Giving to ECSU rises $131K


John Lee


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Friday, March 15, 2019

Enrollment isn’t the only thing rising at Elizabeth City State University. Giving to the university is as well.

John Michael Lee Jr., ECSU’s vice chancellor for institutional advancement, told the Endowment Committee of the ECSU Board of Trustees Tuesday that fundraising in 2018-19 is up 29 percent over the same period in 2017-2018.

So far this year, the university has raised $575,688, Lee said. That’s compared to $444,441 raised at the same point in 2017-18.

Lee said students have played a big role in the fundraising increase. Many help out in the university call center, where they’re proving to be quite effective at raising funds, he said.

“When you get that student calling you it’s very hard to say ‘no,’” Lee said.

There are other encouraging signs.

Last week’s National Alumni Association fundraising breakfast during the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament, for example, raised $52,498. That’s compared to the $42,600 raised at last year’s breakfast, Lee said.

The fact the ECSU team went further into the tournament this year also might have inspired greater giving, he said.

Lee also reported to trustees that two new members were recently named to the Board of Directors of the ECSU Foundation: Sam Davis of Sam Davis Realty and Juan Ortiz, operator of the Chic-fil-A restaurant in Elizabeth City.

In addition, Lee mentioned that the third annual ECSU Day of Giving will be held earlier this year — on May 31. The event was held toward the end of June the past two years.

This year’s Day of Giving goal is 1,891 donors and $200,000 in giving.

The 2018 Day of Giving raised more than $216,650 and drew more than 1,830 donors, exceeding the campaign’s goals of $150,000 and 1,500 donors.

The university launched the Day of Giving in June 2017. The inaugural event was billed as a campaign to raise $150,000 from 3,000 Vikings in 24 hours.The university didn’t quite make its ambitious goal, garnering a total of $129,530 from 1,105 donors.

But the concept caught on and the event grew during its second year.

The Day of Giving is designed not only to raise money but to attract new donors. Although a major focus is ECSU faculty, staff and alumni, the event also seeks donors from the community. In addition to challenges between Green organizations, alumni groups and other campus groups over who raises the most funds, there are also challenges for community groups.