Emory’s Annual Fund set a record in fiscal
year 2003 by raising $3,575,718 in unrestricted funds for the University,
breaking the previous high set in 2002 by nearly $115,000.
The achievement is especially impressive considering the campaign
was behind its previous year’s pace by nearly $140,000 as
of June 30 and by more than $94,000 on July 31. But a late push
relying on e-mail communications with alumni and other prospective
donors not only made up the difference but surpassed 2002’s
"We sent out eight fiscal year-end e-mails, and
we basically focused on previous donors who hadn’t given and
tried to renew and retrieve their support," said Francine Cronin,
assistant vice president for annual giving, who came to Emory on
June 23 from the SUNY Institute of Technology in Utica, N.Y.
Cronin said her office also sent pledge reminders to people who
had not yet sent in their contributions; finally, more than 500
generous donors agreed to make second donations to Emory after already
making good on their first pledge. In all, some 13,183 individuals
made gifts to the University, and this in a year when alumni giving
nationwide was down by 13.6 percent, according to the Council for
Aid to Education.
"I’m the eternal optimist, and at every institution there’s
going to be a unique set of challenges that you’re faced with,"
Cronin said. "You can sit there and say, ‘Oh well, we
have these challenges and we can’t more forward,’ or
you can say this what we have to work with and we’re going
to overcome those and forge ahead. You just have to be creative
and think of ways to compensate for the things that may not be perfectly
Cronin said her office now is coordinating all large-scale direct
communications to donors (e-mail, direct mail, phone solicitation),
leaving the individual schools’ annual fund offices the freedom
to conduct personal solicitations to larger benefactors.
Overall, according to Institutional Advancement (IA), the University
raised $123.5 million in FY03 from 32,063 donors, up from 30,255
donors in FY02. Bill Fox, senior vice president for IA, said the
campaign was a great success in an "extraordinarily difficult
"I’m proud of $123 million in an economy like it was
in 2002–03," Fox said. "Last October the stock market
dipped as low as it’s been in years."
Fox said it’s too early to tell whether the slowly recovering
economy bodes well for increased fund raising in 2004, but he said
President Jim Wagner will be involved in helping draw more external
support to Emory.
"President Wagner will play an active role in fund raising,"
Fox said. "We talk often about his ideas and strategies."