September 17, 2012

To the Saint Mary’s Campus Community,

The Year of the Gael is off to a great start! We have already seen a couple of wonderful, well-attended events, and there are many more to come. I want to thank everyone at the College who is playing a role in planning and implementing Sesquicentennial programs. Please help get the word out about our largest event, the Gaelebration on October 6.

While we are well into the current academic year, I want to share with you our success in Advancement for last year. The 2011-12 year was one of considerable growth in terms of engaging alumni and new donors. In the fiscal year ending June 30, the College raised a total of $8,644,127 in gifts and pledges. This is the highest total ever raised by the College without a single seven-figure gift. Household giving grew by almost 15%, with alumni giving up 9% and gifts from parents up 30%. Visits to donors by the Development staff totaled 1,961, a 15% increase over the previous year—an important accomplishment in broadening the number of donors supporting the College. The Development staff also expanded efforts regionally, with 36 trips throughout the United States and even a trip to Asia. Special attention was devoted to our constituents in Southern California, which we visited monthly.

Two new donor levels were introduced: The 1863 Society and the President’s Circle both drew new donors and led the way for our annual giving efforts. Telefundraising grew 10%, and responses to direct mail increased 62% over the previous year. Giving online through e-solicitations and mobile texts all went up. The 2012 senior class set a College record of 58% participation for its senior gift. Your participation was critical: the number of gifts from faculty and staff increased almost 50%, and the value of your gifts increased by 15%. Thank you for your support.

The number of corporate, foundation and government grant proposals almost tripled to 97 from the previous year. Three more grants were funded than the previous year, but we are still awaiting response on many of them. Interest in research grants among faculty has grown with help from our new biweekly Got Grants? Bulletin. Corporate gifts more than tripled over the past year, and Advancement staff also played an instrumental role in negotiating the new (more lucrative) campus contract with PepsiCo.

We invest a considerable amount of time in letting donors know how important they are to the College. Last September, the new President’s Circle donor wall went up in the Korth Tower portico. We also had the most successful year in arranging for undergraduate student scholarship recipients to send notes of thanks to donors, with almost 200 students sending personal notes to 142 donors. This represented about 80% of all students receiving donor-funded scholarships. And in June, a video recorded at commencement was distributed via e-mail to all donors, with students thanking them for their gifts to the College.

Advancement sponsored a record number of events (80), involving 5,800 guests, in 25 locations worldwide for alumni, family, friends and donors. These included 34 alumni gatherings (including 14 NCAA Tournament watch parties), 11 fundraising events, 19 events for donors and 14 other College events. Collectively, fundraising events increased net proceeds by 8%.

Attendance at July 2012 class reunions jumped 62% with almost 1,000 alumni and friends participating in the weekend activities—a College record— and giving to the College through the class gift program increased for each reunion class year.

Volunteer engagement continues at an all-time high. Advancement plays a significant role in managing the energies of some 776 alumni and friends who serve on 27 different College boards, committees, chapters and groups, and provide an estimated 7,000 hours of service.

Thank you to everyone who played a role in engaging alumni and friends in the life of Saint Mary’s!

Keith E. Brant
Vice President for Development

 

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