Texas Tech University

Rawls College Experiences Third-Best Fundraising Year on Record

Staci Semrad

Rawls College building

Fundraising success supports initiatives throughout the college.

The recent fiscal year proved to be the third-best year ever for fundraising at the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business, thanks to the philanthropic giving of alumni and friends, the support of private foundations and corporate sponsors, and the success of college fundraising events.

In fiscal 2019, which ended Aug. 31, 2019, the college raised a total of $13.8 million through:
• cash donations from alumni, corporate sponsors and other friends of the college
• pledged contributions
• planned gifts from people who included Rawls College in their wills or made Rawls College the beneficiary of retirement accounts
• and regional fundraising events.

"Philanthropic support is essential for us to offer premier academic programs, provide student scholarships, and hire and retain outstanding staff and faculty," said Margaret L. Williams, dean of the college. "Even with funding from our state legislature, we need these additional funds to keep pace with student and employer expectations and help support those students who could not otherwise afford a degree. We continue to be grateful for every gift received no matter its size."

The amount raised for Rawls College in fiscal 2019 reflects an increase of $9.4 million over the previous fiscal year, said Ryan Todd, senior director of development for Rawls College.

"I attribute much of that to Dean Williams' leadership, our ability to align our academic programs with industry needs, our development and engagement teams' growth. And course, none of that would be possible without the generosity of our many alumni, friends, foundations and corporate sponsors," he said.

This year's success was led by support from the banking industry, which resulted in the college's first endowed academic program, the Excellence in Banking Program. It was also boosted by a gift from the Scovell family to permanently endow the Scovell Business Leadership Program. Additionally, eight new scholarship endowments were established, each of which required a $25,000 minimum contribution; and one foundation made a non-endowed $100,000 gift for scholarships to recruit students for the new Master of Science in Marketing Research and Analytics Program.

Not only was the size of some gifts in fiscal 2019 remarkable, but so was the sheer number of gifts of all sizes — 1,947 gifts, which was a 7.8% increase over the previous year, Todd said.

"Every gift size matters," he said. "A thousand $100 gifts add up and make a huge difference for our students."

Emphasis also has been placed on continuing to nurture the college's relationships with alumni and to involve them in events that raise money for scholarships and provide valuable opportunities for business and social networking.

"It's important to engage Rawls alumni with each other and the college to build on our sense of community," said Julie Doss, senior director of engagement and external relations.

For example, the Sixth Annual Rawls Roundup, held at Whiskey Ranch in Fort Worth in April, marked the most financially successful to date for raising scholarship funds. And hundreds of Rawls alumni attended the 35th Annual Dallas Scholarship Event in May to network with fellow alumni and help raise money for scholarships. Through ticket sales, sponsorships, and live and silent auctions, the two events together raised about $250,000, Doss said.

"Everything we do at Rawls College is to make our students more successful and prepared when they go to work, from career services and diversity and inclusion events, to hiring the best faculty possible and aligning our academic offerings with industry needs," Todd said. "And philanthropy drives all of that."

The development and external relations teams are already in full swing working 2020 initiatives. If interested in supporting the college through philanthropy, please contact Ryan Todd at ryan.todd@ttu.edu or (806) 834-1959.