Cornell students cheer on the Big Red football team in 2018

Thousands—united by a shared purpose—supported undergraduate scholarships through annual fund giving in 2022

In fiscal year 2022, more than 3,300 donors exemplified how a gift of any size can make a significant difference. These donors collectively gave nearly $2.4 million to support undergraduate scholarships through the Cornell Annual Funds. Their gifts bolster Cornell’s goal of enhancing undergraduate affordability, an effort that is fundamental to the university’s To Do the Greatest Good campaign.

The $2.4 million represents 3,378 gifts. Eighty-five percent of these gifts were from contributions under $1,000. Gifts at this level raised over $460,000, accounting for nearly 20% of the total dollars raised for undergraduate scholarships in 2022.

gift icons demonstrating 85 percent
Eighty-five percent: Gifts under $1,000 accounted for 85% of all annual fund gifts for undergraduate affordability in 2022. Together, these gifts raised over $460K—nearly 20% of the total dollars raised.

But regardless of their size, each annual gift has immense and immediate spending power, especially when that gift is one among thousands like it.

“Every dollar given to undergraduate scholarships through Cornell annual funds is powerful and important as we strive to reach our annual fund scholarship goal of $24 million during the campaign,” says Mary Armstrong Meduski ’80, P ’18, national chair of the Cornell Annual Funds. “The philanthropy of thousands helps Cornell honor its commitment to the university’s founding principal of ‘… any person … any study.’”

Did you know? More than 40% of the nearly $2.4 million raised for undergraduate affordability came from Cornell Giving Partners—donors who made annual fund contributions that total $1,000 to $9,999.

“Cornell Giving Partners are an inspiration to many as they provide support on an annual basis to any area of the university,” says Stamie Vasiliki Despo, executive director of Leadership Annual Giving. “These giving partners, who collectively raised nearly $970,000 for undergraduate scholarships in 2022, are vital to the continued growth and success of Cornell.”

Cornellians take the lead: Gifts were made by donors across 78 graduation classes—from the Class of 1947 through the Class of 2025. The largest number of gifts were made by the Cornell Class of 1992.

Additionally, 91% of gifts were made by alumni and students. These Cornellians represent 78 graduating classes, which includes every year from the Class of 1947 through the Class of 2025.

More than half of Cornell’s undergraduate student body receives financial aid through a combination of scholarships and grants. Annual funds provide critical financial support to a number of top priorities across Cornell, including financial aid. These gifts are spent the year they are given and have roughly 20 times more spending power than an endowed gift.

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