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As annual gifts grow, so do the entities they support

On average, more than 30,000 gifts are made each year through the Mizzou Office of Annual Giving and Membership by alumni, parents, students, employees and friends for a total of more of than $2 million, proof that collectively, small gifts can make a big impact.

Flexible funding raised through the office efforts have a far-reaching impact supporting the general operating budgets of campus units that helps them maintain their current programming as well as allowing them to launch new initiatives, expand alumni engagement opportunities and implement marketing and communications strategies to tell the Mizzou story and build the university’s brand.

Engineering’s alumni and friends have generously responded at an increased rate for the past four years. Annual giving productivity for MU Engineering was $352,007 in 2010; $361,433 in 2011; $392,690 in 2012 and $407,619 for fiscal year 2013.

In addition to yearly mail and electronic appeals, the Annual Giving Office hires MU students — selected for their leadership qualities and their fondness for Mizzou — as members of the Tiger Calling Club. In addition to chatting with alumni about possible gifts, these enthusiastic students share college news and update contact information.

When considering a gift, donors may choose to simply support the fund, which is used to address the university’s greatest needs. They also have the opportunity to make a gift directly to an initiative from their own home school or college. The College of Engineering recently has requested support for scholarships, but unrestricted gifts made directly to MU Engineering are added to the dean’s discretionary fund, used to the college’s pressing needs.

Donors whose employers support matching gift programs are able to double or even triple their gifts depending on their organizations’ policies. Mizzou supporters should check with their company’s personnel office to see if such a policy is in place, or call Mizzou’s matching gift help line (1-866-267-7568) to learn if their company will add to their gift.

A company without operational support won’t succeed and the same is true for Mizzou. Major gifts are critical and can be transformational in nature, but often have a narrow scope and benefit a targeted program or population. It’s through annual giving that MU has the ability to do more, and be more, year after year.



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