With four days left in 2011-12, the Lafayette community has a chance to celebrate its finest year of giving in recent years.
The two main goals of the Annual Fund are to raise approximately $8 million for the College’s operating budget and to return to 40% alumni participation in giving, a number achieved regularly prior to 2009.
In addition to enhancing students’ experiences at Lafayette, financial support of the College is important because each alumnus can add to the donor count and improve the alumni participation rate. The participation rate is used by some college ranking guides to measure alumni satisfaction; a high percentage may increase Lafayette’s standing and help the College compete even more successfully for the best and brightest students.
“Some alumni think that smaller gifts can’t make a difference. That is not true,” says Joe Samaritano ’91, director of the Annual Fund. “Every gift to Lafayette is extremely important for two reasons. First, these smaller gifts really add up. Last year, gifts of $50 or less equaled almost $100,000. Second, a gift of any size counts the alumnus as a donor and helps our participation rate. If I could get one point across to all alumni, it would be ‘give every year no matter what the amount.’ It really does help.”
The College has already exceeded its dollar goal, but there is still some work remaining to reach the participation goal. As of today, 7,926 alumni have given (35%). To improve the participation rate again this year, 558 more donors are needed, an average of just nine donors per class. More than 1,800 alumni who contributed in 2010-11 have yet to give this year.
“A network of volunteers is calling classmates, email reminders are being sent, and the staff is pushing hard to the finish line,” says Samaritano. “If you haven’t gotten on board yet, please make a gift today and be part of the team that is making Lafayette College the best that it can be.”