Fundraising increases despite poor economy

Annual giving to the University is up 14 percent this fiscal year and more students, parents and faculty are giving back to GW than last year, a University official said last week.

Spokeswoman for the Division of Development and Alumni Relations Patricia Danver said annual giving, which includes yearly cash gifts up to $25,000, have increased 14 percent since this time last year, reaching $4.7 million as of April 22.

“Annual giving is a yearly restatement of the donor’s values and their belief in GW and what we do,” Danver said in an e-mail. “Every year, donors return and make a gift to the annual fund which in our case is cash gifts up to and including $25,000.”

Gifts from parents are up 40 percent from this point last year and giving by faculty and staff is up 60 percent, Danver said. Student giving has also increased, from approximately $23,000 at this point last year to about $33,000 so far this year.

“This is the first year that we put in place a comprehensive process to set our philanthropic goals and priorities – it was a University wide effort working with the deans and fundraising staff,” Danver said in an e-mail.

Despite a sluggish economy, Danver said there are some bright spots for University fundraising. Danver said donations in annual giving from students, parents and faculty have all increased since last year.

“The economic downturn has had an impact on fundraising at universities,” Danver said. “But there are some bright spots for George Washington University in annual giving, particularly to the Power & Promise Fund.”

Donations to direct student aid has also increased by 27 percent since this time last year, following the fall launch of the Power & Promise Fund, which Danver said is a blanket term for all moneys donated to direct student aid. However, Danver said overall University-wide fundraising has brought in just over $56 million, about the same as it had this time last year.

“We purposefully set aggressive goals to stretch ourselves and to develop the capacity to bring in the resources that will advance the university to its next level of success,” Danver said.

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