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Saint Joseph’s Fund Donors Are Touching Many Lives

Each gift multiplies the power of collective giving

Gifts to The Saint Joseph’s Fund help today’s students while paving the way for the University’s future. “The annual fund is at the core of giving. It is the lifeblood of an institution because it supports the operating budgets, year in, year out,” said Saint Joseph’s Fund Executive Director Molly Robbins M.S. ’11. “It offers the best way to receive an exponential return on your gift, as it is combined with others’ gifts to shape students who go on to touch the lives of many in the workplace and community.”

While first-time donors often start with a modest gift, they know their gifts are put to immediate use, having a larger annual impact than an endowed gift of an even greater size. Ideally, they’ll renew their gift next year.

“Consistent givers to the annual fund understand that Saint Joseph’s is not asking because we have needs but rather because we meet needs,” said University Advancement Senior Associate Vice President Terry Travis. “Donors appreciate the fact that each gift helps one student, but its impact is exponential because that one student impacts many others.”

Why Participation Counts

At Saint Joseph’s, more than half of the undergraduate alumni population has made a gift to the University at some point. That means 21,670 alumni have demonstrated their satisfaction and belief in SJU through giving. If all the alumni who had given at some point in just the past five years would give annually, SJU’s rate of alumni giving would jump to nearly 30 percent. That boost would generate an immediate gain in the University’s resources and reputation.

The increase broadens the scope of what SJU can do for students on campus and results in more direct dollars for scholarship funds. Greater alumni participation positively impacts Saint Joseph’s ranking and ability to secure grant and scholarship dollars from corporations and foundations.

Perspective from a Champion of Consecutive Giving

“Many students are here because of the generosity of those who came before them,” Robbins said. “Once they graduate, participating in the Saint Joseph’s Fund becomes a way to give back as they maintain a relationship with the University throughout their lifetime.”

National Alumni Board President Dave Dorsey ’54 advocated for consecutive giving when he served as SJU’s Director of Alumni Relations from 1976-2001 and has given “almost consecutively” since graduating.

Dorsey’s soapbox speech still resonates. “First, remember that a capital campaign is like paying for a new car, but an annual fund is like putting gas in the car every week,” he said. “We need both to run the University. Second, Saint Joseph’s is not moving, but it’s still our duty to stay in touch with our alma mater when we move. And third, you don’t have to be a million dollar donor to be a loyal alumnus—just give.”

Dorsey remains a loyal contributor to The Saint Joseph’s Fund and a regular attendee of campus events. He established the Maryellen ’92 and David A. ’54 Dorsey Scholarship Fund to assist Saint Joseph’s students.

When Dorsey worked on campus, he introduced himself as “Dave Dorsey ’54” and asked students to introduce themselves in the same manner. “I was forever making the effort to instill in them that they were part of an alumni family,” he said, “and that they already had a bond with anyone who says, ‘I went to St. Joe’s.’”

– Valerie Asuncion