The most recent fiscal year-end fundraising returns for Friends of The Center show a continuation of the upward trend that began two years ago, when the Senior Center was asked by the City to increase the revenue it contributes to its yearly budget.
A renewed effort on fundraising – and the generosity of Center members, friends and community partners – resulted in significant growth. Annual contributions through Friends of The Center increased from $9,220 in fiscal year 2015 to $24,335 in fiscal year 2017. During the same two years, the number of annual contributors through Friends of The Center, coupled with donors to the Senior Center Endowment at the Community Foundation of Johnson County, more than doubled, from 115 to 280.
Senior Center Coordinator Linda Kopping believes that the increased focus on fundraising also may have spurred one of the largest philanthropic commitments ever made to benefit The Center: an anonymous gift in FY17 of $35,000 to the Senior Center Endowment at the Community Foundation of Johnson County. That gift commitment, in addition to Friends gifts and other contributions, resulted in a FY17 fundraising total of nearly $80,000.
Philanthropic support in FY17 was used to fund Center lectures and programming related to appearances by author Ashton Applewhite and architect Zach Benedict. Additional support for the Applewhite events was provided by the UI Carver College of Medicine’s Community Health Outreach course and the UI Aging Studies Program. Community partners Hills Bank and Trust Company and the UI School of Urban and Regional Planning provided vital support for Zach Benedict’s visit.
In addition, gifts to Friends of The Center made possible the purchase of 64 new tables for Center classrooms and meeting spaces in FY17, and helped support creation of the new Friends of The Center website.
Friends gifts also support The Center’s low-income scholarship fund through the annual interest generated by the Senior Center Endowment. These scholarships help ensure that The Center remains financially accessible for all older adults in our community who want to stay active, curious and connected through Center-sponsored activities.
For more information about fundraising returns and other Center highlights, download a copy of The Center’s 2017 Annual Report.