Name a function of Smith College and it’s likely the Smith Fund supports it. The Smith Fund is an incalculably important resource of unrestricted alumnae giving that provides support across a spectrum of college services, including student scholarships, general daily operation, faculty research, housing and staffing.
“The Smith Fund provides critical budgetary support for everything Smith does,” notes Betsy Carpenter ‘93, director of annual support, who oversees the Smith Fund. “Smith is a better, stronger college because of alumnae support.”
As the fiscal year drew to a close in July, several Smith Fund highlights stood out. The fund brought in a total of $11.7 million for 2012-13, a significant increase over the previous year’s total, said Carpenter.
“The 2012-13 Smith Fund demonstrated once again the power of the Smith alumnae network,” she said. “Those funds, contributed by more than 14,800 alumnae, were immediately put to use, enabling students to take full advantage of the Smith experience.”
Contained within the fund’s overall success were several smaller successes, Carpenter said, including:
- the Jill Ker Conway Challenge, which exceeded its $1 million goal by raising $1.1 million from among 1,100 alumnae in the classes of 1976 through 1988 and the Ada Comstock Scholars class in support of international scholarships. By raising more than $1 million, the contest secured an additional $2 million gift from Joan Fletcher Lane ’49, who posed the initial challenge;
- the “Europe: Stand and Be Counted” Challenge, which helped increase participation from European alumnae, from 15 percent in 2011-12 to 26 percent in 2012-13;
- the 21st Century Scholars Program, which raised $112,000 in an effort by the classes of 2000 to 2013 to collectively raise funds in support of scholarship. The program names a student scholarship recipient for every $20,000 raised, and met its goal of naming five scholars in the first year, since launching in fall 2012, with contributions from more than 1,400 21st-century alumnae.
- reunion classes giving a total of $3.8 million, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year;
- an increase in revenue from volunteers of almost 75 percent;
- a five-fold increase in student participation in the Senior Campaign.