Solicitation Letter for Higher Education Fundraising

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Dear {Name},

Since that one snowy night on the quad lawn, the brotherhood of MSP has stood for three remarkable things: a mentality of leadership and integrity, the virtues of trust and loyalty, and selfless service to the community. These qualities have governed our group for decades, forging bonds between us that have defined our lives. Of the three defining pillars of MSP, selfless service to the University is the one that is hardest to hold onto after graduation. In partnering with the University's alumni association, we have found a way to carry that ability to serve into our alumni lives and, in turn, give back to the community that gave us so much.

MSP's Alumni Board of Directors has proposed creating an endowed scholarship at the University that will allow us to support students who live the ideals of our brotherhood every day. The endowment ensures that after our initial gift is made, our investment will be able to support students in perpetuity.

The cost of an education has risen dramatically while state appropriations have steadily declined. Student debt reaches an average of more than $39,000 for graduating seniors. The average unmet need for a student living on campus is more than $10,000. This puts a heavy burden on many students and their families, who struggle to afford their education, even if they don't demonstrate "need" by the federal government's standards. Often, that struggle means that the student will have to forgo certain classes or majors, leadership opportunities, or career-building internships in order to take on a job to help pay for their education. MSP wants to change that narrative and create opportunities for students of all backgrounds to participate fully in the great experiences that our university offers, especially those that are so meaningful to the MSP community.

Per University guidelines, MSP must pledge to make a minimum gift of $50,000 over a period of 5 years to create the endowment. Once we meet that goal, income from our endowment–currently 4.5 percent of the endowment's market value, or $2,250–would be directed to a student meeting MSP's designated scholarship criteria annually. The faster we raise $50,000, the sooner we will be able to help students. We can also continue to pay into the endowment after meeting the goal, potentially increasing the amount that can be paid out to recipients.

Gifts made directly to the University to support this scholarship will be fully tax-deductible and will count toward your total annual giving credit at the University. Your spouse will also share in that credit, if applicable. Additionally, if your employer participates in charitable gift matching, you may be able to have your full gift or a portion of it matched. This corporate match amount would count toward our $50,000 goal. It is a great way to extend the impact of your gift. We can help you understand if this an available option.

We know this is a large commitment, and we want you to feel assured and secure in your decision. If you would like to discuss details regarding a pledge or the endowment, the specifics of MSP, or giving in general, please reach out and contact us at the email addresses or phone numbers below. We are well-versed in scholarships at the University and are happy to help in any way we can.

If you would like to invest in the future through the MSP scholarship, you may secure your pledge of $5,000 (or any other amount you feel comfortable contributing) by emailing us with your intended commitment and log on to the website [website redacted] to make your first payment.

As nearly every new inductee says, MSP is family, and family is where you feel safest, encouraged, and at home, surrounded by people who support you. By pledging to support our scholarship, you'll be extending our family and helping to strengthen the University's on-campus community, which will always be our home.

In pride, always, [Name and contact information redacted] Chair, MSP Alumni Board Philanthropy Committee

Jenn B
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