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How do you follow up a record-breaking year? How about by setting the bar 10-percent higher?
That's the goal at the heart of the Leavey Challenge.
Last year, Santa Clara University set a new record with 8,145 undergraduate alumni donations. This raised the alumni participation rate to 21.42 percent-tops in the West Coast Conference. Alumni participation is an important statistic that is used by both media and foundations to gauge overall alumni satisfaction, which in turn plays a role in rankings and foundation support for universities.
The Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation is a longtime supporter of SCU, and saw an opportunity to help build on recent momentum with the Leavey Challenge.
The $1 million Leavey Challenge asks 9,000 undergraduate alumni to make a gift to SCU. Unlike a dollar-for-dollar pledge that matches the amount an alum gives, a participation challenge is an all-or-nothing gift that activates upon reaching a number of donations-regardless of the size or designation of each individual donation.
Not only would 9,000 alumni gifts set another record, it would also up SCU's participation rate to 23 percent, the University's highest rate in a decade.