Charitable giving surges at UNCP

Scott Bigelow - Guest columnist

Charitable giving at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke surpassed $2 million in the 2014-2015 fiscal year, according to an announcement from Wendy Lowery, vice chancellor for the Office of Advancement.

It was an increase of 18.1 percent over the previous year. There were many bright spots during the year, including growth in endowed scholarships, athletic and corporate giving and alumni participation.

“This is the highest total for a non-campaign year in university history,” Lowery said. “I’m proud of the teamwork that made reaching our goal possible. It takes an entire university community — faculty, staff, athletics, alumni and friends — pulling together to be successful. Giving makes the difference in building a truly outstanding university. A strong institution is better able to help our students and our communities, who are the real beneficiaries.”

Giving comes from a variety of sources, and several of the key sectors performed well. The number of new student scholarships has been climbing for two consecutive years.

A record 50 endowed scholarships were established in the past two years — 26 in 2014-15 and 24 in 2013-14. An endowment is a permanent fund from which scholarship money is generated.

Successful events also played a role in raising money for scholarships. The Braves Club Cash Bash, Friends of the Library Benefit and Support our Students Beach Party, which will be held on Aug. 12, are part of the Office of Advancement’s annual calendar.

The beneficiary of SOS is the Arrowhead Scholarship, which has awarded 41 scholarships of $1,887 each since its inception in 2013. An additional 20 scholarship awards will be made before the fall semester 2015.

Corporate giving is up 50 percent over last year. Leading the way were BB&T, which is currently funding its second endowed professorship; Lumbee Guaranty Bank, in support of student-athletes; and Duke Energy, which funds outreach programs that connect UNCP to public school students to promote education in the STEM fields.

The Braves Club, UNCP’s athletic booster organization, reported its contributions increased 67 percent year over year. Memberships, fundraising events and other major contributions totaled more than $100,000.

The number of alumni who are connected to their alma mater continues to grow. Alumni participation is an important indicator of institutional success, and 798 alumni contributed to the university in 2014-15.

“Because many UNCP alumni were helped by scholarships as students, they give back in the form of scholarships,” Lowery said. “In the past two years, 29 of the 50 new endowed scholarships were established by alumni.”

Faculty and staff contributions are an indicator that money given to UNCP is well spent, because faculty and staff often contribute to the programs that are closest to them. More than 300 faculty and staff contributed $158,000 to the annual campaign in 2014-15.

UNCP’s endowment, which topped $20 million for the first time in 2014, is growing. The fund, which is invested in financial markets, has grown to $20.4 million from $15.9 million since 2011, an increase of 28.3 percent.

“The future is bright as we welcome to the helm Chancellor Robin Cummings, who has stated that fundraising will be a top priority on his agenda, and we are eager and ready,” Lowery said. “We are a university that prides itself on diversity and our record of educating first generation college students, so the need is great.

“Tuition is rising and traditional funding sources for higher education are shrinking,” Lowery said. “Our outstanding results last year tell me we have many friends. In this light, the future looks bright.”

The Office of Advancement may be contacted at 910-521-6252 or by email at [email protected]

Scott Bigelow is the public information officer for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Scott Bigelow

Guest columnist

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