Fundraising, Engagement Are Up

September 16, 2014

Donor Gifts at Highest Mark During Kington Presidency

Alumni, friends, parents, faculty, students, and foundation and corporation partners made philanthropic gifts totaling $11.2 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, the highest level in the past four years.

“Our momentum continues to grow, and as we position ourselves for even greater impact, we value the opportunity to turn to our benefactors as partners who can help ensure the future for Grinnell College,” says President Raynard S. Kington. “The entire Grinnell community is grateful for the many talents and gifts of all our alumni and friends.”

Highlights include:

  • More than 9,400 donors.
  • 157 alumni made their first ever gift to the College.
  • An additional 119 young alumni (classes of 2004­–2013) made their first gift since graduating.
  • Parent and family giving reached a four-year high.

Annual gifts of all ranges continued to play an important role in advancing the College’s priorities, with these highlights:

  • $5.8 million directed to the endowment, the most since fiscal year 1987.
  • $4.27 million in realized estate gifts, which were directed to a number of initiatives, some of which are included in the endowment figure noted above.
  • $2.2 million given as flexible, unrestricted support that can be directed to the College’s highest priorities.
  • Need-based financial aid support totaled $435,691, which represents a 24 percent increase over fiscal year 2013.

Donors also made new, multi-year pledges and future estate gifts. Grinnell received $1.2 million in commitments that will create seven new endowed scholarship funds. Additionally, commitments totaled $4.5 million for three endowed chairs, including a gift of $1.5 million to endow the Daniel ’77 and Patricia Jipp Finkelman ’80 deanship for Grinnell’s Center for Careers, Life, and Service.

 “All gifts are meaningful,” says Shane Jacobson, vice-president for development and alumni relations.  “Philanthropy is an important ingredient that helps showcase the excellence of our people and programs, and ensures the ongoing strength of this wonderful place.”

Power of Alumni Engagement

From meeting with old friends at Reunion to helping welcome prospective students to Grinnell, alumni proved over and over that they support the College in many meaningful ways. Let’s count a few:

  • Reunion 2014 was the single largest alumni gathering in College history.
    • Grinnell welcomed 1,454 alumni and guests to campus for a weekend of celebration, connection, and fellowship. Guests arrived from 49 states, Washington, D.C., and 20 foreign countries.
    • The 50th and 5th reunion groups set new records for overall classmate attendance.
    • The Class of ’64 surpassed its reunion giving goal by committing $1.33 million, the second most since Grinnell developed a reunion giving program.
  • 50 alumni mentors participated in the College’s student/alumni externship program in spring 2014. 76 percent were first-time participants and 97 percent indicated that they would recommend the program to other alumni.
  • The Grinnell Regional Admission Support Program (GRASP) was instrumental in assisting the admission office with its record-breaking application season in 2013–14.
    • Alumni volunteers conducted more than 550 applicant interviews, an increase of 50 percent from the previous year.
    • The number of alumni interviewing also increased dramatically, almost 40 percent more than the year prior.
  • Fall Volunteer Weekend set an attendance record and was up 31 percent over 2012.
  • Throughout the year, the College welcomed 4,444 alumni, parents, and friends to 88 regional and campus events, a 4 percent increase over 2013 and 100 percent increase from 2011.

Jacobson says, “Grinnellians clearly believe in creating impact. In all of the ways they engage with us, they signal the importance of a lifelong relationship. We are thankful to have a wonderful network of dedicated volunteers.”

How You Can Engage

For more information about how you can engage in a multitude of ways that will help create the strongest possible future for Grinnell, please contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 866-850-1846 or send an email to

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