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The IGNITE Challenge boosts young alumni giving

The Challenge has been one of Elon’s most successful fundraising efforts, bringing in 1,000 additional young alumni donors in three years.

Kerrii Anderson '79

The third and final Challenge ended March 31 with a record 1,422 young alums and 231 seniors making gifts to the university for a total of 1,653 donors. In 2010, the first year of the Challenge, 628 donors participated.

Elon alumna and Trustee Kerrii Anderson ’79 launched the Challenge in 2010, matching 5-to-1 all young alumni gifts of $20 or more made during March. The ability to maximize their support for Elon inspired many young alumni to begin giving back to their alma mater. Young alumni, defined as graduates of the past decade, represent more than 40 percent of Elon’s alumni body. Anderson led the Challenge to increase participation in annual giving among this important group.

Michael Bumbry ’07, president of Elon’s Young Alumni Council, thanked all graduates who made gifts during the Challenge. He encouraged young alums to support the university every year.

"Young alumni now have the opportunity to continue the spirit of giving by becoming a partner, advocate and investor in Elon through annual giving and through engagement with regional programs, reunions, affinity groups and Homecoming," Bumbry said. "Elon University is OUR university, and it is our responsibility and privilege to support an institution that has supported us for so many years. I hope and trust that the IGNITE Challenge is only the beginning of the impact that young alumni will have, and I look forward to doing my share."

During this year’s Challenge, a group of nine young alumni agreed to donate $25,000 if Elon reached the goal of 2,000 donors during March. Though the final donor tally was shy of the goal, all nine young alums decided to make their bonus gift to support their university and inspire other young alums to do the same. Elon thanks the following graduates for their generosity and leadership: John Marshall ’01, Alex ’04 and Elizabeth ’04 Brener, Andrew ’05 and Kristi ’05 Hollins, Patrick Elliott ’07, Dave Morrow ’07 L’10, Alston Team ’07 and Garrett Turner ’08.

Young alums who missed the Challenge can still support their favorite Elon program or experience by making a gift this fiscal year, which ends on May 31. Click on the link to the right to make your gift. Last year, 19 percent of alumni made gifts to the university. This year’s goal is 24 percent by May 31.

IGNITE Challenge results:

Total young alumni gifts: 1,422
Total senior gifts: 231
Total donors: 1,653
Total dollars: $492,316

Total young alumni gifts: 1,394
Total senior gifts: 135
Total donors: 1,529
Total dollars: $480,939

Total young alumni gifts: 628
Total dollars: $205,028

Jaleh Hagigh,
4/11/2012 9:16 AM