No donors to match senior gift

Individual senior class gifts will not be matched by outside donors this year, eliminating a boost that previously doubled student fundraising efforts.

Since the Class of 2009, Luther Rice Society donors have matched individual senior gifts and donated the matched funds to a single cause that seniors chose through a vote. Past matched gifts include scholarship funds and Gelman renovations.

“There won’t be a match this year of funds so there’s no fund for the senior class to vote on as a whole,” senior class gift coordinator Victoria Hartman said. “The campaign, after all, is dedicated to the philanthropy of seniors, not just our alumni supporters.”

Despite efforts to increase senior participation, the total will likely be significantly less than last year’s record $90,000 – a figure that includes senior contributions and Luther Rice matches – because of the lack of a matching gift.

Hartman declined to say why Luther Rice Society members were not matching the gift this year.

“We’ll still raise a substantial amount of funds for the GW community,” she said. “We will be able to leave a legacy as memorable and diverse as our class through participation.”

Seniors will still designate their individual gifts to the department, student organization or University initiative.

Hartman said the committee is in private discussions with other donors, but declined to elaborate, saying only that “philanthropy is highly personal and it takes time.”

The Class of 2011 saw 43-percent participation in its campaign – a figure Hartman hopes to see top 50 percent this year.

More than 200 seniors have already donated – nearly double the amount at this time last year.

“But the campaign isn’t just about dollars raised for a particular cause,” Hartman said. “It’s about getting the class excited to become alumni, fostering those GW alumni connections, and instilling a culture of philanthropy before we head to the National Mall for Commencement 2012.”

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