiled an upgraded baseball facility this program should be an easy sell.

What are those hokie club membership numbers, again? In all fairness, we did a major reorganization, but the totals look a lot like they did before we did some major coaching and facilities upgrades.

We're hyper-fans, and live and breathe VT athletics, but even on a down week this program has a story to tell and looks pretty strong to me.

Things are trending up for sure, but the point HF is making is that losing Scott doesn't help that process.

I guess we'll find out. It's a program in transition, and Whit has absolutely impressed me with his hiring abilities.

All we can do is wish Scott the best of luck in his new position, and keep making good decisions on our end.

I guess we'll find out. It's a program in transition, and Whit has absolutely impressed me with his hiring abilities.

Agree 100%. If you want to see where the inefficiencies are, look where the lowest rates of turnover have been so far (lookin' at you, ticket office).

It's not complicated, but I imagine there's a lot of networking and relationship building involved. That stuff doesn't happen overnight. Probably not back breaking, but definitely has the potential to set us back/slow us down.

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Scott's awesome. He got the Student Hokie Club off the ground and then took over some of the bigger gift deals as HF noted. He's not one of the old-school guys who thought things were good enough the way they were going. Big loss for sure and there's definitely a reason a school like PSU poached him.