Augustana Fund Has Record Year
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The Augustana Fund, the heart of the College’s annual giving program, surpassed its goal and celebrated a record year with $818,000 in total gifts for the fiscal year ending July 31, 2009. The total raised is a 35% increase over the previous year.
“This is a wonderful accomplishment, especially in light of economic challenges across the country. I am so pleased and so grateful for the response of everyone who gave a gift to the Augustana Fund,” says Augustana President Rob Oliver.
“So many people stepped up to the plate, including current and past board members, alumni from near and far, friends of the College, faculty and staff, and parents,” remarked Augustana Board Chair Dennis Anderson.
To obtain this goal, several alumni offered challenges to meet the goal. Former Board members Vance Goldammer and Jane Zaloudek issued one that was designed to encourage other past board members to give. Members of both the Class of 1960 and 1962 who chose to remain anonymous also issued challenges to their respective classes to give to the Augustana Fund.
The College saw a growth in leadership gifts, with two of the most significant coming from alumni as well as new friend to the College, Robert Locken, who made the largest gift to this year's Augustana Fund drive. He was moved to give to the Augustana Fund because he says that annual giving is, “the key to making this whole thing go!”
“We always want to stress that every gift is important, no matter what the size,” says Vice President for Development Jon Henkes. “We could not have gotten to our goal without the help of the many people who gave at whatever level they could. The average gift was $235 and that shows that everyone can make a difference.”
The strong leadership of two different volunteer boards to the Augustana Fund was also key to the success of the year. John Sutton, past chair of the Leadership Giving Committee, noted the increase in leadership gifts: “I was very encouraged by the number of gifts of $1,000 or more. Our alumni and friends responded well to the case for the Augustana Fund and I think that will continue to grow each year.”
A second volunteer board, called The GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Committee, focuses on cultivating younger alumni for annual gifts, which also strengthens the College’s alumni giving rate.
Jason Harris, current chair of the Leadership Giving Committee, says, “The Augustana Fund is vital to the sustainability of Augustana College and achieving our goal was the result of hard work by many. It is humbling to know that so many care about Augustana. Moving forward, I challenge each person to match his/her gift this year and find two new donors to give to the Augustana Fund. To quote a favorite saying of President Oliver, ‘Together, we can create the Augustana like never before.’ "