Smith returns to Trine as director of annual giving

Travis SmithTravis Smith, a fundraising expert with experience in higher education and nonprofit organizations, is returning to Trine University as director of annual giving.

Smith previously served the university in 2017 as director of corporate and foundation relations. In that position, he worked with Trine’s academic community to identify funding opportunities and submit grant proposals to private and corporate foundations.

“I’m really excited to be back,” he said. “This is the perfect fit for me: an entrepreneurial role where I am able to come into annual giving and look at the process and strategy behind how we can engage more donors, identify new opportunities and set Trine up for the future.”

In his new role, Smith will serve as lead annual giving officer, focusing on increasing donor participation, retention and dollars raised. His responsibilities will include the phonathon, faculty/staff campaign and university giving days. He also will oversee Trine’s Parent and Family Association and work with the Student Foundation.

“I want students and new graduates to have a solid understanding of what it means to give back to Trine,” he said. “It’s more than being able to put your name on a building. I hope, through the culture of giving we build, that they can understand the importance of philanthropy and what it means to Trine.”

Smith most recently served as president and founder of Driven Performance Golf, LLC, a Kendallville-based business focused on golf club fitting, repair and motivating golfers to reach their potential.

His fundraising roles in addition to his work at Trine have included director of development for the Lambda Chi Alpha Education Foundation in Carmel, director of development for the Community Foundation of Noble County, and associate director of regional advancement for the Indiana University Foundation. He has presented multiple workshops on fundraising and grant writing.

“Travis brings the unique combination of extensive experience in fundraising and a familiarity with and love for Trine University and its mission,” said Lisa Maxwell-Frieden, J.D., vice president for alumni and development at Trine. “We are so glad to have him back at Trine and are looking forward to continued growth in annual giving and other support for the university under his leadership.”

Smith holds a master of arts in philanthropic students from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and a bachelor of science in public affairs from Indiana University. He also is a Certified Fundraising Executive.

He is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Northeast Indiana Chapter, the International Club Makers Guild, and Elks Lodge #1194, and is on the board of directors for the Parkview Noble Hospital Foundation and the Cole Family YMCA.

Smith will be a key part of a team that already has led Trine University to unprecedented success in its fundraising. The university has raised more than $111 million toward the $125 million goal of its Invest in Excellence campaign, which has provided support for student scholarships and the university endowment as well as funding for projects such as the T. Furth Center for Performing Arts, Thunder Ice Arena, MTI Center and the planned engineering expansion.

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