STEP UP Participation Challenge
Hey, Smithie! Yeah, you! Are you ready to STEP UP so that your class gets $150,000 towards its own scholarship fund? Are you ready to STEP UP so that the college can increase its participation rate and overall ranking and unlock $1.5 million for scholarships?
The STEP UP Milestone Participation Challenge is just for classes in the 25th and 35th Reunion cycles (1998–2002 and 1988–1992). See, you knew you were a big deal and we think so, too. Classes that increase their overall giving participation by at least 15% from July 2022 through June 2023 will each receive $150,000 to establish an unrestricted class endowed scholarship fund (or add to an existing one).
Yes, you heard us right! Gifts of any size to any designation will count towards your milestone class getting $150,000 to establish a class endowed scholarship (or add to an existing one) if your participation rate increases by 15% during Smith’s fiscal year.
Here’s How it Works
The class of 1998 had an average participation rate over the last three years of 19.3%. In order to increase the participation rate by 15% and unlock the $150,000 bonus, 1998 needs 199 members to give a gift of any size this year.
When you break it down like that it doesn’t seem so hard, right? So, will you be one of the people your class and the college need to step up and meet the challenge this year? If all ten milestone classes reach their participation goal, Smith will add $1.5 million dollars to our endowed scholarship funds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions? We get it. It’s a lot of info!
Which classes are eligible for the match?
Classes in their 25th and 35th Milestone Reunion cycles are eligible. This means 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.
Which gifts count towards our class performance?
Gifts of any size to any designation count. This challenge is about increasing participation! For example, a gift of $25 to The Smith Fund counts as much as a $250,000 gift to establish an individual endowed scholarship. Every gift counts; every gift represents a classmate who is committed to supporting Smith and Smith students.
If all 10 Milestone Reunion classes increase their donor participation rate by 15%, Smith will see our overall donor count increase by approximately 900 contributors, which equates to 2 percentage points. Every point counts in our college rankings!
How is it possible that our class will just get $150,000 in a scholarship fund?
Put quite simply, Smithies are generous people who want to support current students and inspire others to join them in giving. The $150,000 available to each of the ten milestone classes in this cycle is made possible by anonymous alum donors as part of Smith’s Here for Every Voice initiative. The Smith community is committed to dismantling the financial barriers that can deter even the most promising students from college. Your participation now will have a major impact in the future; endowed scholarships support students in perpetuity.
Can I make a gift to support my Class Endowed Fund?
Yes, if your class has an existing Class Endowed Fund you can choose to give to it or even split your gift between that and one or more other designations. You choose when you click on the designation drop down list on the giving form. If your class does not already have an existing Class Endowed Fund you can make a gift to your Class Challenge Fund through the designation drop down list. Gifts to the individual Class Challenge Funds will only transfer over to the endowed fund if the class meets their participation challenge goal. If a class does not meet the participation goal, all gifts to that challenge fund will count as expendable annual support of scholarship through The Smith Fund.
Who do I contact with questions?
Dawn Hines, Assistant Director for 25th & 35th Milestone Reunions
firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-585-2028