As the 2009-10 fiscal year comes
to a close, fundraising at Kent State
is once again at a record high despite
the economic climate and a national
trend of dwindling contributions.
“We haven’t really been affected
by the recession,” said Steve
Sokany, associate vice president
for institutional advancement.
According to the Associated
Press, university fundraising fell
12 percent nationally in 2009.
Though they have not yet officially
closed the books for this last
fiscal year, Kent State has raised
at least $3.1 million more than the
previous year. Sokany said the
total is at least $39,866,000. Unprocessed
checks dated before the fiscal
year ended could increase this
value, but Sokany assured that it
would not decrease.
Sokany said the university’s
fundraising goal was $33 million.
In addition to increasing monetary
donations, the number of
contributors has also jumped
by about 3,400. The number of
donors increased from 21,254 in
2008-09 to 24,642 this past year.
The improvement in fundraising is part of a recent trend at
Kent State. Sokany said that in the
2008-09 fiscal year, contributions
jumped by $10 million.
He said the university has
hired more people to make fundraising
easier, targeting alumni
and organizations to get donors.
“I think people are investing
in Kent State,” President Lester
Lefton said. “They trust the
leadership, they trust what we’re
doing and they’re seeing positive
results. They’re saying, ‘Here’s
some money to help you do it.’”
While some universities are
asking for less from their donors
because of the times, Lefton said
Kent State is asking for more.
Lefton said presidents of
universities spend 20 to 90 percent
of their time fundraising.
He judges his own fundraising
commitment at between 20 and
30 percent of his time.
“These days, when state funding
is significantly down on a
per-student basis,” Lefton said,
“public universities wind up
having to raise funds in the same
way as private universities do. In
some ways, even more, because
we do it on a fifth of the tuition
that a private university does, but
we have the same expenses.”
Contact administration reporter
Nick Glunt at [email protected]