8/03/2020 Staff

Philanthropy in the Face of Adversity

Now to Next: The Campaign for Franklin & Marshall is going strong -- even in the midst of a global pandemic.

"Franklin & Marshall's alumni, parents and friends have generously responded to the call for support," said Matthew Eynon, vice president for College Advancement. "The act of giving is personal and powerful because it's a way for each of us to connect with the people and programs that have been important in our own lives. Together, those gifts create the collective energy that keeps our College strong. I'm so grateful to all who keep the College among their philanthropic and volunteer priorities and have made this year a success."

Total giving reached $19.3 million by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, pushing the campaign total to $168 million as it closes in on its $200 million goal. More than 5,300 alumni and 2,800 parents and friends contributed philanthropic support to the College during the 2020 fiscal year. “These next 18 months, as we complete the Now to Next campaign, will matter a great deal to the College’s future financial strength,” Eynon explained.

Support for each of the campaign's priorities remains strong. Since the start of the campaign, donors have given $100 million to the priority of advancing academic excellence, which includes $61 million in financial aid support; $38 million to help strengthen an extraordinary student experience; and $18 million to support every student every day through the Franklin & Marshall Fund, including annual fund support for financial aid and athletics.

A highlight of the fiscal year was “More Than,” the College's inaugural Day of Giving, which took place over 1,787 minutes – in honor of F&M's founding year – on March 10 and 11. More than 2,000 donors helped the effort raise $568,542 for the Franklin & Marshall Fund.

Shortly after the Day of Giving, the COVID-19 global pandemic forced F&M to complete its spring semester online -- and moved all college advancement staff to remote work structures. To help students who had urgent financial needs, the College launched the Student Hardship & Emergency Fund, which quickly raised $123,846.

The Franklin & Marshall Fund, through both unrestricted and donor-designated gifts, is a critical element of the College's annual budget. The fund supports need-based financial aid, academic programs, athletics, campus life and other key College priorities. The annual fund received $4.4 million in the 2020 fiscal year, with more than $766,000 earmarked for financial aid.

Contributions to F&M's athletics program were another bright spot, with more than $617,000 designated to the support of student-athletes via the Diplomatic Athletic Club.

In addition to giving, alumni volunteers helped support a memorable True Blue Weekend; more than 3,000 alumni, parents and friends celebrated on campus last October. The Homecoming weekend included the commemoration of events 50 years ago that led to dynamic changes on campus, from the May 1969 African American student protest to F&M's admission of women that fall. These extraordinary events and their anniversaries are major College milestones.

"It's important that we maintain and boldly increase our philanthropic momentum this year," Eynon said. "The pandemic has created enormous expenses for the College. If anyone can rise to this challenge, it's F&M's alumni, parents and friends. This is a group that has proven its tenacity just by being graduates of this incredibly high-quality institution. Every gift matters, no matter its size, because it combines with the gifts of others and because it contributes to our participation rate, which is a reflection of F&M's strength. The year ahead is filled with challenges and opportunities. The promise of the future for Franklin & Marshall College will continue to inspire alumni and parent engagement and support.”



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