Elon’s increase in donations follows national trend

Elon University’s accumulation of annual donations are continuing to increase and are expected to meet the national average, which is currently 8.2 percent of the alumni community.

According to a recent article in USA Today, donations have increased in recent years because of the decrease of government funding due to budget cuts. Although Elon is a private university, the institution is not isolated from the trend. In the past two fiscal years, Elon saw an increase in both dollars received and the number of donors.

“There is a misconception that all of our funding is going to the new construction,” said Jeremy Allen, the coordinator of affinity giving. “But in reality, most donations are going to the students with new scholarships.”

Maggie Byerly, the director of annual giving and parent programs, has overseen Elon’s increase in annual gifts and donations to the school.

“Many of our donors choose to support scholarships,” she said.

Allen noted that Elon’s alumni giving percentages from those belonging to the affinity network is also increasing annually. Affinity network aims to attract alumni according to their identity group and involvement while students at Elon and is currently at 19 percent.

One of the efforts done by the school to encourage more graduates to donate is the creation of Elon…Pass it On!, an event to inform students of the importance of donating to the school.

“We are working hard to increase the alumni giving rate,” Allen said. “We are hoping to get it up to 25 percent this year.”

The percentage of increasing donations is also caused by the recent completion of the Ever Elon campaign, a five-year campaign completed in December dedicated to raising $100 million. Of the $100 million, $33 million supported annual and planned giving, and another $30 million funded need-based and talent-based scholarships. The campaign has helped establish scholarships and to develop construction projects on campus.

This year’s final numbers will not be known until the end of the fiscal year, May 31, 2012.

“These donations are giving to Elon’s greatest needs,” Allen said.

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