On April 26 and 27, the College’s Advancement Division will host its annual two-day giving challenge. This year’s challenge, titled Kenyon FUNDAY, will support the Advancement Division’s Kenyon Fund, which helps fund campus initiatives aimed at improving student life. Donations made to the Kenyon Fund support financial aid, pay faculty salaries, maintain the campus and fund varsity, club and intramural sports and other fitness offerings.
Each year, Kenyon has approximately $6 million in expenses that are not covered solely by tuition and endowment income. To resolve this, the Office of Annual Giving coordinates donations and campaigns to bridge this $6 million annual gap. “We have lots of folks who understand that it takes additional support since tuition doesn’t cover the full cost of the college experience for everyone,” Director of Annual Giving Molly Gutridge ’99 said. According to Gutridge, Kenyon’s giving challenges often raise about $800,000 in total, helping significantly in achieving the College’s annual fundraising goals.
Donors can choose to make individual contributions, set aside money to match other donations or challenge others to donate. Individual contributions can be made on a one-time or recurring basis, while matches and challenges are one-time. Contributions made through matches or challenges can be directed to specific causes, specific types of donors (such as alumni, faculty or students) or specific people designated by the contributor. All donors can choose which causes their donation will support. Within the Kenyon Fund, there are a variety of causes donors can choose to give to, such as Academic Support, Scholarships and Financial Aid, Green Kenyon, Mental Health Kenyon and more.
To promote donations, the Advancement Division has allocated $300,000 to be used to match donations in varying ratios depending on the donor’s graduation year and the causes the donation supports. For example, gifts made by members of the Class of 2023 to Student Success Funds will be matched with $50 from the Advancement Division. Of the $300,000, $30,000 will be used to match gifts made by alumni from the Classes of 2013 through 2022 at a ratio of 3-to-1. Additionally, $35,000 will be used to match gifts made to the Kenyon Access Initiative at a 1-1 ratio, while $50,000 will be used to match gifts made to the Kenyon Women’s Annual Scholarship at a ratio of 2-to-1. Gutridge noted that there are various other matching programs for some specific alumni class years, such as 1980, 1999 and 2013.
Gutridge emphasized the importance of widespread giving. “We are trying to encourage gifts of all sizes from as many donors as possible, really to just show the support of our entire community,” she said.
Acting President Jeff Bowman reiterated this sentiment. “For nearly 200 years, Kenyon has relied on the generosity of alumni and others who love Kenyon to enhance the experience for students,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian. “A giving challenge is a way to highlight the vital role philanthropy plays in maintaining Kenyon’s excellence. Many faculty, staff and students also choose to share in this generosity. I plan to make a gift and thank others who plan to do so as well.”
News Editor Hannah Dourgarian contributed to reporting.
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