For the first time in its history, donors have given more than $40 million to Kent State in a single year, breaking the institution’s fundraising record for the third year in a row.
The figure represents a huge uptick, as the university was bringing in about $20 million only eight years ago.
Gene Finn, vice president for institutional advancement, said a larger fundraising staff has been approaching alumni and supporters more than ever. The university added eight fundraisers in 2009 and “those positions are just beginning to pay off.”
“We’re reaching out to alumni who have never been contacted,” Finn said. “If we’re going to continue to grow, we have to continue to expand our donor base.”
Growth means making more trips to areas where KSU has clusters of alumni. This year that includes a trip to Charlotte, N.C., where about 2,000 alumni live. The university has not reached out to supporters in that area.
In five years, the university could double its fundraising again, to $80 million, Finn said.
During the fiscal year ending June 30, private contributions to the tax-supported university were $42.1 million, compared to $39.9 million in 2010 and $36.7 million in 2009.
The yearly totals are included in Kent State’s Centennial Campaign, which stands at $239.4 million, just shy of its $250 million goal. The campaign is raising money for KSU’s endowment, capital projects and operations, including scholarships.
The Centennial Campaign began in fall 2009 as the biggest fundraising event in the university’s 100-year history. It is almost twice the $130 million the university raised in its first campaign five years ago.
The fund drive ends next year.
Because of fundraising growth since 2009, KSU recently received a 2011 Educational Fundraising Award for Overall Improvement from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
Carol Biliczky can be reached at 330-996-3729 or email@example.com.