GW seeks donor for senior class gift match

The University is searching for a donor to match contributions made as part of the senior class gift campaign.

In the past, students individually donated to a department or student organization of their choice and contributions were matched by the Luther Rice Society, which gave the aggregate fund to a cause voted on by the senior class.

Voting options will not be released until a matching organization is secured, University officials said this week.

Matching donors are often selected in the fall, David Garofalo, senior director of communications at the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, said.

For the last two years, the Luther Rice Society matched the gift, but Garofalo said GW is searching beyond the development group to find a donor this semester. He declined to say why Luther Rice was not yet signed on to match the senior gifts this year.

Participants can still give their gift to any school, department or student organization, as well as specific initiatives like the Power & Promise Fund, which provides financial aid.

This flexibility allows everyone to give directly to a part of GW they are passionate about, Senior Class Gift Coordinator Victoria Hartman said.

“Our goal is to leave a legacy as memorable and diverse as the Class of 2012 by giving the biggest gift in GW history,” she said.

Last year’s senior giving campaign was the largest in University history, with over 40-percent participation and $90,000 raised.

Hartman hopes to increase participation. To reach the goal of giving the biggest gift in GW’s history, 50 percent of seniors need to donate, she said.

She said she was optimistic, noting that the Class of 2012 has already turned out record numbers to senior-only events, such as the Senior Breakfast and Senior Kickoff.

“I am confident in our class’ ability to reach this goal and make history here at GW,” Hartman said. “This year we’re really trying to focus on increasing student participation – it’s all about strengthening the culture of philanthropy through participation.”

The Senior Class Gift Committee, made up of over 40 seniors, is planning activities to encourage giving this year, although details are not yet available.

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