The Fort Lewis College Foundation raised more than $3.3 million in fiscal year 2018, about $600,000 more than the previous year.
The donations are dedicated to scholarships and projects across the college, rather than one big endeavor, said Mark Jastorff, vice president for advancement.
“Every corner of campus has been helped through the year’s fundraising,” he said.
For example, Community Concert Hall is getting a new sound system, the School of Business Administration will receive six new televisions to monitor the stock market and the purchase of a river rafting company will allow faculty and staff to take academic and recreational trips.
The foundation has also created 14 new scholarships worth more than $667,000 in endowments and scholarships, and provided $100,000 for faculty grants and undergraduate research.
In addition to outstripping fundraising in 2017, the college also exceeded its $3.2 million fundraising goal.
The increase in giving can be attributed, in part, to greater outreach by the college, Jastorff said.
“We are seeing the fruits of the investment we made a couple of years ago,” he said.
In the last few years, the college has hired more foundation staff, brought back the alumni magazine and held more events for alumni locally and outside the area.
Reaching out to alumni on the Front Range, in particular, helped attract new donors. This fiscal year, the college had 2,224 donors, which included 804 new donors, he said.
Locals are also understanding that investing in the college is important as it continues to set itself apart from the competition in the face of declining enrollment, he said.
He described the successful fundraising year as good momentum ahead of welcoming the college’s new president, Tom Stritikus, who takes over Wednesday. He will replace Dene Thomas, who is retiring.
“The foundation and our benefactors and the college are feeling good and understand the challenges before us,” Jastorff said.
In the coming years, the foundation will be responsible for raising more than $8 million for the new Health Sciences and Athletics Complex. The total cost of the project will be about $57.5 million.
The college will need to raise between $2.1 and $2.4 million for the academic wing, which is the first phase of construction. The expanded athletic spaces, classrooms and offices will be built in the second phase, and they will require $5 million to $5.5 million in donations.
Jastorff said he believes there will be strong support from the business community for the complex because it will help meet workforce needs in the health industry.
“The facility itself really should be considered as a tool just like a book or a computer,” he said.