Penn State

Penn State aims to increase donations from younger alumni

According to a February report by GoFundMe, Pennsylvania students raised $1.9 million from 2014 to 2017 in crowdfunding for tuition and other college expenses.
According to a February report by GoFundMe, Pennsylvania students raised $1.9 million from 2014 to 2017 in crowdfunding for tuition and other college expenses. Centre Daily Times, file

Penn State wants to target a growing sector of its alumni population in its new fundraising campaign.

That’s the youngest sector.

According to O.Richard Bundy III, the vice president of development and alumni relations, Penn State’s 600,000 or so living graduates have one huge segment. Fifty percent of those alumni graduated within the past 20 years. Those are the ones they are hoping to engage as new donors.

The name of the campaign is “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence.” The goal is $1.6 billion.

The campaign is well under way, with about 16.7 percent of it completed. It started July 1 and runs through June 30, 2021. It has picked up about 20 percent of the its goal already, tallying $315.3 million.

But that number is another reason the university wants to engage younger givers.

Bundy said the university has to stay on goal to raise $320 million per year to make its goal, but that’s a figure it has hit only twice before during campaigns. To stay consistent, they need to increase the number of donors.

Penn State is doing that by embracing new technology. The campaign toolbox includes things such as crowdfunding, social media and peer-to-peer appeals.

“(Younger alumni) want very specific choices,” Bundy said.

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