The Northwest Foundation, the fundraising arm of Northwest Missouri State University, secured $7.4 million in donor funding during the 2016 fiscal year, which included nearly $6.1 million in cash contributions – the highest level received by the Foundation in any given year – and exceeded the organization’s goal for the year by more than $1.4 million.

Scholarship support remains a central mission of the foundation, which awarded a record of nearly $856,000 in scholarships to 1,210 students during FY16. That is an increase of 57 scholarship awards and nearly $115,000 more than the previous record.

Furthermore, the foundation achieved an impressive 97 percent increase in 1905 Society memberships during FY16. The 1905 Society is the premier giving society for annual gifts, recognizing supporters who make an annual unrestricted gift of $1,000 or more. It has doubled its membership since its inception in FY13.

“We are grateful for the passion and support provided by donors,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “Their gifts stand as a testimony to what it means to be a Bearcat – caring, connecting and supporting in the name of learning. Such strong private support of Northwest is another indicator of the momentum in place and helps us propel to new levels.”

Northwest’s Adopt-a-Bearcat scholarship program, supported through donors, awarded scholarships worth a total of more than $99,000 – an increase of nearly $13,000 compared to the prior year – to 175 students. The Adopt-a-Bearcat Scholarship program meets a critical need for scholarship dollars, and donor contributions are matched in $250 increments for a minimum of a $500 scholarship. In return, donors may elect to name their scholarship, which goes to a deserving student who might otherwise not be able to afford the opportunity of a Northwest education.

Additionally, the total number of donors supporting the foundation’s annual giving program increased by almost sseven percent. Giving by Northwest faculty and staff increased by more than 30 percent, representing the highest percentage in the institution’s history and placing it among the top 75 percent of all master’s-granting institutions.

In April, for the second consecutive year, Northwest students celebrated alumni and friends who contribute generously to the university in support of scholarships, campus facilities and the value of a college degree during “Thank a Donor Day” activities on the campus. The event educated Northwest students about the importance of private giving by alumni, family and friends. It also drew attention to the impact alumni support has throughout the University and actively engaged the student body in the stewardship of alumni donors.

“A record year exemplifies donors’ desire to impact our students’ success, faculty and staff support, and a campus relevant and valued in positioning a better tomorrow,” Vice President of University Advancement Mike Johnson said. “I offer my humble thanks to all involved in inspiring the investment in our institution.”