EIU Credits Loyal Alumni, Friends for Continuing Fundraising Success
Loyal alumni and friends of Eastern Illinois University demonstrated their continuing Panther Pride by contributing to the more than $16.7 million raised in gifts, pledges and planned gifts in Fiscal Year 2014.
This is the institution's fourth consecutive record-setting year in fundraising, said Bob Martin, vice president for institutional advancement.
"I continue to be amazed at the generosity of Eastern Illinois University alumni," he added. "Their support is most appreciated, and is a strong indication of how much they care about their alma mater."
According to Martin, $6.8 million of the total raised between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, was in cash gifts -- a 79 percent increase over last year's cash gifts.
The total also reflects the university's largest one-time contribution of $3.68 million. A $5 million pledge, made five weeks later, set a new record.
Furthermore, the number of President's Society Gifts ($1,000-plus) increased by 8 percent to 681.
Scholarships continue to be a top area for support as donors recognize their need as a top university priority. More than 200 new scholarships were created during the "EI&U: Expect Greatness" campaign that concluded in October 2012, and an additional 73 have been established in the last year and a half.
That means the goal of the university's ongoing scholarship drive -- 100 new scholarships by June 30, 2017 -- is "significantly ahead of schedule."
"Record giving continues following the completion of the highly successful campaign in 2012," Martin said. "Our supporters know a gift to support an EIU student is a positive investment."
Martin expressed his appreciation to the university's fundraising team, which includes the Office of University Development and the Annual Fund Team. Development directors made 1,345 donor visits during FY '14; 767 of those were first-time donor/prospect visits, a 14 percent increase over the previous fiscal year.
In addition, the university started its first-ever crowdfunding campaign, which works by creating a network of individuals to send out information (in this case, about EIU's proposed Autism Center) to a handful of individuals through email or social media outlets. That group, in turn, forwards the information on to others, and so on. (See here
Several "naming" gifts were received, as well. The university's internal governing policies states that university buildings, structures, facilities, streets, grounds and other real property may be named for "donors of substantial funds."
According to Martin, EIU's Board of Trustees approved the following name alterations in the past year: the Idea Incubator (Center for Clean Energy and Research -- CENCERE), in recognition of the Charleston Area Charitable Foundation; the Globe Studio (movement studio, Doudna Fine Arts Center), in recognition of Christopher and Nancy Desmond; the Raymond and Carolyn (Miller) Fischer Atrium (reception atrium, Neal Welcome Center, approved by the EIU Foundation); the Dr. Jerry Heath Athletic Training Room (Lantz Arena); the Ike Kennard Club Room (Lantz Arena); and the Sandra and Jack Pine Honors College.
"We're thrilled that our alumni continue to care about Eastern and its students, and that they show their devotion to the university in so many ways," Martin continued. "We want them to know that we are thankful for their contributions, no matter the size."