Raising Donors Along With Dollars: Importance Of Annual Giving Transcends Numbers

A gift of any size by large numbers of alumni can make a big difference to SMU’s progress and reputation. That’s the key message that alumni leaders want to convey as the Second Century Campaign seeks higher alumni participation.

“To be direct, we need 13,000 alumni donors by May 31. But even beyond that date, we need more alumni to give annually,” says Leslie Melson ’77, chair of the Alumni Board. “We need alumni to adopt the habit of giving each and every year. Even those who have made large gifts also become annual donors, recognizing the importance of continual alumni giving.”

“This is not just about money, it’s about reputation,” she adds. “The number of alumni donors who support the University annually is noted by ranking agencies such as U.S. News & World Report as an indication of alumni satisfaction with the education they received. And the stronger SMU’s showing in national rankings, the higher the value of our degrees as we compete in the marketplace, lead our professions and serve our communities.”

Yearly giving directly supports daily operations that shape the quality of the educational experience at SMU, such as library resources, technology, faculty salaries and financial aid. It also helps to keep tuition increases moderate, benefitting student recruitment.

“Prospective donors who read about multimillion-dollar gifts to SMU could feel that their smaller gifts might not be important, but that is far from true,” says Caren Prothro, chair of the SMU Board of Trustees. “We deeply appreciate gifts at all levels, which carry a great deal of weight beyond their monetary value. And for alumni who hope to send family members to SMU, support for the University today will bring dividends in the quality of education those children or grandchildren will enjoy tomorrow.”

To make a gift, visit smu.edu/giving or mail to SMU Office of Development, P.O. Box 750402, Dallas, Texas 75275-0402.

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