Innovative Return on Investment

Otterbein is using an innovative approach to grow enrollment and revenue by “crowd sourcing” ideas from faculty and staff and investing in the best ideas with $1 million approved by the Board of Trustees. Under the Fast Track Innovation Fund initiative, six programs proposed in May have been funded and are already being implemented on campus.

“This investment in Otterbein’s future demonstrates our trustees’ commitment to allowing every member of our community to be heard and to have a role in shaping our University,” said President John Comerford. “Our Board has given us the opportunity and our community has provided solid proposals, so we are able to be nimble in an industry that is typically slow to implement changes.”

The Fast Track Innovation Fund initiative calls for proposals of non-academic programs specifically focused on providing immediate return on investment. It is a condensed version of the Innovation Fund that has run during the academic year since 2021.

The funded proposals are:

Part-Time Equine Team recruiter

Grow the size of Otterbein’s National Champion team through new student recruitment.

STEM Community Liaison

Work with Ohio STEM high schools to increase enrollment in under-enrolled STEM programs.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing recruiter

Increase enrollment in Otterbein’s nursing program

Women’s Wrestling program

Recruit the growing number of high school female wrestlers regionally and nationally.

Recreational Sports/eSports Coach

Grow the intramural and club sports programming and establish e-sports on campus to increase enrollment and expand student life opportunities.

Podcast studio

Use by both on- and off-campus clients to allow non-degree-seeking adult learners to enroll in multimedia workshops for certification.

A helpful, smalllook at how to make a big difference at Otterbein.

Q&A with Kathleen Bonte Executive Director, Development, Institutional Advancement

Why are scholarships so important?
Institutional aid is the largest source of support for our students. Not only does a scholarship recognize a student’s achievement and potential, the added financial relief a scholarship can provide a family is often the deciding factor in choosing to attend Otterbein and the opportunity to go to college.

Can I really afford to fund a scholarship? I thought it was expensive?
There are many exciting ways to give and varied levels of support to fit your interest. Supporting scholarships at Otterbein has never been easier or more important. It is an investment in a student’s education.

For example, you can help support a student with a step up Otterbein Fund Scholarship and provide immediate relief to a student today while supporting them through their four years here. That kind of support requires a minimum commitment of $7,000 but that total can be spread over four years. (If you decide to distribute your giving evenly over four years, that works out to $145 a month).

Or you might choose to give to one of Otterbein’s existing scholarship funds that work to match student talent with the right Otterbein source of support. Other options include endowing a scholarship fund of your own, or setting up a planned gift.

What can I do if I want to learn more?
You can email or call me, and I’ll help you explore all the options available. Want to read more first? Let me know that, too, and I can give you the facts you need to help you decide. When you make a gift at Otterbein, you make a difference. That’s a fact. Reach me by email at or by phone at 614-823-2707.

You can make a difference!

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