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Emporia State Foundation Sets a New Record in Philanthropic Support

August 19, 2019

Emporia State University Foundation raised more than $16 million in private gifts and pledges during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2019. The university nearly doubled its fundraising from the prior year, an increase of over $7 million, making fiscal year 2019 the best year in its history.

“New records of any kind in life come from hard work, commitment, belief in something and then stepping forward,” said ESU President Allison D. Garrett. “This new record in philanthropy reflects the many alumni and people in the community who have stepped forward, and we are grateful. The numbers reflect their commitment.” 

Additionally, ESU Foundation experienced an increase in the number of donors. This fiscal year saw a 69% jump in new donors, in part because of the new crowdfunding platform the ESU Foundation rolled out this year. There was also a significant increase in the number of legacy gifts. These are most commonly gifts made through an individual’s will or estate, naming the university as a beneficiary, but can also be an IRA distribution or gift of a real estate, mineral, or business interest made in the supporter’s lifetime.

Private gifts have a significant impact on student scholarships, program enhancements, professorships, athletics and facility construction and improvements. Many of the new construction projects, like the Prophet Aquatic Research & Outreach Center and the Kossover Family Tennis Complex, are being funded entirely by private donors.

“Emporia State has amazing supporters who understand the value of affordable, accessible higher education,” Garrett said. “I talk all the time with people who are giving to all different aspects of the university — some to certain programs, some to scholarships, you name it.

“These friends of Emporia State come from different careers and perspectives, different communities, yet they all have the same vision. They see that we approach education as a high-impact learning experience, an immersive and adaptive process and they want to help cultivate and expand that.”

Emporia State University Foundation President Shane Shivley says that the increase in planned gifts speaks to the passion people have for supporting ESU.

“I believe this increase demonstrates our alumni and friends understand they can make an enormous difference when they invest in Emporia State,” Shivley said. “These gifts live on. Supporting students in pursuit of their education, has long-lasting effects for them, their families and their communities.”

These numbers also show another interesting detail. It isn’t just alumni who are giving to ESU. It is community members, businesses and private foundations as well. Nearly 30% of those giving were non-alumni.

“People realize the opportunities that are created here are essential,” Shivley said. “They recognize that higher education is requiring an increasing amount of private support for students of today and tomorrow to discover their best life. Passion for our mission is something many people share, and it is only growing stronger.”

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