Not all U groups saw hike in donations

While University administrators weren’t surprised that national studies show Americans gave $174.5 billion in donations in 1998 — 10.8 percent more than in 1997 — some religious groups affiliated with the University say their organizations didn’t fare so well.
Education pulled in 14.1 percent of total national donations. But that $24.56 billion is barely one-third of the whopping $76.06 billion donated to religious organizations in the past year. The 1998 fiscal year was a record-breaker for the University, closing out with a sum of $134 million in charitable gifts, a figure that earned a ranking of 15th out of all universities reporting donations, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
While 1998’s 26 percent increase in donations boosts the University’s higher-than-average charitable support, administrators of many campus-based religious organizations claim their groups didn’t follow suit.
“This year’s donations have remained much as they were,” said Joel Lintner, pastor for Campus Ministry.
Amber Harpel, a leader of the Women of Virtue, and Charlie Clauss, an administrator for the Graduate Christian Fellowship, both shared stories much the same as Lintner’s.
“We haven’t received more, probably less than last year,” Harpel said.
The only organization that was able or willing to share figures on last year’s givings reported an increase in average donation.
Gary Hedman, an administrator for the Minneapolis/St. Paul Church of Christ, reported a rise from $34.40 in monthly donations by members in 1997 to $42.70 in 1998.
— Andy Skemp