#WabashProud Surpasses $600,000by Howard W. Hewitt • May 18, 2016 Share:
The Wabash community proved to be more than just #WabashProud during the April 27 Day of Giving. Record giving, record dollars, and record participation suggest Wabash is stronger than ever.
The big numbers are 3,500 gifts and more than $600,000 raised. But the stories unfold with a deeper dive into the day’s statistics. One of the big trends was the strength of participation by younger Wabash men.
“Four of the top five giving classes were young guys,” said Kevin Andrews, Director of the Annual Fund. “The younger generation of Wabash men are understanding the importance of philanthropy and recognizing the fun and excitement of the Day of Giving.”
The class of 2004 led all alumni classes with 84 donors. The classes of 2015, 1988, 2005, and 2013 rounded out the top five alumni classes with the highest participation. Andrews noted the class of 2015 had the second-most gifts of any class “and that’s after seeing two days of giving on campus,” he said. “They didn’t show any fatigue for the event.”
Students currently enrolled made a huge impact with 590 students making 815 gifts. Even more interesting is that the freshmen and sophomores led the way. Of the four classes on campus, the Class of 2019 had 171 students make a gift just edging the Class of 2018 with 160 donors.
“We had about two-thirds participation from students on campus," Andrews said. "That’s not only a signal of solidarity with the campus, but it shows they enjoy the exciting day. The students have fun, they’re competitive, they like seeing the excitement, and they like to challenge each other.”
The popular affinity challenges had a big role in raising big bucks. The top affinity challenges were football, FIJI, Phi Delta Theta, Delta Tau Delta, Class of 2016, Basketball, Kappa Sig, and Glee Club. Andrews said dollar figures from each of the nearly 70 affinity challenges were still being calculated.
The College Advancement team was particularly pleased to see how the number of donors increased by gift level. Donors giving $1,000-$4,999, $500-$999, and every category of gifts less than $500 have all increased since the inception of the Wabash Day of Giving three years ago.
The 18 lead-challenge donors contributed more than $210,000 to the day’s fundraising. Current students led first-time donors with 254 new participants. “Friends” of the College made 95 first-ever gifts to Wabash. Current parents chipped in with 49 gifts while 11 staff and three faculty were first-time givers.
Knowing that Wabash men like to compete, Andrews pointed to similar days of giving and the dollar impact per student. Butler, Earlham, Valparaiso, Indiana, Purdue, and Notre Dame, all had days of giving this year. Wabash donors far surpassed all of those schools in participation and dollars per students. Wabash had 26 percent of its alumni base make a gift. The next highest was 17 percent at Notre Dame. Wabash’s Day of Giving effort generated $714 per student compared to Purdue’s $584 per enrolled student.
The third-straight, very-successful, one-day campaign already has Andrews thinking ahead. “We’ll try to make it new and exciting for as long as we do it,” he said. “We’re still trending upward. We’re increasing at an increasing rate in gifts, dollars, unique donors, everything. I’m not sure if the day-of-giving model will be around for the next 100 years, but coming together online to do something for Wabash probably isn’t going away.”