Gustavus Fund Continues Growth, Raises $2.9 Million in 2019 Posted on September 24th, 2019 by

Move-In Day photo of several Move Crew members

The Gustavus Fund closed its annual campaign in summer 2019, and once again, the total amount of gifts to Gustavus Adolphus College surpassed the previous year. More than $2.9 million dollars were raised in 2018–19 for Gustavus’ annual operating budget. This most recent campaign also topped last year’s for total number of donors, with 7,249 alumni, parents, students, employees, and friends making gifts to the College.

“The Gustavus Fund is like a barometer for how people are feeling about the College,” said Katie Ackert Schroeder ’03, director of the Gustavus Fund. “When people feel good about Gustavus, they give. Right now, people are feeling really good about the College, and we’re seeing that in gifts to the Gustavus Fund.”

Vital to the Gustavus Fund’s recent success are small donations. Just under half of all gifts to the College are between $25 and $100, Schroeder explained. “It is important to have a lot of people giving whatever they can. When we bring all these gifts together, it adds up to a major benefit to Gustavus.”

Gifts to the Gustavus Fund have an immediate impact for the entire College community. Academic programs, financial aid, student organizations, music ensembles, sports teams, student services, and buildings and grounds all receive support from the Gustavus Fund. “The Gustavus Fund fills gaps between tuition revenue and expenses, across the entire College,” Schroeder said. “Gifts to the Gustavus Fund go to work immediately, paying for everyday expenses.”

A highlight of the annual campaign for the Gustavus Fund is Give to Gustavus Day. Last year, some 1,200 donors from all 50 states gave more than half a million dollars in a single day. With targeted challenges and matching gifts, donors can stretch their gifts even further on Give to Gustavus Day.

Students play an important role in raising support for the Gustavus Fund. More than 70 student callers take part in the fall and spring Phonathons. Last year, they had conversations with more than 5,800 people.

Students appreciate their conversations with alumni, said Logan Campa, assistant director of the Gustavus Fund. Many remark on hearing stories about Gustavus that are similar to their own experiences. “No matter how much technology has changed and the campus has evolved, alumni have the same stories about the community 30 years ago as students do today,” Campa said.

One particular similarity is the desire to give back to Gustavus. “Many students see working for the Phonathon as their way of giving back to the College,” noted Campa. “They enjoy the opportunity to advocate for the College and the community. And they see tangible results for their efforts.”

Student Phonathon callers will be reaching out to Gustavus supporters through November. Give to Gustavus Day is October 24, 2019.

Contact: Bruce Berglund, Campaign Communications Manager


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