Calvin 2013 donations some of the highest in the state

The Calvin community has shown a significant increase in generosity compared to previous years, raising $23.1 million this year. This seems to be a trend. A survey by the Voluntary Support of Education found that donations to U.S. college campuses increased nine percent over the year.  MLive noted that giving was particularly high in the West Michigan area.

Amanda Greenhoe, Calvin’s coordinator of development, communications and marketing, says of the increased donations, “When financial challenges recently came to light, supporters rallied for a tremendous year of giving.”

Donations to the college are pooled in the Calvin Annual Fund and then distributed towards areas such as housing, student life, technology, athletics and faculty research. Sixty-two percent of the fund goes towards the housing and teaching of students, while another 22 percent aids students with financial difficulties.

The Calvin Energy Recovery Fund (CERF) is a relatively new program that Calvin donations also support. Proposed by students in 2009, CERF moves to improve energy efficiency both on and off campus and through a number of projects, such as replacing school lights with energy-saving fluorescent bulbs. Practically every aspect of life at Calvin benefits from charitable giving.

According to Greenhoe, major donors to the Calvin Annual Fund in 2013 include alumni, faculty, parents, foundations, businesses and the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Greenhoe said these donors “support nearly every corner of campus and beyond.” They are one of the main reasons that Calvin is able to offer 95 percent of its students aid of some form through scholarships, grants or loans.

Looking ahead to the rest of this year, Greenhoe is optimistic. “Fiscal year to date, gifts to Calvin College are tracking ahead of last year’s gifts,” she says. “We continue to be humbled by and grateful for the incredible generosity of Calvin supporters.”

College has always been a place of opportunity, but with such a significant amount of charitable donations, Calvin is able to grow in even more areas of service. Service ranges from funding the newest student club to developing the fifth best study abroad program in the nation, according to an Open Doors Report by the Institute of International Education.

While people often do not have the time to get involved in the many initiatives that Calvin has, their donations have a great impact. “Our community,” Greenhoe concludes, “is seeing the great things happening at Calvin, from academics of the highest caliber, to deep faith formation, to outstanding athletics — that’s the story our supporters can be a part of through their giving.”