By Laura Croft | firstname.lastname@example.org
The St. Augustine Amphitheater hosted a special ice-skating holiday event for the students, faculty, staff and friends of Flagler College.
One dollar of each skate rental went to benefit the Flagler College Annual Fund.
Jeffrey Davitt, Director of the Annual Fund, explained it as a general fund that the college has to help offset the costs tuition, room and board don’t cover.
Davitt expected between 500 and 1,000 people to attend Flagler On Ice. However roughly 80 students and 10 alumni came. The event raised about $300.
Only approximately 80 percent of the college’s expenses are covered by revenue from students.
Fund-raising for the annual fund makes up the 20 percent difference.
It’s often referred to as a “greatest needs” fund and supports the college where it needs money the most.
The money raised for the annual fund goes toward scholarships, helps offset tuition costs, and maintenance of the campus.
An “endowed” scholarship occurs when the college invests donated money. Interest earned from the donation investments become scholarship award money.
When there are problems in the economy, like right now, and earnings are low, the college helps compensate the awards with money from the annual fund.
Without the annual fund, the college couldn’t continue to award the same money as in year’s prior.
Flagler has invested over $30 million since 1968 for maintenance and renovation of its historic properties. Many repairs wouldn’t be possible without the annual fund. Faithful and loyal alumni are the source of most donations.
An example of one of these faithful and loyal alumni is Ryan Dettra, general manger of the amphitheater.
Davitt e-mailed him with the idea for this event and Dettra was more than happy to lend a hand to his alma mater. He saw it as a great opportunity for the college and the amphitheater.
He advertised around campus with posters and e-mails, as well as listing advertisements in the St. Augustine Record.
According to an economic impact study by EconImpact LLC of Louisville, Kentucky, Flagler College contributed $30 million to the St. Augustine community in 2006.
One of every $20 spent in the city was a result of the college’s presence.
The event was another way to bring the college and the community together.
The goal to raise for Flagler On Ice was over $1,000. For this year, Davitt hopes to raise $500,000 for the annual fund. Events like this help get closer to reaching that goal.
The fund is dependant on the philanthropy of alumni, parents and friends to support their mission.
Last year was the highest percentage in the history of alumni giving with 25 percent.