Alumni donations leap 61 percent

Alumni Donations Vault 61 Percent in 2001-2002.

Fund-raisers in higher education have heard the refrain more times than they care to count: “Sorry, not this year.”

A listless economy and rising unemployment are not conducive to securing charitable contributions, according to a recent Council for Aid to Education study that shows a substantial decline in alumni giving in 2001-02 for the first time in 15 years. Although the decline for college overall giving was a slight 1.2 percent, hardest hit was alumni donations, historically the cornerstone of private support, which fell 13.6 percent, the first drop since the mid-1970s and those declines were 5 percent or less.

At Mercyhurst, the scenario for alumni giving is markedly different, said Gary Bukowski, CFRE ’73, vice president of institutional advancement. Mercyhurst alumni gave at unprecedented levels that caused a 61 percent growth rate. Alumni contributed $605,893 in 2001-2002, a 61 percent vault over 2000-01 when alumni gave $376,642. In addition, alumni participation has increased 3 percent, a key statistic in the U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings of colleges.

“Our alumni have risen to a level of giving never experienced in the college’s history,” Bukowski said. “Mother Borgia Egan would be proud of how the alumni body has stepped to the plate. Last year we received 49 gifts from alumni that ranged from $1,000 to $163,000, the largest to date in that range.”

We hope you can help us in 2002-2003 continue this incredible momentum… so we can help more students attain a quality Mercyhurst education.
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