Annual giving at URI sets record for second straight year

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KINGSTON, R.I. – August 2, 2006 – Two years – two records is a simple phrase that describes the success of annual giving at the University of Rhode Island.

The Fund for URI, formerly called the Annual Fund, raised $1.25 million for the 2005-2006 fiscal year, a 6 percent increase over last year’s record $1.18 million.

“We are extremely grateful to all of our donors who each year step forward to support our premier fund, which supports programs across the University,” said Sarah Howard, director of Annual Giving. “The name change seems appropriate following a year when we hit a new all-time high. The Fund for URI is a much more powerful name that better describes the fund’s impact throughout the University.”

The average gift rose to $135, a 13 percent boost over the previous total.

“The past year has been a demanding one in terms of philanthropy, especially because of relief efforts related to Hurricane Katrina and other disasters,” Howard said. “Still, URI alumni, parents of our students and friends continue to place the University at the top of their charitable giving priorities.”

In the past, Annual Giving has been comprised of the Alumni Fund, Parents Fund and the Graduate School Funds. The new Fund for URI will give donors the chance to target their gift for a specific college, or they can continue to provide flexible funding through unrestricted support.

Howard said the Parents Fund showed dramatic improvement over the previous year. The $50,527 raised was a 28 percent increase over the previous year. The number of donors was 844, a 29 percent increase.

“We promoted the parents fund more during the past year, including increased mailings, and it clearly provided our parents with the right kind of information at the right time,” Howard said.

Paul Witham, associate vice president of development at URI, said such great performance is a result of great URI supporters and an outstanding Annual Giving staff. “Our donors realize that consistent, annual giving is the key to any University fundraising, and our staff goes out if its way to make sure that donors are informed and made part of all of the great things going on a URI that need support,” he said.

For more information about the Annual Fund, please contact Sarah Howard at 401-874-2438 or visit online.