NORTHFIELD, Vt. — Norwich University has received a 2020 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Educational Fundraising Award for the five-year, $100 million bicentennial campaign “Forging the Future.”

The nonprofit council, which has U.S. headquarters in Washington, D.C., on June 18 awarded the university an Overall Performance Award in the Private Comprehensive Institutions with Endowments Over $80 Million category. The council, which also has offices in London, Singapore and Mexico City, said this is the first time Norwich has been so honored.

The campaign was launched at Homecoming in 2014 and timed to end with the university’s bicentennial, which was celebrated throughout 2019 with special events on campus, in Vermont and across the country with alumni clubs. The original goal of the campaign of $100 million was exceeded a year early, so in January 2019 trustees raised the goal to $110 million. The campaign far exceeded the goal, raising $121,239,000.

According to CASE: Winners are not selected based solely on total funds raised. A committee of experienced fundraisers reviews hundreds of pages of data from the survey, considering factors and variables including:
• Patterns of growth in total support  
• Evaluation of what contributed to the total support figure 
• Overall breadth of fundraising 
• Patterns of growth in gifts from sources including alumni, other individuals, corporations, and foundations  
• Impact of the 12 largest gifts on total support 
• Giving to areas such as current operations, endowment, and property/buildings 
• Amount raised per student 
• Amount raised relative to expenditures 
• Alumni participation 

Approximately 8,422 donors contributed to the “Forging the Future” bicentennial campaign, which was dedicated solely to enhancing the academic program. Just under 6,000 of those gifts came from alumni. In fiscal year 2019, 42 percent of employees made a gift to Norwich.

“Successful fundraising happens when everyone participates, from the staff and faculty to the institution’s leadership,” council President and CEO Sue Cunningham said in an online statement. “This inspiring philanthropic engagement is guided by dedicated and professional development staff, and supported by generous volunteers. Collectively, we are advancing education — key to addressing the many serious challenges our world faces today.” 

Some of the project goals, including scholarships and planned gifts exceeded expectations.

The $121 million went to:

  • $54 million in academics and technology, including $24 million for the new Mack Hall and renovations to Dewey, Webb and Ainsworth Halls. With the completion of this work, all academic buildings on campus are either new or have been renovated during President Schneider’s tenure as president.
  • $8 million invested in campus, including $6 million in renovations to Kreitzberg Library and $2 million for the Bicentennial Stairs and the refurbishment of the Upper Parade ground.
  • $21M for support of current operations.
  • $19 million for scholarships.
  • $19 million in planned gifts.

“In receiving a CASE Educational Fundraising Award, you are not only demonstrating the highest levels of professionalism and best practice in fundraising, you and your colleagues also are contributing to the betterment of educational advancement worldwide by serving as a model to which others can aspire,” Paul Heaton, the council’s senior director of member engagement said in a congratulatory message to Norwich Vice President of Development David Whaley.

Whaley said he was pleased to learn that Norwich won and he was especially gratified because the award was based on statistics, not applications.

“This is a testament to the team. It’s a testament to President Emeritus Richard Schneider and it’s a testament to the people, including alumni and parents, who formed that support, who believed in what we’re doing and would be so generous to help us with what we thought we needed,” Whaley said. “You can set up the best possible plans and have the best programs in place, but you don’t have anything if no one responds to the message.”

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About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Capt. Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

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