Donors to the University Fund, the annual giving program of the West Virginia University Foundation, gave $21.6 million in fiscal year 2017, an all-time high record. The previous record high was $21.4 million donated in fiscal year 2016.
The $21.6 million is part of an overall $139.8 million in gifts and pledges by donors to WVU between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017, the second highest fiscal year of giving ever in the Foundation’s history. Foundation officials say 17,484 individual donors made 35,946 gifts to WVU through the University Fund between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.
“I never cease to be amazed at the passion and loyalty of our alumni and friends who continue to make an investment in our students and programs,” said Greg McCracken, senior director of the University Fund. “Truly, every gift counts, and I want all University Fund donors to know how grateful we are for their generosity.”
Foundation Senior Vice President of Development and Chief Development Officer B.J. Davisson added, “Our highly successful fiscal year in giving was fueled, in part, by such a great response from our University Fund donors. This is particularly encouraging with declining state support and a greater need by the University for private dollars. The Foundation is able to help WVU advance its mission because of the solid support we receive each year from our University Fund donors.”
Contributions to the University Fund can range from $1 to $24,999. Most of these donations -- around 54 percent -- are made through the mail. Another 25 percent of the University Fund’s gifts are made online. The Foundation’s telemarketing program called Mountaineer Line, in which WVU students work part-time engaging alumni and friends via telephone, accounts for about 20 percent of the University Fund’s annual contributions.
The percentage of total donors to the University Fund for fiscal year 2017 was comprised of 52 percent alumni, 35 percent individual, and eight percent corporate. Sole proprietorships, foundations and donor advised funds make up the remainder.
“The University Fund’s success is also due to the fact that our development staff across WVU is listening to donors and showing them how they can make an impact through their annual support of our various programs,” McCracken added.
Gifts to the University Fund go to programs in every college and school at WVU, Athletics, WVU Children’s Hospital, WVU Alumni Association, 4-H, and many others.
University Fund contributions count in A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. Through June 30, 2017, the Campaign –which runs through December – has raised $1.125 billion.