Dear Willamette Community,
I admit I’m very excited to be sharing this news. We’ve had a record year for fundraising at Willamette — securing $27.1 million in new gifts and commitments — the highest amount in a single year in Willamette's history. This brings us to $135 million in our campaign — within spitting distance of our $150M goal. It gives me confidence that this final year of our campaign will see great success.
When we started this campaign, we wanted to focus on excellence, access, and growth. We needed to share the vision for Willamette and stake our claim as a leading institution in the Pacific Northwest. We wanted to engage more of our community as volunteers, donors, and advocates. We also wanted to double the annual fund, secure significantly more deferred gifts, raise current use funds for new programs and student initiatives, and build our endowment, particularly for scholarships.
With a year still to go, 10,851 individuals have stepped forward to give during this campaign, including 30 gifts over $1 million given or pledged. We now benefit from the involvement of nearly 1,000 volunteers each year, and post-Covid, our events, both in person and virtual, are drawing people from all of our five schools and from around the world. Our annual fund has grown from $1.4 million in 2016 to $2.6 million today.
To date, donors have given 73 additional scholarships across the university, meaning that 178 additional students will benefit from endowed scholarships as a result of this campaign. We’ve also had 1,243 individuals let us know about their planned gifts (estate bequests, trusts, and annuities) which will benefit Willamette in the future. These commitments will have a powerful long-term impact on the University’s endowment in the future.
Our hope is that this work lifts our students and the University up — that it supports the wonderful work all of you do every day. Thank you for making Willamette a place that inspires our donors. Thank you for your partnership in creating an environment ripe for philanthropy — and for always saying yes to our requests when we ask you to help us tell the Willamette story. We know that people give generously because they receive so much from being part of our Willamette family, and that starts with you.
Vice President for Advancement