By Danielle Strickland
It’s no secret—the Davidson family understands why giving back is critical to alma mater’s future. In fact, the 2013 fiscal year that ended June 30 marked the 11th consecutive year of more than 60 percent alumni participation in the Annual Fund. That places Davidson at the top of its peer group when measuring dollars raised and alumni engagement.
Since President Carol Quillen arrived in 2011, she has shared a vision for reimagining the liberal arts in today’s increasingly interconnected world. As that vision is realized, the campus community is working to reimagine the different aspects of Davidson that make it special. The Annual Fund is among those attributes—it’s both a point of pride and a success story that can be built upon to do even more for the college.
On July 1, the first day of the 2013-2014 fiscal year, the Davidson College Annual Fund became The Fund for Davidson. The change is intended to bring a more dynamic and clear approach to raising current support—gifts that make a difference now and contribute to the exceptional educational experience Davidson students enjoy today.
“So many things the college does and wants to do every year that can’t be funded through other sources of revenue are funded through The Fund for Davidson, and we wanted the name to be meaningful,” said Casey Rogers ’95, 2013-14 national Fund for Davidson chair. “These are typically the same things that make Davidson different and better. It’s an incredibly important part of the overall function of the college, and in many ways, allows it to be what it is today.”
“Gifts to The Fund for Davidson have an immediate impact, and we want the way we talk about this philanthropy to be accurate,” said Maria Tardugno Aldrich ’03, director of the Office of Annual Giving. “In supporting The Fund for Davidson, donors are helping to define the student experience—including the distinct characteristics of Davidson. We want our new approach to be more personal by giving donors the opportunity to identify with educational initiatives and priorities.”
“Every Davidson education is worth more than the cost of tuition, whether a student receives financial aid or not.”
Alumni like Rogers give because they feel a responsibility to stay connected. The Fund for Davidson makes that connection stronger.
“Every Davidson education is worth more than the cost of tuition, whether a student receives financial aid or not,” said Rogers. “We were all supported by gifts from alumni, parents and friends, and I can never repay those people for what they gave to me. What I can do is acknowledge their efforts by doing the same now that I’m able, and I’m able to give in large part because I had the opportunity to go to Davidson.”
New language related to where one can designate a gift provides definition to the college’s programs and initiatives. Within The Fund for Davidson, supporters are able to direct their gifts to the areas of campus that are the most meaningful to them: experiential learning, athletics, arts, or providing access and affordability through scholarships and The Davidson Trust. There will continue to be an option for unrestricted gifts as well.
“The Fund for Davidson prepares us to better communicate with donors and to ensure the impact of every gift is immediate as well as an intentional part of the college’s long-term vision,” said Brad Martin, associate vice president for development. “We are excited about the future of giving at Davidson.”