Trying to get college seniors to give to their soon-to-be alma mater during one of the worst recessions in recent history is no small task. So how did Georgetown’s Class of 2009 senior class fundraising committee do?
Well, when we checked in with them in April, they had about $13,000 in the coffers and 32% of the class had donated. The giving period ended on June 30th, and the final total for the Class of 2009 is $22,360.52, with 55% of the class participating, according to Class of 2009 Fund co-Chair Chloe Waddington (SFS ’09).
The class of 2009 raised about $12,000 less than the class of 2008 donated (their total was $34,273), but had the exact same participation rate.
This year, seniors were able to individually chose a department or fund they wanted to put their donation towards. According to Waddington, the top three choices were the Georgetown Fund, a general fund for scholarships, faculty retention and student life, Athletic and the Center for Social Justice (68% of seniors who donated gave to the Georgetown Fund, 8% picked Athletics and 3% picked CSJ).
How does the class of 2009 stack up against past senior classes? We’ve got the full stats for the past 15 years and more info about how this year’s fundraising campaign went after the jump!
As you can see, both the amount donated and the percentage of the class giving to the senior class fund has decreased in the past few years. In 2007, the senior class stopped the tradition of giving a tangible gift, instead raising money for the Georgetown Fund. While the Class of 2007 had a record-breaking amount donated, its participation rate was 16% lower than the Class of 2006.
This year, an anonymous donor had promised to add $10,000 to the Class of 2009 Fund if they could reach a 65% giving rate. Although they didn’t reach that goal, Waddington said the promise was a good incentive for people to donate.
Waddington, who is also serving as the Class of 2009 Alumni Fundraising Co-Chair, said given the double challenge of transitioning away from a tangible gift to a more philanthropic approach and seniors dealing with the poor economy, she’s pleased with how the Class of 2009 Fund did this year.
I have to say I’m pretty happy with our final numbers. We were fighting two battles this year: rebranding the senior class gift and moving away from the tangible gift (which doesn’t educate people about philanthropy) and, secondly, actually asking people to make a gift. We were lucky to have a core group of people on the committee who really helped spread the word and get others involved …
Our campaign this year will be focused on building upon last year’s work; we’ll encourage people who made an ’09 Fund gift to give again, and hopefully win over some people who were unable to give last year. We’ll be focusing less on inundating people with e-mails, and more on working through personal contact. We plan on working through a regional plan, having classmates help us fundraise in the main regions where members of our class have moved post-graduation.