Annual giving up 11 percent

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February 23, 2010

10:24 PM

Annual giving to the College of William and Mary increased by 11 percent during the beginning of the 2009-2010 fiscal year, in spite of rough economic times for many donors.

College spokesperson Brian Whitson said that these statistics were promising.

“There are several encouraging signs during the first half of the fiscal year,” Whitson said in an e-mail.
So far, the College has received more than $10 million from annual giving — nearly $1 million more than they had received at this time last year.

“Annual giving is important because these dollars go directly to meeting the day-to-day needs of the university,” Whitson said.

These donations have come from more numerous sources than did those of the previous fiscal year. During the first half of the fiscal year, 10,336 College alumni made monetary donations — a 6 percent increase from last year’s 9,780 first-half donors.

The size of large donations also changed due to poor economic factors. The three largest donations decreased from highs of $6 million, $5 million and $2.5 million in 2008-2009, to $1 million, $1 million and $800,000 in 2009-2010.

Whitson said that alumni giving would be essential to the long-term financial stability of the College.

“Two areas of particular interest — the number of alumni donors and the annual giving — both saw significant increases through the first half of the year,” Whitson said. “It’s too early to predict overall totals, but we remain focused on building lasting, lifelong relationships with our alumni, donors and friends of the College.”

Despite this upward trend, overall fundraising shrank. Vice President for Development Sean Pieri announced last week that a total of $20.2 million in contributions had been pledged by members of the College community. This marks a nearly 38 percent decrease in fundraising from the 2008-2009 fiscal year, which raised $32.4 million in contributions.

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