Annual giving sets new records, promises bright future
September 5, 2013 By Mariel Smith
who have graduated within the past decade) is an achievement
for Centre and marks an important watershed for the College's
2012-13 has been a banner year for Centre across the board, especially for the development office, which has just announced the final tallies on fundraising for the year ending on June 30. The thousands of alumni, parents and friends who supported Centre through their gifts set some impressive records.
This standout performance is due in part to the fact that fundraising at Centre comes in all shapes and sizes, from the Centre Associates, who have donated at least $1,000 per year, to the Colonels Club, whose members have donated at least $100 per year.
"The Centre Associates has a ladder structure for young alumni (those who have graduated within the past 10 years); they only have to give $100 to join the club," says Shawn Lyons, associate vice president for development and alumni affairs. "Basically, minimum amounts are scaled down depending on how long you've been out of school. We understand that young alumni are busy paying loans, building careers and starting families, and that they may not be able to give as much as a result."
The Colonels Club boasted a record membership of 3,253, a number which is especially meaningful considering the Club celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. The Centre Associates also swelled its numbers to 1,141, 188 of which have graduated within the last 10 years.
This all-time-high number of young alumni donors (those who have graduated within the past decade) is an achievement for Centre and marks an important watershed for the College's future.
"Research has shown that gifts of $100 or more are the ones most likely to be repeated," says Lyons. "For us to have 60 percent of our donors fall into this category shows what a great year we've had, and what a bright future Centre has ahead."
Interestingly, overall alumni participation this year was 49 percent, a staggering number when compared to the national average of less than 10 percent. Young alumni and parents also sported 49 percent giving rates.
According to Lyons, "This participation rate will again place Centre among the national leaders in this particular measure of alumni satisfaction and loyalty."
The Annual Fund, which represents the lifeblood of the College, received gifts totaling $2,206,356, the first time ever that the Fund has exceeded $2 million.
This total was boosted by the springtime Alumni Challenge, in which an anonymous Trustee pledged $100 for every alumnus/a who made a gift to the College, regardless of size. The ambitious project inspired 2,100 alumni to respond, raising an additional $210,000 for the Annual Fund.
This year, 559 donors made their first-ever gifts to the College.
All of these successes will be toasted on Friday, November 1, where donors will be recognized and thanked at a homecoming dinner.
Centre College, founded in 1819, offers its students a world of opportunities, highlighted by the nation's premier study abroad program and a faculty ranked #5 in the nation for "Best Undergraduate Teaching" at a liberal arts college by U.S. News & World Report. Centre graduates enjoy extraordinary success, with entrance to top graduate and professional schools, prestigious fellowships for further study abroad (Rhodes, Rotary, Fulbright), and rewarding jobs (on average, 97 percent are employed or in advanced study within 10 months of graduation).