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The Carletonian

College fundraising initiative raises $250 million

<lass="p1">A large Carleton campaign initiative has raised over $250 million of its $400 working goal.


The initiative began in July 2015. Associate Vice President for Development Dan Rustad said it “is the result of the strategic planning process that took place shortly after President Poskanzer came on board.”


Vice President for External Relations Tommy Bonner said that the strategic plan “was pretty broad based on campus” and “had faculty, students, staff, alumni [and] trustees coming together to think about Carleton for the next 10 years.”


The campaign is focused on four priorities: financial aid, facilities, endowment and life and career.


Bonner said that fundraising has been “done around the priorities of the college” and that the school has already “put [fundraised] dollars to work.” Assistant Vice President for External Relations Becky Zrimsek said, “We’ve been in a leadership phase of the campaign, so we’re talking to a smaller number of people [and] really focusing on building the early pool of dollars to help make these big projects happen.”


Bonner said the initiative is “doing capital projects first. The sooner we can get [these projects] done, the less they’re going to cost overall, the sooner they’re making an impact for students.” Capital projects funded by the initiative include the Music & Performance Commons added to the Weitz Center in 2017 and the Integrated Science Facility under construction now.


With capital projects underway, Bonner said “right now we’re really more focused on endowment, the single largest component 

of which is financial aid. We’re really focused on three areas: high need, middle income families and then international” students. Rustad said these groups are of “primary endowment focus.” The campaign also aims to provide greater “general unrestricted financial aid.”


Zrimsek said that financial aid “resonates across our audience really strongly. People care about access and making a Carleton education affordable for everyone.”


The life and career component of the initiative is “focusing on the career center, things focusing on the center for community and civic engagement, student research, student faculty research opportunities,” said Rustad. These funds will also provide financial support for internships and externships.


Bonner said that alumni have gifted the majority of campaign funds, along with “parents and former parents who have been generous, and then also some foundations.” Rustad said the $400 million goal is “something that’s a match between the real needs that exist that we’re trying to raise funds for and also what we feel the Carleton constituency can do. We want to be able to meet these goals because there are real projects behind them.”


Zrimsek said, “We feel that every Carl can make a difference in this campaign, whether it’s to the annual fund or through one of the other identified priorities and we want to be very inclusive in how we’re thinking about it.”


“We really want [fundraising] to be a broad based effort,” Rustad said.


Zrimsek attributes the success of the campaign to “a lot of careful planning. I think that has gotten us to this stage and a lot of work by the development officers and volunteers who are out on the road talking to people about their hopes and dreams for Carleton and how to make Carleton a better place into the future.”


The campaign initiative will be publicly launched in October 2018.

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