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Smith Fund Meets $11.3 Million Goal

With the help of a late fiscal year email campaign and a stepped up effort this year to accommodate alumnae giving, the Smith Fund met its $11.3 million goal. Perhaps more importantly, the number of donors to the fund increased by more than 400 to a total of 15,429.

For Karen Boehnke ’99, director of annual support and volunteer engagement in advancement, who began at Smith last September, her experience overseeing the Smith Fund campaign for the first time has shown her that Smith alumnae are committed to their alma mater. Also, she points out, many other parents, faculty and staff of the college support the Smith Fund through generous gifts.

“Our alumnae really do want to give,” Boehnke said. “Seventy-five percent say it’s important to give to Smith every year. And in many cases during this year’s Smith Fund campaign, we had alumnae thanking us for the opportunity.”

The increase in giving from last year might have something to do with a more assertive approach, said Boehnke. “We did a few things a little differently this year,” she said. For one thing, her office distributed personalized email messages to potential donors in June, a measure that resulted in several hundred gifts just before the end of the fiscal year on July 1, 2007.

Typically, the final push for the Smith Fund campaign centers around the college reunion weekends in May, explained Boehnke. This year, partly due to feedback from alumnae, her office extended the assertive part of the fund-raising effort.

The Smith Fund raises unrestricted support for a range of college functions and initiatives. One reason it is so valuable is that it is used to cover operational costs and to provide a substantial portion of financial aid for students. Also, as this year’s fund begins anew, it will be used to support the Smith Strategic Design for Learning initiative, especially the foundational commitments of the plan.

And for the first time this year, the Smith Fund will help finance the renovations of several campus houses in 2007-08, says Boehnke.

“The Smith Fund is important to the everyday operation of the college,” she emphasizes. “It means that resources won’t have to come from somewhere else to meet the college’s mission.”

7/24/07   By Eric Sean Weld
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