On giving to Williams (archive here).

Recessions understandably affect giving. Not all the giving shown here is spent on current operations; some goes to endowment and to building projects. The numbers for recent years were affected positively by The Williams Campaign, which ended Dec. 31, 2008. Despite the continued commitment and generosity of our alumni, parents, and friends, it’s likely to be a few years before we experience those levels of giving again.

I don’t really understand these donation totals, averaging about $50 million per year from 2006 — 2008. Can someone explain?

1) The College claims that the Williams Campaign raised $500 million from 2003 to 2008. Great. But then how come these donations don’t add up to anywhere near that?

2) In discussing revenues, Provost Lenhart reports that 5% of the $205 million in revenue for 2009-2010 was from “Annual Giving.” But that would only be a little over $10 million. This chart has “Total Giving” at $35 million, which I guess is not the same as “Annual Giving”

3) Most likely, we just need a more careful breakdown of donations into different categories. My guesses (clarifications welcome):

a) The $10 million in “Annual Giving” from the Revenues chart is from the annual Alumni and Parent fund drives. The College takes this money and spends it directly on operations.

b) The $35 million in “Total Giving” from the Giving chart includes the Annual Giving and some special categories that recur every year. The big items would be the class gifts for the 25th and 50th reunion classes. (Some info here.) This might also include Planned Giving and/or donations from corporations. Much of this money, especially the 25th and 50th reunion gifts, goes to specific uses, not just general operations.

c) The $100 million per year that the Williams Campaign raised over the five years from 2003 through 2008 includes a) and b). It then adds in the Leadership gifts that fund major items.

4) Keep the following table in mind when trying to understand donations at Williams.

Just 89 donors (out of over 25,000 alumni) are responsible for 60% of the money raised. Just 561 account for over 85%. Want the people in Hopkins Hall to take your opinions very seriously? Get on those lists.

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