Campbell Pride spurs record giving

Campbell realized its strongest fundraising year in history

Story by Billy Liggett

Campbell University realized its strongest fundraising year in history for the fiscal year (ending May 31) in 2011-2012, a result that Britt Davis, vice president for institutional advancement called, “truly remarkable.”

“Our alumni and friends rallied around the medical school capital campaign and many other critical needs,” Davis said. “We believe the past 12 months will lead many future milestones.”

Donors to Campbell committed a total of $19,774,355 in support of student scholarships, facilities and other needs from June 1, 2011, to May 31, 2012. The total represented a high-water mark in the history of Campbell University and a milestone for the “The Time is Now” campaign that launched in June 2005.

More than 7,000 contributions were received from nearly 3,500 Campbell alumni and friends during the past year. The impact of private giving spanned across the entire university, touching many needs, including: endowed and direct aid scholarships for students in health sciences, business, divinity, law and education; School of Osteopathic Medicine building campaign; improvements to football, baseball and softball stadiums; and general University operating support.

“What’s been accomplished over the past year is a tribute to thousands of generous benefactors,” said University President Jerry Wallace. “It speaks highly of Campbell alumni pride and the desire of our graduates and friends to advance the university’s mission and support our students.”

The Time Is Now

“The Time is Now” campaign launched in June 2005 with a goal of transforming Campbell University. Over the past seven years, nearly $100 million has been provided by alumni and friends for student scholarships, capital projects and other needs.

The addition of Butler Chapel, John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center, Maddox Hall (Pharmacy), Barker-Lane Football Stadium, Irwin Belk Track, two new dormitories, two roundabouts on Leslie Campbell Avenue, a renovated University library, extensive landscaping and other projects have brought about the physical reshaping and beautification of the Campbell campus. Additionally, 35 miles north of Buies Creek, the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law expanded Campbell’s footprint by relocating to a world-class facility in downtown Raleigh.

“Thanks to generosity and pride of thousands of individuals, the Campbell University campus has literally been transformed,” Davis said. “Our academic buildings, dormitories and athletic facilities look fantastic and serve our students incredibly well.”

Every Gift Matters

While Campbell realized record-setting external contributions during the past year, the average gift size was a reasonable $30.

“We need major gifts to help move our capital projects forward,” Davis said. “But generating widespread support that fits the budget of all of our alumni and friends is equally important. Broad participation establishes a culture of philanthropy and builds alumni pride.”

There are three key reasons why alumni giving — no matter what the gift size — matters to Campbell.

Foremost, annual alumni giving is a “vote of support” that U.S. News & World Report tracks. Alumni giving percentage is an important measure that U.S. News uses to calculate its annual list of “Best Colleges and Universities.” Campbell ranked No.28 in the “Regional University: South” category in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report college rankings.

Campbell moved up seven spots from 2011, in part, because of increased alumni giving.

Second, alumni participation matters to many foundations and corporate donors. Foundations play a major role at Campbell University, especially for building project funding.

However, many foundations and corporations will only consider a grant if alumni and faculty/staff also participate. Foundation and corporate leaders certainly understand that most alumni can’t give major gifts, but they hope alumni will contribute “participation gifts.”

Third, Campbell University has always been a place that seeks to give students a quality education at a great value. Giving back, as one is able, shows a spirit of gratitude and thankfulness to the university and the people of Campbell.

“Campbell University has existed for 125 years by the grace of God, hard work by many and the incredible generosity and pride of its graduates,” said Davis. “Campbell is only as strong as the people who support it.”

Employee Giving

Campbell’s faculty and staff also made an impact during the past year, with 89 percent of full-time faculty and staff making a financial contribution to the University. This number topped the previous record of 83 percent set the prior year.

“This University’s employees rose to the challenge this year,” said Peggy Mason, director of the Annual Fund. “It was fantastic to see us working together on a common goal.”

Davis said he was “overwhelmed” by the support of the school’s alumni, friends, faculty and staff this year. Nearly 3,500 alumni and friends, and nine of every 10 individuals who work at Campbell gave back financially, Davis said. “It’s a wonderful testimony about the quality of Campbell University and the pride of our alumni, friends, and internal team. We’re truly grateful and look forward to the year ahead.”