Annual Giving

2015-2016 Annual Giving Report

To: Class of ’72

From: Tom Hoster ‘72

cc: Bill Hardt ‘63, Traslyn Butler

Date: July, 2016

Re: Annual Giving Results 2015-2016

I am pleased to report to the Class that the Class of ’72 has completed another outstanding year in Annual Giving. For the Annual Giving year 2015-16 – our 44th Reunion year – the class gave $283,895 while achieving a participation rate of 65.3%, with 538 out of 824 classmates participating.

Dollars. At almost $284,000, our dollar total was in line with recent years. The total includes a $10,000 bonus we received for exceeding our participation results from the previous year.

Participation. Our participation rate of 65.3% marks the eighteenth year in a row that the Class of ’72 has been above the magic 60% level, a feat that no other class in our decade has come close to achieving. Our participation results were our second best off-year results ever.

Our participation was more than 15 percentage points above the average for the other nine classes in the decade of the seventies, including two major-reunion classes. Our participation rate was 65.3%; the average for the other nine classes in our decade was 49.8%

The graph below says it all.

Overall Campaign Results. Annual Giving struggled a bit this past year. At 58.4%, participation fell below 60% for the first time in six years, and the $59.3 million raised fell a bit short of an ambitious goal. While both statistics make Princeton the envy of universities worldwide, the challenges of the past year make our Class performance just that much more impressive.

Class of ’72 Efforts. This was my 24rd year as Class Agent. It was another challenging year, but made easier by fifteen classmates who made calls and/or organized phonathons: Ron Brown, Daryl English, Marty Franks, Doug Harrison, Barbara Julius, Chris Loomis, Rod McNealy, Merc Morris, Robby Robinson, Mike Schneider, Rob Smart, Ed Strauss, Sandy Stuart, Tony Tichenor, and Bob Wright.

What is remarkable about that list – beyond the fact that they took 251 names off of Tiger Tracks and chased those classmates down – is that these individuals already perform huge service to the class: as Class President, Class Historian, Class Associates Leader, Class Secretary, Class Treasurer, Class Scholarship Chair, and so on. I think that that fact makes their Annual Giving work just that much more remarkable.

I did something new this year. In the interest of engaging more fully with classmates, I asked the Annual Giving office to print up notecards with a photograph on it of the Class of ’72 Ivy plaque on the back of Nassau Hall. They did, and I hand-wrote 537 thank-you notes to our classmates who gave this past year. It was a real labor, but perhaps it will encourage classmates to give next year and subsequent years when we ask them to.

Beating 65% participation, especially in an off-year, is gratifying. Outstanding participation in Annual Giving can be very hard to sustain – it seems that with every passing year, more classmates grow distant from the University and the Class. Retrieving those classmates and bringing them back into the Annual Giving fold can be a real challenge. And let’s just say that the Admissions Office has not been our friend. But we benefit from a Class leadership that believes that our Annual Giving results are a unifying theme that brings the Class together.

In the Annual Giving office at Princeton, Traslyn Butler supplied us with everything we needed to be as productive as possible. Since I started my class agent work 29 years ago, I have seen the Annual Giving office transition from mail to fax to the Internet – from printouts to downloads. The AG Office continues to evolve with the times. In particular, the "Tiger Tracks” volunteer database has taken much of the friction out of the volunteer process, allowing volunteers to focus on their solicitation efforts.

The Class of ‘72 continues to be in an excellent position to extend our string of successful Annual Giving results as we continue into our fifth decade as alumni.



Kudos for Tom (link>>>)

Archived Annual Giving Report