Milestone Fundraising Year Looks to College's Future

Significant increases in pledges, planned gifts to benefit students, entire campus

July 25, 2017

Wesley Chapel (background), with red flowers in the foreground.Final fundraising results for fiscal year 2017 indicate that alumni and friends of Albion College are expressing support for the College’s current direction, as well as for what Albion sees for its future as one of America’s exemplary liberal arts institutions.

For the period of July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, the College’s fundraising production totaled $16,168,652. That dollar amount represents an increase of 75 percent from the notable $9.2 million of the prior fiscal year and a 42 percent increase from the $11.38 million the year before that, the only other eight-figure philanthropic production year in the last 10 years.

The above totals factor in pledges and planned gifts in addition to outright gifts, realized undocumented bequests, gifts in kind, and the face value of life income gifts.

Pledge gifts doubled and then some, year over year, jumping from $2.3 million to nearly $5.6 million in the just completed fiscal year, a gain of 140 percent. Planned gifts also surged, going from $3.5 million to just shy of $6.4 million, a climb of 80 percent.

The success includes the single-largest documented planned gift in the College’s history, a $4 million bequest (from donors who at this time wish to remain anonymous) that will create a student experiential learning endowment in support of out-of-classroom, coursework-related programs and activities, to be overseen by the Office of the Provost.

“The real story goes beyond record-breaking gifts, and impressively strong alumni financial support,” says Bob Anderson, vice president for alumni relations and development. “It is a story of people giving back to change lives, to pay it forward, and to assure that Albion College will be a great institution for years to come. We have more work to do; there are more dreams to fulfill. But as we look back, this past year will change the face of campus, and move Albion College forward dramatically.”

Additionally, the immediate term saw strong results as well. The College received $3.9 million in outright, or cash, gifts, a 38 percent rise from the previous year’s $2.8 million. And gifts specifically supporting the Albion College Fund—comprising unrestricted and restricted gifts as well as the Briton Scholarship Fund—were up 33 percent, to $3.4 million from $2.6 million. Slight increases were also seen in the total number of donors and the percentage of degreed alumni who gave financially to the College, bucking a national downward trend in those areas.

“President Ditzler challenged the College community to be audacious. Our alumni redefined philanthropically what audacious can be,” Anderson said. “Albion College has returned as a leader, and our alumni made that possible. Our students are the beneficiaries.”

Thank you for your support of Albion College!

The power of giving truly can change the world. It begins with one student and one dream, and the Albion College educational experience that makes that change possible.