The difference between the endowment and unrestricted giving is literally a matter of time. The endowment is the College’s legacy fund, a means for the past to ensure the future. The value of an endowment gift is the income it will produce, and when wisely invested, it grows more potent with time, ultimately supporting generations of Hamilton students and teachers to come.
The potency of Annual Fund gifts, by contrast, is immediate. They provide a regular stream of income that benefits every person and program on College Hill. That’s why, during Bicentennial Initiatives, as Hamilton seeks funding for building projects and the endowment, it needs more support than ever through gifts to the Annual Fund.
In fact, increased support for the Annual Fund — $200,000 additional per year for the life of the campaign — will help fund the need-blind initiative until new scholarship endowments are established and begin generating income. Most alumni, parents and friends will participate in Bicentennial Initiatives by supporting the Annual Fund.
Through the Annual Fund, all alumni, whether they graduated one year ago or 50 years ago, can take pride in perpetuating a long tradition of philanthropy. Many derive special satisfaction in giving back, as it were, by assisting students who have taken their place on College Hill. For them, unrestricted giving is a link between the present and the permanent, between what they accomplish now and what survives them — in short, about making a difference in the lives of talented and deserving students and giving them opportunities to excel. It is a way to ensure that history repeats itself, that one generation supports the next, that the investment in promising young students is a philanthropic cycle that continues.
It’s who we are.