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reed magazine logoSpring 2008

Designating Financial Aid Dollars to the Annual Fund

Reed offered aid to 50 percent of its students this year, awarding $16.7 million in funding from institutional coffers. With an average Reed grant totaling $25,960 (not including work-study wages or federal student loans), the college has a strong incentive for making financial aid one of its highest fundraising priorities. In an effort to increase the college’s ability to support talented students with scholarship support, Reed implemented a new option for donors this year: the ability to direct Annual Fund gifts to financial aid.

Since July 2007, when the program was launched, Annual Fund gifts directed to financial aid have totaled $202,200 coming from 497 donors.

“By choosing this designation,” says Leslie Limper, director of financial aid, “you’re helping the college meet its commitment to provide 100 percent of demonstrated need to admitted and continuing students. Reed hasn’t increased its cap on loan indebtedness, which is well below that of most schools, and federal funds have remained stagnant as costs have risen. So the burden has fallen on institutions. The Annual Fund helps to fill the gap.”

One first-time donor found the financial aid designation compelling when she received a call from a phonathon student. “What I loved about Reed as a private college with private tuition is that it still found room for someone like me,” says Maia Davis ’88. “There’s no way I would have gone to a college as good as Reed without financial aid, so I wanted to give back because I believe in socioeconomic diversity. I like the idea of using my dollars to promote my ideals. The way to be most effective is to make the most direct link, so if I could give directly to financial aid, I could promote a Reed education. For the foreseeable future, that will be my targeted funding pool.”

Unrestricted gifts to the Annual Fund—those not designated to a specific purpose, such as financial aid—continue to be critically important to Reed. But in broadening the base of annual support by drawing in alumni who find appeal in a more targeted use of their funds, Reed’s students will benefit, particularly those with the greatest need for financial aid.

To earmark your Annual Fund gift for financial aid, simply click the “Give Online” button at giving.reed.edu and choose the financial aid designation.

reed magazine logoSpring 2008