New Fundraising Pro Joins Extension

A man with hands in his pockets stands smiling in front of a large concrete building.
Will Staggers, Extension development officer

Staggers encourages individuals, businesses to support Extension

Contributing to the Mississippi State University Extension Service just got a little easier.

William “Will” Staggers joined the MSU Foundation in December 2015 as an assistant director of development. He works to attract additional support for Extension’s research-based educational programs, facilities, professional development, and other needs.

“Extension has always had a foundation fund, and we are excited to have an MSU Foundation development professional to work one-on-one with individuals and businesses that want to support Extension,” says Gary Jackson, Extension director. “Will has the educational expertise and the organizational and people skills required for success in the development world.

“We are delighted to have Will in this role.”

Staggers is a 2010 graduate of MSU and a Starkville native. Before joining the MSU Foundation, he was a high school physical science teacher and football coach in Quitman. Later, he returned to Starkville and began working for Shelter Insurance, where he gained valuable experience in customer service and financial reporting. Staggers then assumed the role of accounts payable specialist with MSU’s Department of Procurement and Contracts.

“I’m truly honored to join the Extension team,” says Staggers, who divides his fundraising efforts between Extension and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, or MAFES. “I am pleased to play a role in building the awareness and support that Extension needs and deserves, so we can make positive changes in the lives of even more Mississippians. That’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

Staggers says Extension has needs just like the university’s academic colleges, and he is dedicated to helping meet those needs. He joins fundraising efforts with fellow alumnus Jud Skelton, director of development for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Extension, one of the largest units at MSU, serves all of Mississippi’s 82 counties and educates and engages residents all over the state, Jackson says.

“We are fortunate to have a vice president of development who recognizes fundraising opportunities in Extension,” Jackson emphasizes. “John Rush grew up in rural Mississippi and has seen the impact the MSU Extension Service has made in the lives of Mississippians. He is very aware of how much Extension changes lives and supports businesses, local governments, families, and communities.”

Staggers’s responsibility to secure funds will bolster support for MSU’s ongoing capital campaign, Infinite Impact, Jackson says. The support of the MSU Foundation is a wonderful asset to Extension.

“The professional staff at the foundation can provide Extension personnel with development needs assessments, goal setting, and other necessary preparations as we cultivate private giving,” he says.

Staggers will solicit funds primarily for agent and faculty professional development, selected programs of excellence, endowed faculty positions, and awards and programs.

Jackson says he would like to establish an Annual Giving Fund to allow donors to contribute once annually to a general fund used for an area of greatest need. Donors to this fund could also designate their gifts to a particular project.

Individuals, corporations, and organizations may contribute gifts of money and property in any amount at any time. Deferred gifts, such as bequests and annuities, are also accepted. Donors may designate how their donations are used.

For more information or to donate, contact Staggers at (662) 325-2837 or Online contributions may be made at

Addie Mayfield

MSU Extension Service
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Extension Matters volume 2 number 3.