Setting the record straight on numbers in Chabotar report card

Weeks ago, The Guilfordian published a two-part article assessing Kent Chabotar’s tenure as president. Since then, there has been some concern about the accuracy of the information presented.

Mike Poston, vice president of advancement, and Ty Buckner, vice president of communications, wanted to set the record straight.

Issues contested by the administrators included the length of time of the capital campaign and percentages of graduate giving.

According to Buckner, the Advancing Excellence campaign began on Jan. 1, 2005, or approximately 8 years ago, rather than the at least 10 years that was previously reported.

“The College was not in a campaign in 2003 or 2004,” said Buckner.

The previous Our Time in History campaign ended Dec. 31, 2002 and raised $56.4 million, exceeding its goal of $50 million.

The alumni-giving percentage of 11 percent previously reported for 2011–12 was incorrect, according to Buckner.

“In fact, the percentage of giving by all Guilford alumni was 15.1 percent in that fiscal year,” said Buckner. “The traditional-student alumni giving rate was 17.1 percent, CCE was 9.8 percent and non-degreed alumni was 13.8 percent.”
Poston pointed to CCE student’s lack of contribution as a key factor of the overall percentage of alumni giving.

“Guilford has a large number of adult-student alumni compared to its peers, which tends to skew the comparison of this College with others,” said Poston in an email. “Historically, Guilford’s adult-student alumni have contributed at a lower rate than traditional-student alumni.”

Graduate giving not withstanding, the Office of Advancement informed The Guilfordian that cultivating a major gift prospect can take many months and sometimes years to result in an actual gift to the College.

The process of cultivating donors is long and costs the college money, though by industry standards the College is doing all right in the cost department.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education as well as the National Association of College and University Business Officers suggest that the costs of fundraising should not include the costs for alumni relations, public relations or any other constituent relations.

The cost-benefit ratio for the College has averaged $0.33 to raise $1.00 during the periods of 2002–12, with the highest ratio of $0.69 in fiscal year 2010–11 and the lowest period of $0.16 in FY 2006–07, suggesting the college has been fiscally prudent.