William & Mary breaks records in donor participation and receives prestigious award for fundraising efforts.
The College of William & Mary just broke another record — more than 28,600 individuals including organizations and corporations gave to the College during fiscal year 2011, which ended on June 30. The previous record for giving to the College during a single fiscal year was 27,709 in 2010.
In addition to the increase of individual donors, the College broke records in alumni giving — both graduate and undergraduate donors. The success of alumni participation is on the heels of the “Beat the Record” challenge, which was initiated to surpass a previous record for undergraduate alumni giving. To meet the “Beat the Record” challenge, the College tapped into social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, and word-of-mouth communications in addition to traditional means to encourage alumni to give. The success of “Beat the Record” has resulted in an all-time record of undergraduate alumni donors, 13,823 or 23.9 percent of the overall undergraduate alumni population. The previous record for undergraduate alumni who gave to William & Mary during a single fiscal year was 13,451.
“Increased private support has become flatly essential to the continued success of William & Mary,” said President Taylor Reveley. “Our alumni and friends are responding to the challenge.”
The College’s fundraising and alumni engagement efforts have again been recognized for excellence. For the second consecutive year, William & Mary has been recognized for having one of the nation’s best fundraising programs among public colleges and universities and is the recipient of the 2011 CASE Award for Educational Excellence. The award recognizes superior fundraising programs across the country and is a component of CASE’s Circle of Excellence program.
The College was selected to receive an Overall Performance award based on the past three years of fundraising activity. For fiscal year 2008, the College raised $35.3 million; fiscal 2009, $50.8 million; and fiscal 2010, $43.2 million. Judges also considered the pattern of growth in total support, the pattern of growth in each program area and the total of support in relation to the alumni base of the institution. For fiscal 2011, the College raised $41 million, which is down from 2010’s total but better than anticipated, said Sean Pieri, vice president for University Development.
Pieri said the annual volatility in the overall totals is created in part by receipt of realized bequests. In 2010, the College received $10 million from bequests. In 2011, that number was just $2 million.
“If you take this $8-million variable out of the equation then you see we have seen organic growth in the program,” Pieri said. “Overall, we continue to head in the right direction and we’re very pleased with these results, including an overall growth in pledges, gifts and the number of donors.”
He added that “William & Mary offers a unique experience, and the increased participation of our alumni shows that they not only recognize this fact, but are also willing to give back to see it continue. We are very grateful for all of the donors who support the College.”