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Princeton Annual Giving campaign raises $81.8M, breaks fundraising records

<h6>&nbsp;Abby de Riel / The Daily Princetonian</h6>
 Abby de Riel / The Daily Princetonian

The University’s 2021–2022 Annual Giving campaign raised $81.8 million from over 37,000 donors, setting a new record. The University continues to have the highest percentage of undergraduate participation in higher education.

While alumni giving has steadily increased over the past decade, the percentage of undergraduate alumni giving has decreased over the same period, according to Princeton Alumni Weekly (PAW) archives.

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The University’s Annual Giving campaign raised $68.6 million in 2020–21. Despite the increase, the percentage of alumni participation decreased from 49.6 percent of undergraduate alumni participating in 2021–2022 to 47.4 percent in 2021–2022. 

The Class of 1997 raised the largest amount — $10,851,997, its highest total ever —  in celebration of its 25th Reunion; this is the fourth-highest total for a 25th Reunion class in University history.

“Last year, Princeton alumni came together yet again to continue our great university tradition of supporting current students through Annual Giving,” wrote Chris Olofson ’92, Volunteer Chair of Princeton’s Annual Giving Committee, in an email to the ‘Prince.’

“The exceptional results reflect the deep commitment our alumni donors and volunteers have to Princeton’s students and to the university’s mission of excellence in teaching and research,” wrote Olofson.

Deputy University Spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss said that the decrease in percent of alumni participating in the campaign is a function of a growing student body. 

“Participation is expressed as a percentage, with the total number of undergraduate alumni in all classes as the denominator,” said Hotchkiss. “As the student body expands and by including the newest alumni class each year, this denominator gets larger.”

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While alumni may choose to give to certain programs at the University, the Alumni Giving funds are unrestricted and flexible, meaning the University is allowed to use them at its own discretion for the “greatest impact” by administrators’ determination.

“The impact of Annual Giving is in every student’s experience — every academic discipline, research lab, and classroom — because unrestricted gifts to Annual Giving go directly into the University’s operating budget,” Hotchkiss said. 

These unrestricted funds support research at the University, as well as the University’s financial aid program.

On Sept. 8, the University announced that it would cover the cost of attendance for families making up to $100,000 annually. President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 specifically thanked alumni donors in the announcement of the expansion of financial aid.

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Kalena Blake is an associate News editor at the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at kalenab@princeton.edu. 

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