PLU's highly successful fund-raising drive, The Campaign for Pacific Lutheran University: The Next Bold Step, won a Circle of Excellence in Fund Raising award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
The award, which honors superior fund-raising programs across the country, is based on a juried analysis of data PLU submits. This year nearly 1,000 universities were eligible, and only 47 of them won an award. This places PLU in the top 5 percent of the eligible universities and the top 2 percent of universities nationally.
At the end of the fiscal year, May 31, the campaign stood at more than $102 million-a new record and $30 million more than the successful Make a Lasting Difference campaign that raised $72 million. Total fund-raising for the 2001-2002 fiscal year hit $24.5 million-the second best year in PLU history and a 15 percent increase over the prior fiscal year total of $21.4 million.
"That's a remarkable achievement in light of a challenged economy and concerns over world events," said David Aubrey, vice president for development and university relations. "We see it as a reflection of the dedicated efforts, commitment and generosity of our donors and volunteers and their belief in this place and the vitality of our mission."
The annual fund, which provides critical financial support for the university, hit record levels last year, both in money raised and the rate of alumni participation. For the first time, more than 5,000 people contributed to the fund that helps PLU meet day-to-day expenses. The percentage of alumni who contributed jumped from 17 to 20 percent. Both milestones helped the annual fund reach a goal of $2.5 million.
This year a special telephone campaign that targeted first-time donors resulted in more than 800 new donors to the annual fund. Lauralee Hagen, director of alumni and parent relations, says even small donations make a difference. "It's not how much you give, but that you give that is important."