Annual Giving is an important source of philanthropic support for the University of Wyoming because it creates connections and offers flexible discretionary support.
First, let’s take a step back. What exactly is Annual Giving?
Annual Giving focuses on acquiring regular yearly contributions, thus creating a vital and dependable source of private support for Wyoming’s university.
It is the only UW fundraising program that reaches out to all alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends on a yearly basis to offer opportunities to fulfill their charitable goals and to provide direct support to their university. Contributors can designate their gifts to the college, department, or program of their choice.
Annual Giving comes through different channels. A donor may receive a postcard, letter, or newsletter in the mail; they may receive an email; or they may get a phone call from a current student who is within their major. A donor also may choose to give a gift through the UW Foundation secure server at www.uwyo.edu/giveonline.
Why is Annual Giving important?
“When asked to describe what annual giving does for the UW College of Health Sciences, I like to use a simile, ‘Annual Giving is like vitamins,’” says Joseph Steiner, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “Yes, we get our regular financial sustenance though other sources, such as the State and tuition, but the ‘vitamins’ keep us healthy. It allows us to do the extra things that a healthy body can do.”
In other words, although the State of Wyoming provides the base funding UW needs to operate a modern university, it’s the annual support of alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends that allows UW’s colleges, departments, and programs to excel—to go beyond good and strive for great.
This is because annual gifts are discretionary, among the most highly valued and strategically useful private investments. Unrestricted discretionary funds provide a steady stream of funding that enables the college to respond quickly to emerging opportunities, to pursue core initiatives, and to invest in programs where the need is greatest and the potential for success is highest. In a word, they provide flexibility.
“Annual giving allows the college to do those extra things that are so important to our students,” adds Dean Steiner. “We can provide aid to a student in financial straits, support international travel, fund leadership initiatives, fund a student’s research project and their presentation at a national meeting, and much more. It allows the college to provide the great student experience we expect at the University of Wyoming.”
Last fiscal year, UW’s enthusiastic annual donors contributed more than $5.48 million—funds that go to students and the faculty and programs that support them.
Kamille Brough at the AHEC Healthcare Summer Camp (UW Photo)