March 2, 2012
PULLMAN, Wash. - Nearly 80 members of the Cougar Athletic Fund (CAF), the fundraising arm of the Washington State University Athletic Department, have joined an effort beyond their financial donation to move the Cougars up the list of donor rankings among Pac-12 schools.
In an endeavor designed to increase the CAF membership and raise funds to offset the expenses of student-athlete scholarships and related athletic department support at WSU, the CAF is launching a volunteer fund drive.
The fund drive, which began in mid-February and will last through March, consists of volunteers from Cougar Clubs in every region making calls to athletic donors to thank them for their past and current support of Cougar Athletics, increase donations levels of donors, and to expand the donor base of Cougar Athletics.
As of March 1, 77 volunteers are participating in the fund drive.
"It is a testament to the energy surrounding WSU Athletics right now that 77 volunteers have joined in the effort to solicit scholarship gifts for the CAF," Assistant Athletic Director, Annual Giving & Tickets Dan Meyer said. "Some of the most established Athletic Department fund drives across the country are at that level of participation, but it didn't happen overnight the way it has for the Cougs."
The fund drive is aimed to build on the "Wave The Flag" marketing campaign Cougar Athletics debuted in 2011. Cougars everywhere are asked to "Wave The Flag" for Cougar Athletics by doing one or more of the following:
► Joining the CAF at the highest possible level or if a current CAF member, increasing their current giving level by an extra 10 percent.
► Purchasing season tickets and attending games.
► Informing family, friends and colleagues about the CAF and encouraging them to join.
► Providing referrals to CAF staff of people and/or businesses who are interested in WSU Athletics but are not currently members of the CAF.
The CAF has made huge strides this fiscal year, which ends June 30, by adding nearly 1,200 new members while moving the Cougars up the list of donor rankings among Pac-12 schools.
WSU Athletics ended 2011 with 4,084 CAF members (minimum $50 annual donation to the CAF). That number placed the Cougars 10th among Pac-12 schools in number of donors making an annual scholarship gift. Oregon leads the conference with 8,800 donors at the end of 2011.
Following February's highly successful Night With Cougar Football events in Spokane, Tri-Cities and Seattle, the CAF sits with more than 5,200 members, which under last year's totals would pass Utah (5,000) for ninth place and just behind USC, which ended last year with 5,400 total donors.