In its first fiscal year under a new advancement model for fundraising, communications, and alumni relations, Virginia Tech raised more than $100 million in donations for the first time, surpassing the previous record of $92.23 million set in fiscal 2011.
Philanthropy provided the university with $101.45 million between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016, an increase of 13 percent on the amount received in fiscal 2015.
“Our fundraising success is a testament to the generosity of Hokies everywhere,” Virginia Tech President Tim Sands said. “Our alumni and friends take to heart the spirit behind our motto of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), and this commitment to service sets Virginia Tech apart. I look forward to transformative change as we build on this milestone and continue to deploy our advancement model.”
Charlie Phlegar, vice president for advancement, said last fiscal year’s record fundraising is a credit to Sands’ vision and commitment, and will help ensure a bright future for Virginia Tech, building on the university’s strong foundation and tradition while creating a 21st century land-grant model.
In January 2015, Sands announced the university would establish an Advancement Division to bring together Alumni Relations, University Development, and University Relations. Phlegar became Virginia Tech’s first vice president for advancement, effective July 1, 2015.
The transition to an advancement model aligns resources in support of the university’s vision with an aim toward fulfilling an increasing need for philanthropic support. Private support has become critical to the university as public funding has declined. The state provided 37 percent of the university’s total budget in 1998, but in the past fiscal year state support accounted for less than 18 percent of the total budget.
“Setting a fundraising record is exciting not for its own sake but because of what it means in terms of providing scholarships, support for our faculty, and amazing, hands-on learning experiences,” Phlegar said.
This record-setting year included double-digit percentage increases in giving to numerous colleges or other academic units. The university’s Annual Giving unit also generated its highest ever revenue, $7.12 million, a 6 percent increase on fiscal 2015.
While the above figures reflect gift income — revenue received from outright gifts and pledge payments — the university also tracks new gifts and commitments that were received or documented during the fiscal year. Such gifts and commitments totaled $100.42 million.
“I could not be more excited about where we are heading as a university and an advancement division,” Phlegar said. “These results show we’re generating the momentum by telling our story and representing the authenticity of the Virginia Tech brand while we continuously grow our engagement and our giving in today’s fiercely competitive college marketplace. What we’ve achieved is significant, and as we look toward next year we must stay focused on telling our story, reconnecting with our alumni and friends, and growing the percentage of our alumni who give back to the university.”
Written by Annie McCallum and Albert Raboteau