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Alumni Relations
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Annual Giving

Annual Giving

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Annual Fund?

The Annual Fund a critical source of discretionary revenue for Hamilton College. Gifts made through the fund directly support three areas of priority: scholarship aid, career center intitiatives and the Oral and Written Communications centers. In 2013-14, more than 11,000 alumni, parents, and friends of Hamilton raised over $6.8 million.

Why does the College with a large endowment need more money?

The College spends approximately 5% of endowment income for current needs which covers approximately 22% of Hamilton's operating costs. Income from tuition and room and board does not entirely cover the remaining costs to operate the College. The financial support of Hamilton's alumni, parents and friends are essential to make up the shortfall. Hamilton has an obligation to preserve its future and honor its 200+ year past by maintaining and growing its endowment.

How is the Annual Fund used?

All contributions to the Annual Fund are applied directly to three priorities touching every student on the Hill:

  • First, Financial Aid. Your contribution helps hard-working, motivated students join the Hamilton family regardless of their ability to afford a world-class liberal arts education.
  • Second, Career and Life Outcomes. Your gift will help students gain real-world experience through paid internships, summer research opportunities, community service and campus employment.
  • Third, Communication Skills and Leadership. Your support bolsters the College’s Writing and Oral Communications Centers, and helps provide thousands of student contact hours related to writing- and speaking-intensive courses.

How many alumni give to Hamilton College? How does this compare to the giving rates at peer institutions?

During the 2013 - 2014 fund year, nearly 9,000 alumni made annual gifts to the College. This resulted in a 49.5% participation rate. The participation rate of a college's alumni is often used to indicate alumni satisfaction. Below are 2012 - 2013 comparative annual fund raising figures. You can see for yourself how Hamilton stacked up.

Alumni Participation Annual Fund Dollars Total Alumni
Amherst 55.0% $10.4 million 21,550
Bowdoin 59.0% $10.6 million 20,837
Colby 48.0% $6.7 million 24,657
Hamilton 48.0% $6.6 million 18,092
Trinity 29.0% $8.7 million 25,240


What are matching gifts and will my employer match my gift?

Matching gifts are dollars matched by employers in response to charitable contributions made by employees. Retirees, as well as spouses and domestic partners of employees often are also eligible for corporate matching gifts. To find out if your employer is a matching gift company, please contact your personnel or human resources office. To have your gift matched, complete a matching gift form and return it, along with your contribution, to the Office of Annual Giving. Matching gifts can help you qualify for giving clubs recognition.

If you are not sure if your company will match your gift, access the CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) Matching Gifts Online Search to find out.