The leading national educational advancement association has recognized Virginia Tech’s growing fundraising success.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education recently named Virginia Tech one of four universities in 2018 for overall improvement in educational fundraising, among public research and doctoral institutions with endowments of more than $350 million. It also is one of 22 institutions named a first-time winner of CASE's sustained excellence educational fundraising award.

CASE is a membership association that serves educational institutions and advancement professionals in alumni relations, development, communications, and marketing.

For the past three years, Virginia Tech has raised $100 million or more each year. This represents an important trend that began in fiscal 2016, the university’s first full year in a new model that combines development, university relations, and alumni relations under one Advancement Division.

During the 2017-18 fiscal year, a total of 33,020 individual donors, corporations, or foundations made more than $153.6 million in new gifts and commitments to Virginia Tech. It was the second consecutive year that donations to the university surpassed $150 million.

“We are deeply grateful for the support from so many generous donors, and we are excited and honored to be recognized by CASE,” said Charlie Phlegar, vice president for advancement at Virginia Tech. “Increasing support from our donors sets us on the right path for future success as we work to elevate Virginia Tech.”

Phlegar is co-chair of a new initiative within CASE called AMAtlas, which will provide helpful data for universities to use in alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing, and other areas of advancement.

CASE’s criteria for its 2018 fundraising improvement award winners was based on three years of data showing patterns of donor growth, support in relation to an alumni base, evidence of growth in overall support, and more.

Virginia Tech is among a small group of exceptional fundraising institutions, said Sue Cunningham, president and CEO of CASE.

"The Virginia Tech community should be very proud of these accomplishments," Cunningham said. "Fundraising provides critical support enabling institutions to achieve their educational, service and research missions, and thereby transform lives and society.”

Virginia Tech’s Advancement Division has launched multiple new initiatives over the past three years, including implementing a new data-management system, launching a crowdfunding platform, and introducing an annual Giving Day.

Along with dramatically increasing the amount of new gifts and commitments raised over the past three years, the division is pushing to increase Virginia Tech’s alumni giving percentage, which affects rankings as well as revenue. The university’s alumni giving participation rate rose to 13 percent in 2018, from 12 percent in fiscal 2017.

Virginia Tech has set a goal of increasing alumni giving to 22 percent by 2022.

Written by Jenny Kincaid Boone