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Record setting fundraising year for ISU

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Private support this past fiscal year added up to $19.5 million, making it the most successful year ever for fundraising at ISU.

The funds from the previous year added up to $14.8 million. This significant jump culminated from a pair of seven-figure individual gifts, increased alumni donation and the participation of graduating seniors who continue to pay it forward.

“The level of enthusiasm and support is inspiring — generating tremendous momentum to enhance the learning and teaching environment for our students, faculty and staff,” Pat Vickerman, senior associate vice president of university advancement, said.

These private funds will go towards student scholarships, academic programs, extracurricular activities and more as an effort to keep the university running smoothly and improve the quality of an ISU education.

Alumni donations increased by 2 percent, with 10,400 donors.

Erin Minne, vice president for university advancement alumni center, credits the strong alumni connection that ISU continues to strive for.

“We have a talented team who worked with generous alumni and gave them the opportunity to make a difference in the world through gifts to Illinois State,” Minne said.

“In some cases, the alumni who made large gifts have been involved with ISU for many years, and the contributions are simply a natural outgrowth of their engagement. We are building those kinds of relationships, carefully and intentionally, with others who are capable of making significant contributions.”

Keeping alumni close through newsletters, on-campus programs and maintaining a reputable university ensures they will feel connected enough to make a contribution to ISU’s future.

Lora Wey, executive director of annual giving, encourages anyone who can, to donate even just a few dollars.

“Every gift truly matters in the lives of our students. Smaller gifts combined together can make the same impact as one large gift. This is the message we hope to convey to our alumni, students, faculty and staff,” Wey said.

For example, many graduating seniors this May made a donation of $20.14 to the area of their choice through the Senior Gift Campaign.

“It has become a tradition at Illinois State University for seniors to leave a legacy by supporting the area on campus that most impacted them while they were students,” Wey said.

“This could mean donating to a specific department or to a scholarship to help future Redbirds fund their education.”

Wey encourages this year’s seniors to keep that momentum and sense of philanthropy going by contributing when they graduate.

“Around graduation time, seniors should watch their mail, email and social media for information about the Senior Gift Campaign. It is a great way to celebrate the beginning of your new life by helping someone else start their life at Illinois State.”

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