As the University’s 2011 fiscal year came to a close on June 30, the number of young alumni donations is up 10 percent, and the class of 2010 is leading the pack.
“This has been a banner year for our young alumni program,” said Assistant Director of Advancement Benjamin Jarrett. “These numbers, while not final, are incredibly impressive.”
This marks two years that the Office of Advancement has posted increased donor yield from members of the five most-recently graduated classes. At the end of fiscal year 2010, around 30 percent more students had donated compared with the previous year.
At 509 donors, the class of 2010 broke a previous young alumni record of 488 set by the class of 2008.
According to Jarrett, this year’s young alumni also donated at a rate 5 percent higher than other graduates. The class of 2010 had the highest participation rate at 34 percent, but no individual class fell below 25 percent yield.
It’s no small feat convincing graduating seniors to donate money in the midst of a poor job market. Yet, the Class of 2010 Fund did just that.
“It’s tough for young people to make commitments when there’s a lot of uncertainty,” Ben Jarrett, Assistant Director in the Office of Advancement, said. “But, we know how lucky we are at Georgetown to have such dedicated students.”
When Vox last checked in on the Class of 2010 Fund in early April, a quarter of the senior class had donated approximately $17,000 total. The final numbers, however, show a late-semester surge. With a 67% participation rate, the Class of 2010 ultimately donated $37,793 to the University.
The Fund’s numbers mark three-year highs in both donation amount and participation rate; the Class of 2010 raised about $15,000 more than the Class of 2009, while convincing 11% more of its senior class to donate.
Lauren Huddleston, Class of 2010 Fund Co-Chair, suggested that on-campus events, such as a senior toast in Riggs Library with President John DeGioia and a semi-formal held in the Hariri building, helped boost the Fund.
“We tried to market ourselves and put ourselves in any event where seniors would be,” Huddleston said. “We tried to appeal to a cross-section of our class.”
While $22,000 of the Fund will go to towards the 1789 Scholarship Imperative and the Georgetown Fund, the remaining monies will be split among specific departments or funds chosen by each donor. According to Jarrett, the next-highest donation choices were academic departments, student groups, and athletic programs.
Curious about how the Class of 2010 compares to previous classes? We’ve got the charts after the jump.
We know you’ve all been waiting on the edge of your seats with one question burning deep into the backs of your minds: What recently graduated class raised the most young alumni donations this past year?
As of this morning—which is the last day of the 2010 fiscal year, in case you didn’t mark your calendars—the Class of 2008 leads the pack with 421 gifts to the University. (The Class of 2005 closely trails them with 401 gifts, while none of the other three most recently graduated classes cracked 380 gifts.)
“This has been a pretty good year for alumni giving, so far,” Assistant Director of Advancement Benjamin Jarrett said. “It looks like we’ll be on track to have our best year ever in terms of the number of gifts coming in from the first five years out of college.”
Alumni who wish to make a last-minute donation to the University can do so through the Georgetown Fund’s website. According to Jarrett, over 8,500 alumni have already donated the Georgetown Fund and 1789 Scholarship Initiative, which aims to raise $500 million for undergraduate scholarships by 2014.
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!
YouTube commenter cleverness: “Fine, I’ll give, but promise you’ll use the money for a better camera”
How’s the senior class doing philanthropy-wise? Vox checked in with Class of 2009 Fund co-Chairs Kenneth Gillette (COL ’09) and Chloe Waddington (SFS ’09) for an update:
The senior class currently has a 32% give rate, much higher than where the class of 2008 was this time last year (13%) and already a bit higher than the overall average for alumni giving (28%) according to Gillette and Waddington. A little more than $13,000 has been donated so far, for an average gift of $27 per person.
This is the first year the senior class gift has moved entirely away from a tangible gift (i.e. a lamppost) and given seniors the choice of donating to either to the general Georgetown Fund or to the organization of their choice. So far 70% have chosen the Georgetown Fund. Other popular recipients have been the men’s basketball team, the Center for Social Justice and the Georgetown Scholarship Program.
Their goal is to have 65% of the Senior class donate. If they make it, an anonymous alumni donor will add $10,000 to the class’s donation total. Last year’s class came close to that, with 55% giving for a total of $34,273.
Gillette and Waddington are optimistic about meeting their goal, but admitted the recession has made it more difficult to fundraise—as Waddington said, “One of the things we hear most often is ‘Why are you asking me to give when I don’t have a job?’”
This year Georgetown’s Relay for Life set an extraordinarily ambitious goal for itself: raise $500,000, despite the awful economy. So how’d they do last weekend? Well, not quite 500 grand, but pretty damn good.
So far the event has grossed $375,000, but donations can come in until the end of the fiscal year in August, so Marketing Chair Rachael Kenney (MSB ’11) estimates this year’s event will end up raking in about $390,000
When you add this year’s numbers to the net profits from 2007 and 2008 ($287,000 and $380,000, respectively), you’ll see that this year Georgetown passed the million dollar mark.
While we’ll probably cede the title of Top Grossing event to Virginia Tech, we will probably remain the Top Netting event and Top Online Fundraising event, according to Kenney.
3,800 students participated in Relay this year, an increase of more than 400 from last year, according to logistics chair Spencer Fertig (COL ’11).
The top fundraiser for Georgetown was senior Charlotte Lowrey, who raised over $21,600. According to Kenney, she’s on-track to be the top-fundraiser in the nation this year.