St. Lawrence University’s gift income increases over recent years
Saturday, September 11, 2010 - 7:54 am

CANTON -- St. Lawrence University's gift income has rebounded somewhat since the economic downturn ate into donors’ ability to give, the university said Friday.

Total gift income from private sources for the 2009-2010 fiscal year was $17,671,469, an increase of 24 percent over the previous year.

With assistance from these gifts, the university says it is able to provide scholarship aid for students, improve facilities used by St. Lawrence students and the community, and honor two long-time North Country residents.

Gifts to the St. Lawrence Fund, which represents gifts from alumni, parents and friends in support of ongoing operations, increased 6 percent to $4,845,273, from 9,379 donors. The number of donors showed an increase over last year, by 319.

Overall giving from alumni was up 39 percent, including both annual and capital gifts. Participation in the Alumni Fund also increased, from 33 percent to 35 percent. Support from corporations, foundations and organizations increased 27 percent, and planned gifts from alumni, parents and friends, increased 56 percent.

Momentum St. Lawrence, the University's major fund-raising initiative, increased by $15.2 million in commitments, which includes new gifts and pledges, bringing the campaign total to $165 million toward its $200 million overall goal. Momentum St. Lawrence will conclude on December 31, 2010.

Most of the gifts to the St. Lawrence Fund are unrestricted, with the university able to use the income for annual expenses where needed. One area funded by those gifts is scholarship aid to students, many of whom are from the North Country.

This year, 286 students from the North Country counties of St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Franklin, Clinton and Essex are enrolled. Of those, 257 receive financial aid from the university's own resources, amounting to some $6.7 million. The average aid package (including grants, loans and campus employment) for students from those counties is approximately $39,000. Overall, some 85 percent of St. Lawrence students receive financial aid.

“The recession of 2008 challenged every charitable organization in America, and St. Lawrence was no exception,” said Vice President for University Advancement Michael P. Archibald. “Our giving totals dropped significantly in 2008-09, but what we experienced in the most recent year is a partial return of donor confidence.”