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Saftig to lead major fundraising efforts at ASU Foundation

portrait of Daniel P. Saftig
September 04, 2013

Daniel P. Saftig, a fundraising professional with a 30-year track record of success, will join the Arizona State University Foundation for A New American University on Sept. 1, foundation CEO R.F. “Rick” Shangraw, Jr. has announced. Saftig’s appointment coincides with the continued expansion of responsibilities for the foundation.

Saftig will serve the foundation as chief development officer.

“I’m beginning to focus more time and energy beyond traditional development as we pursue innovative approaches to generating resources in support of the university,” explained Shangraw. “We are excited to bring Dan and his years of fundraising experience and success in higher education to the ASU Foundation.

“Dan’s solid history with three top public universities and his reputation as a bridge builder, relationship builder and effective communicator make him a perfect fit to lead the foundation’s development efforts. Together, we’ll continue on our trajectory of building a new type of foundation – a New American University foundation.”

Saftig has held executive leadership positions at the Minnesota Medical Foundation at the University of Minnesota, Pennsylvania State University and most recently at the Iowa State University Foundation, where he served for nine years as president and CEO. During that time, Saftig led a team that secured more than $1 billion in new gifts and commitments and doubled the university’s endowment between 2003-2012.

He has served as a consultant to more than a dozen major universities, including the ASU Foundation over the past 12 months.

“I have been most impressed with what Rick Shangraw and the entire ASU Foundation team is establishing,” said Saftig, who will direct the foundation’s development, affinity and annual giving efforts, as well as oversee major university fundraising initiatives. “The foundation mirrors ASU’s reputation for being innovative, progressive and generally ‘on the move.’ I’ve always been very conscious to hook my wagon to winning institutions.”

Saftig’s focus on major university fundraising efforts is familiar territory. He introduced “Campaign Iowa State” upon his arrival in Ames, with a goal of generating $800 million, that was launched in 2007. The campaign raised $867 million in gifts and commitments, realizing more philanthropic support than in the previous 25 years, and raising 30 percent more than two previous campaigns combined.

“In addition to being the absolute best fundraising professional I know, Dan is a great leader,” said former Iowa State University President Gregory L. Geoffroy. “He took a fundraising foundation (at Iowa State) and transformed it into a high-performing organization with a superb team of professionals who loved working under his leadership.

“Dan has many strengths, and I would list ethics, integrity, leadership and teamwork as among his most outstanding.”

Saftig will work closely with ASU Foundation CEO Shangraw to seek ways to bring ASU’s culture, history and its vision of a New American University – one offering academic excellence, broad access to all qualified students and meaningful societal impact – to the forefront in attracting philanthropic investment.

“Dan is the right person at the right time to direct our efforts in accelerating the advancement of ASU,” said Shangraw. “His counsel over the past year has helped the foundation improve in many areas and I am looking forward to the positive impact he will have on all of us – the foundation, the university and the community.”

Saftig says he will be a willing listener first and foremost.

“ASU has such a positive impact on the greater Phoenix area and this state; there are so many potential partners of this university who are capable of moving mountains in support of ASU students, teaching, research and outreach,” said Saftig.