September 9, 2013

To the Saint Mary’s Campus Community,

The College is riding a Gaelorious wave coming out of the Year of the Gael! It was a time of terrific exposure, festive gatherings and overall good feelings about Saint Mary’s. As we move quickly into the new academic year – with a host of exciting festivities in store – I want to share with you our Advancement successes for the 2012-13 year.

In spearheading the Sesquicentennial celebration, we set a number of records, including organizing more than 100 events involving some 12,000 guests, most significantly the Gaelebration – one of the largest events ever held on campus. We also sponsored the largest reunion weekend ever with 971 guests in July 2012 and organized the Sesquicentennial Gala, the largest single fundraising event in the history of the College, grossing more than $600,000. The audience for basketball pre-game parties (including a Valentine’s Day event in Madigan Gym with 400 people) saw the largest crowds in over 10 years. We raised the bar on stewardship for our leadership-level donors with the largest and most elegant President’s Circle dinner at Far Niente Winery. And we were pleased to cap off the year with a dinner celebration recognizing outgoing President Brother Ronald Gallagher and raising more than $80,000 for a new endowed scholarship in his name.

The relationships built with our many guests throughout the sesquicentennial year are expected to translate into greater support in the future. While the total amount ($7,952,550) received in the fiscal year ending June 30 was down by 4% from the previous year because bequests/estates that were received dropped by about one-third, gifts from other sources actually grew. The year-end dollar figure also belies the growing number of individuals engaged in conversations related to the SMC future gifts. Development staff visited more prospective donors than ever before and raised both their individual and collective capacity. Concurrently, volunteer leaders and Board of Regents focused their efforts on reaching out to potential leadership donors to the College. Indeed, a Gael force is gathering and is ready to take us to the next level.

Several areas of annual giving enjoyed growth. The number of donors at the 1863 Society and President’s Circle levels grew by 8% over the previous year and has grown by 40% over the last three years. Direct mail revenue increased by 20% from the previous year, online giving grew by 6% and gifts in response to email messages more than doubled. Gifts to Athletics grew by 9% over the previous year (to an all-time high). Class giving continues to grow as reunion giving grew by 15% and a record 48% of alumni participating in the 2013 reunion weekend were donors. The Class of 2013 established a new record with almost 60% of the class supporting the senior class gift. Participation from campus faculty and staff also hit a new high at 40%.

In addition to the important six-figure gifts received for capital projects, a notable gift came from Regent Jim Guyette ’66 and his wife, Kay, who established the Guyette Professorship in Responsible Leadership for the School of Economics and Business Administration.

Ninety proposals were submitted to foundations, corporations and government entities, totaling $4,535,835. We expanded our service to faculty, helping them build capacity in proposal development for national funders. Over the past two years, corporate giving has grown from $35,500 to $236,931 and new relationships have been established with 18 key corporations. For the Sesquicentennial Day of Service, we secured more than $36,000 in corporate sponsorships. Chevron made its largest gifts to the College ever in a single year with its title sponsorship of the Sesquicentennial Gala and a two-year pledge for STEM scholarships, student research and the Career Gateway program in the School of Economics and Business Administration.

We are grateful to the donors who make generous gifts to the College, and we take great care in stewarding them. We developed an e-newsletter for 1863 Society and President’s Circle donors to communicate the impact of their giving. Students wrote handwritten notes to all first-time donors. And, for the first time, we involved the academic leadership in stewarding donors who have established scholarship endowments at the College.

We look forward to working closely with new President Jim Donahue as the College enters an exciting new era.

Keith E. Brant
Vice President, Development

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Saint Mary's College of California
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