On July 18, the UNH Foundation announced one of its best fundraising years ever, with the total amount of money raised second only to the final year of the last capital campaign in 2002. Gifts and pledges in fiscal year 2012 (July 1-June 30) were up more than 77 percent from last year, for a total of $22.5 million. The goal was $20 million.
The annual giving programs, comprised of the UNH Fund and the Wildcat Fund, had the best year in the history of annual giving at UNH, with the Wildcat Fund (support for UNH Athletics) showing a 24 percent growth over last year. Overall, the combined annual giving programs brought in $1.8 million, up 7.3 percent from last year.
“As we continue to plan for a comprehensive campaign, this represents a vote of confidence in UNH from more than 19,000 alumni and friends,” said President Mark W. Huddleston, who also is serving as the interim president of the UNH Foundation. “Private support, especially in light of a historic cut in public funding from the New Hampshire Legislature, is crucial for student scholarship support and faculty development.” More than $7.5 million was raised for student scholarship support.
There also was an overall increase of 838 donors, or 4.5 percent, to all giving programs – annual giving, gift planning, major gifts and principal gifts. The annual giving programs alone saw an increase in the number of new donors, up 9.4 percent to 3,376 first-time donors this year. While UNH alumni participation remained stable in FY12 at 7.4 percent, UNH still bucked a national trend of declining participation even with the addition of 3,800 new graduates to the alumni ranks.
According to Bill Deptula, associate vice president of advancement and executive director of development, the increase in the number of donors was achieved in tandem with the organization’s work to increase efficiency by implementing an aggressive shift from telemarketing to a more cost-effective direct mail marketing program.
Huddleston credited the work of the development staff who proactively reached out to previous donors as well as reaching 3,376 new donors this year, noting that gift officers have visited with alumni around the country throughout the year.
Huddleston also has been on the road, meeting with alumni and friends throughout the country. “People I talk with really believe in this place and they believe in paying it forward,” he said. “They received an outstanding education here, they’ve hired our graduates, they’ve benefited from our research findings, they attend our athletic and alumni events. The reasons our donors give are varied, but it’s always with the desire to help the next generation of students.”