For the past few weeks, our Deacon Club team has been reading “The Power of Who.” The central theme of this book is that, rather than searching far and wide for new contacts to help us succeed, we already know everyone we need to know to achieve our desired goals. This message alludes to the idea that we succeed most when we ask those closest to us for help.
As we begin to implement a new initiative that utilizes similar ideas, the timing of our staff reading this book could not have been more fitting. With that said, as those who are closest to us, it is you to whom we’re turning to ask for help. We are launching a new program called “Deacon Connectors” and opening participation to all Deacon Club members. This initiative will serve as the foundation for our communication and outreach strategy throughout the remainder of the campaign. The program puts you—the individuals who have laid the groundwork for our success thus far in the Wake Will Lead campaign—at the forefront of our grassroots effort to create even more growth within the Deacon Club. It will be the combined effort of each of you that will become the driving force in enabling us to introduce the new initiatives necessary to continue Developing Champions.
The program begins with the understanding that we must continue to increase our Deacon Club Annual Fund to continue to recruit and train elite student-athletes. To attract and develop these student-athletes into champions in the classroom, in competition and in life, we need to continue to invest in new programs that will provide growth. These new initiatives include ventures into increasing sports performance (i.e., nutrition and sports psychology), summer school aid and leadership development, among other areas. We see our Deacon Connectors as leaders in sharing this message with friends, family and colleagues—sharing both why these areas are so critical to our growth, as well as the life-changing impact that comes from providing these types of opportunities for our student-athletes.
Before we get into more specifics around the role of a Deacon Connector, I’d like to share how we plan to engage this group, and in turn, empower you to engage your network. Through monthly emails and a quarterly conference call with a guest coach or administrator, we plan to provide a behind-the-scenes look into the vision and direction of our programs. We’ll highlight programmatic enhancements and facility plans, in addition to sharing the successes both within our department and among fellow Deacon Connectors.
We hope this information spurs excitement to share this news with friends, family, colleagues and neighbors. We will provide sample scripts for emails, as well as marketing materials to aid in your conversations. If you were a member of Greek life, are a former student-athlete or have another unique Wake Forest affiliation, we hope to work together to create specific messaging targeted towards those you were closest to throughout your time on campus. For some, this might mean collaborating with Deacon Club staff to host a lunch or happy hour in your hometown. For others, this could include a campus or facility tour prior to a Wake Forest home game, or perhaps it’s even a virtual conference call. Whatever method it may be, the intention is to rely on you as experts to help us share the excitement surrounding athletics with a new group of individuals in a way that encourages Deacon Club participation.
Our hope is that each Deacon Connector will be able to recruit at least three new Deacon Club members or season ticket holders. Through the power of your efforts, we can raise the bar yet again within our department, increase the resources available to our student-athletes and collectively shape the future of Wake Forest Athletics.
For more information on becoming a Deacon Connector, please contact the Deacon Club by emailing DeacClub@wfu.edu or calling our offices at 336.758.5626. Thank you again for all you do to help make Wake Forest a better place.
(Please note: This article was originally published in the November 2017 issue of Gold Rush.)