Alumni Participation Challenge Fuels Athletics Record Fundraising

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By: Pat McBride

HANOVER, N.H. – The fourth annual Varsity Alumni Participation Challenge closed on June 30 with multiple tight races, including a first-ever tie, fueling a record fundraising year for Dartmouth Athletics’ annual giving programs. 

During the month of June, Dartmouth Athletics received 1,931 gifts totaling $1,329,430, propelling the 2018-19 fiscal year to an all-time high of more than $6.6 million across all Friends groups, Dartmouth Athletic Sponsors and the Athletic Director’s Fund for Excellence.

This year’s Alumni Challenge awarded points for participation percentage and for each individual donation, with additional credit for increased gifts, young alumni donors, and recurring gifts. The winners among four newly-named divisions were as follows:

Granite Division – Football
Lone Pine Division – Hockey
Green Division – Sailing
Bonfire Division – Golf and Volleyball

Volleyball has been victorious in all four years of the challenge, while football and sailing are also repeat winners.  Golf and hockey were first-time winners, with hockey narrowly edging soccer and skiing.  Each winning program will receive an additional $5,000 (split between golf and volleyball in the Bonfire Division) for their programs.

Highlights from the year include:

  • 15 of 31 Friends groups had record-setting fundraising totals supporting individual varsity and club sports;
  • Four sports more than doubled their totals from a year ago;
  • Dartmouth Athletic Sponsors raised a record $527,130 to support recruiting efforts, the second consecutive year surpassing the $500,000 mark;
  • On the heels of its national championship in November, the Friends of Women’s Rugby eclipsed $100,000 for the first time ever;
  • 10,534 gifts were made by 7,494 individuals;
  • 2,972 donors increased their giving, with the average Friends gift jumping from $660 to $758;
  • Nearly 500 donors made their first-ever gift; and
  • More than 200 donors committed to recurring gifts paid monthly, quarterly or annually, providing teams with consistent and sustainable resources.

“We are deeply grateful for the extraordinary generosity of nearly 7,500 donors this past year,” said Director of Athletics and Recreation Harry Sheehy.  “These alumni, parents and other supporters play a crucial role in creating an exceptional student-athlete experience at Dartmouth.”

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