Florida A&M University had a big increase in its fundraising success for 2016-2017. The end-of- the-year total was $8.5M, up from $6.4M the previous year. Now the university is in the midst of an internal battle over who deserves most of the credit for that accomplishment.
A letter that Vice-President for Advancement George Cotton sent to President Larry Robinson said that his strategies were what got the numbers up.
“In less than three years, the strategies I have been able to implement have moved annual fundraising from an average of $3 million dollars to an unprecedented $8.5 million,” Cotton wrote.
Robinson wrote about the $8.5M as an accomplishment of his administration in his self-evaluation for 2016-2017. But he didn’t mention Cotton. Robinson did call attention to contributions of the National Alumni Association (NAA), new Famu investment manager, FAMU Foundation Board of Directors members, corporate partners, and individual donors.
FAMU has not posted any document to FAMU.edu that has a detailed breakdown of the all the major contributions in 2016-2017 and who gave them.
But what can be said for sure is that FAMU owes a big “thank you” to the many long-time, regular financial supporters who opened up their checkbooks to give even more during 2016-2017.
Over $780,000 from Investing In Champions Annual Giving Campaign
The second annual Investing In Champions Annual Giving Campaign led by former Athletic Director Milton Overton, Jr. was another huge success in 2016-2017. It brought in more than $780,000, which was a 100 percent+ increase.
Overton directly reached out to many long-time FAMU supporters during his fundraising efforts. The three “Platinum Champions” for 2016-2017 were Richard C. Mathews, Colonel (Ret.) Keith F. Stubbs, and the Leon County FAMU NAA Chapter.
The full list of donors is available here.
$500,000 from Bernard and Shirley Kinsey
Bernard Kinsey, a former FAMU NAA president, and his wife Shirley are also true Rattlers who give to FAMU year-after-year. The $500,000 they pledged will go to the Marching 100.
$400,000 from National Society of Black Engineers
The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) has supported FAMU for decades. On November 6, 2016, FAMU issued a press release that announced that FAMU and NSBE had “signed an agreement to disburse nearly $400,000 in funding from Northrop Grumman to 24 deserving students over the next three years.”
The press release added that: “Associate Dean of Engineering Reginald Perry and [College of Engineering] Director of Diversity and Inclusion Charmane Caldwell were instrumental in the college receiving the grant.”
More than $300,000 from the FAMU National Alumni Association
A January 31, 2017 unaudited report from the Famu National Alumni Association stated that the organization had contributed $310,044 (unaudited) to the university in 2016-2017 up to that date. The report listed: NAA Retention Scholarship ($147,782), NAA Chapter Scholarships ($99,850), NAA Scholarships ($50,000), Unrestricted Contributions to the University ($8,050), and Endowed Scholarship ($4,362).