MU picks up award for fundraising efforts

Alumni, corporations and foundations contributed the majority of donations.

Due to its fundraising success throughout the 2007 to 2009 fiscal years, MU was awarded the 2010 Overall Performance award for fundraising from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

MU completed its $1 billion "For All We Call Mizzou" campaign in November 2008. At that time, MU also became the most productive fundraising school out of all public higher education institutions in the state of Missouri.

"I am very proud of our success in every aspect of our fundraising," David Housh, vice chancellor of development and alumni relations, said in a news release. "Our major gift program growth made the difference between a successful billion dollar campaign and an unsuccessful one."

This year, 20 schools won the Overall Performance award, though more than 1,000 institutions were eligible to receive it.

"Mizzou has unusually loyal alumni," Linda L'Hote, senior associate vice chancellor of development, said. "We may have to work a little harder to get the money, but we also know that when alumni know MU has great needs, then they're even more willing to be generous."

One key aspect to the success of the fundraising campaign was the increase of the alumni donor participation rate from 10 percent to 17 percent.

L'Hote said the most successful fundraising programs were the major gift programs, which look at donations of $100,000 or more. Alumni are not the only ones responsible for donations over the past few years.

"In addition to alumni, the university has a lot of great relationships with corporations and foundations," L'Hote said. "Even though corporations feel the economic impact as much as individuals, because of the work we do in research and other areas, they want to step up to the plate."

Judgment for the selection for the CASE award was made by peers on the basis of data reports turned into the Council for Aid to Education through the years of 2007 to 2009. In order to be eligible, schools need not apply but are automatically chosen after their data is reviewed.

Part of MU's fundraising success is credited to the Tiger Calling Club. The Tiger Calling Club employs more than 100 students who speak directly with alumni, friends and family about the importance of giving back to MU. The students also share information with alumni about the events at MU.

"In order to have students out there working successfully, we need to have access to (educational resources), and we've got to have money to do that," Tiger Calling Club Supervisor Beverly Smith said.

L'Hote said it is the $10 donations which eventually become the $100,000 donations in the future.

Housh credited much of MU's fundraising success to the outstanding leadership, extraordinary volunteers and highly motivated staff at MU.

"It's all about giving back so that the students coming through here now can have the same advantages as (the alumni) had when they were here, which is what made them into the incredibly successful people they are today," Smith said.

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