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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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University marks most successful fundraising year in history

Updated: July 28, 2015 at 2:32 p.m.

GW tallied $230 million in gifts last fiscal year, marking the biggest fundraising year in University history.

In total, officials have raked in more than $770 million in donations since the $1 billion campaign began four years ago. The gifts collected in the last fiscal year mark a 21-percent increase from the year before, a positive sign for a school that has consistently aimed to grow its donor base.

Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Aristide Collins confirmed in a statement that he expects all schools and units of the University to reach their specific campaign goals. The campaign has three years left, and officials had raised about half of the goal before the campaign publicly launched last summer.

“The momentum we have achieved is enabling us to focus on unmet needs,” Collins said. “We look forward to engaging an even broader spectrum of alumni, faculty and staff and friends as the campaign proceeds.”

Twenty-three donors made gifts of more than $1 million, three fewer than in fiscal year 2014. In total, 200 donors have given gifts larger than $100,000, according to a release, which made up 88 percent of the total fundraising haul. University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said the number of donations held steady with fiscal year 2014, and totaled about 22,000 donors, but annual giving amounts increased in the last fiscal year.

In May, alumnus Gilbert Cisneros and his wife donated $7 million to establish the GW Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute and a scholarship fund for Hispanic students. Other gifts include $30 million from Siemens and $1 million from trustee and 1976 alumnus George Wellde to the Center for Career Services.

Assets gained from the University’s takeover of the Corcoran College of Art + Design, worth about $28 million, according to 2012 tax filings, were also included in last fiscal year’s donation total.

The amount given by donors who pledged annual gifts increased by 25 percent last fiscal year, the fourth year that annual gifts have increased. GW received about $15 million in annual gifts last fiscal year, according to the release.

Donations from undergraduate alumni grew by 5 percent last fiscal year. GW has historically had rates of alumni donations that are lower than its peers. Fundraising blitzes like Flag Day held during the last academic year were used to spur on donations from young alumni. Sixty percent of the past graduating class of seniors made gifts to the University, the highest-ever participation to the Senior Class gift campaign.

Nearly 57,000 people have contributed to the $1 billion fundraising campaign that went public last June, according to the campaign’s website.

University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar declined to provide a monthly breakdown of fundraising totals and the average amount of each donation. She said that averages “can be skewed based on large gifts.” The release also did not say how many people donated to the University last fiscal year. About 22,000 people donated in fiscal year 2014.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that the number of people who made annual gifts increased by 25 percent. The amount of annual gifts actually increased by 25 percent. We regret this error.

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