Success for the 2019-2020 Annual Fund Campaign

July 16, 2020

The 2019-2020 St. John Fisher College annual fund campaign came to a close on May 31, 2020, surpassing its goal by more than $60,000.

Cardinal mascot holding a sign that says Fisher Forward: The Campaign for St. John Fisher College.

“We could not be more grateful that our donors – alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and community members – stepped forward at such a crucial time to support the College and support our students,” said Chris Biehn, interim vice president for Institutional Advancement.

The annual campaign closed with donations totaling more than $830,000. Nearly half of the funds came from memberships to the Spire Society, the College’s leadership giving society which was established in 2017. The additional dollars were raised through the student phonathon; the annual faculty and staff campaign; and gifts made through mail and email solicitations.

Membership in the Spire Society is granted to those donors who give $1,000 or more each year to the College’s annual fund, committing to that minimum level of giving for three years. They can designate their support to the area of greatest need, one of ten central areas of the College, or any combination of these, setting an example of generosity for others to follow. Collectively, Spire Society members invest in and enhance the Fisher experience for students. “The number of Spire Society memberships greatly increased in this fiscal year,” noted Biehn. “Additionally, several of our founding members renewed for another three-year commitments. Many not only renewed their support, but increased their giving.”

The annual fund is critical to stability and growth at the College. These gifts directly support scholarships, student learning and leadership opportunities, research, new academic programs, investment in technology, and athletic programs. It gives the College the flexibility to address priorities, innovate, and most importantly, adjust to meet needs in a crisis.
“The annual fund will be a source of critical support for students now more than ever,” said Biehn. “As the full effects of the ongoing pandemic reach our students, gifts to the annual fund will make a difference in many students’ abilities to seek a Fisher education.”

While Spire Society gifts are highly impactful, smaller gifts are doing just as much work.

“The new alumnus who makes a donation of $50 in support of their alma mater is just as important to the success of the annual campaign as larger gifts,” said Biehn. “It is important to know that many out there are giving what they can, and care enough about the institution and where we are going to support us.”

The 2020-21 annual fund campaign will kick off in September, with the second annual Fisher Giving Day taking place on December 1, 2020.