A new challenge last week meant an extra $100,000 would go to financial aid if Ithaca College met its donor goal for May, and they hit the mark late Wednesday night. They reached 1,023 donors and unlocked the big challenge donation with their “Fill the Fountains” challenge.
With hours to go on Wednesday, the total stood at 903 donors through the month of May to any area of Ithaca College, not just the Annual Fund, says Annual Fund Director Rob de la Fuente.
IC’s Annual Fund distributes donations “in a way that mirrors how the college’s dollars are allocated,” to help support the college’s many missions and support the next generation of Ithaca College students. Annual Fund dollars go 36% toward “the Learning Experience,” 31% toward financial help for students, 21% toward “Life at IC,” and 12% to facility maintenance and tech resources.
The college has also received a challenge from the IC Alumni Association, whose Board of Directors will donate $50 for each graduating senior from the Class of 2017 who donates. Organizers call their senior class gift campaign “one of the oldest traditions on South Hill.”
“We’re very grateful to our challenge donors, whose additional funds at this point are a real boost,” says Rob de la Fuente. “The challenge donors understand that increasing donor participation at every level is paramount to long term philanthropic growth. They make the IC experience possible. It’s cliche perhaps, but very true.”
Colleges benefit from having a large number of individual donors, even of small amounts of money; number of donors is one of the factors frequently used in calculating college rankings.