PULLMAN, Wash. – Thanks to the support of more than 6,000 members, the Cougar Athletic Fund (CAF), the fundraising arm of the Washington State Athletic Department, followed up a record-setting fundraising year in 2012 with the largest annual giving total in school history for fiscal year 2013, which concluded June 30.
The most recent year saw the CAF scholarship fund supported with nearly $5.7 million in membership gifts, eclipsing the previous standard of $4.7 million in 2012. As recently as the 2011 fiscal year, the CAF raised under $2.6 million in annual scholarship gifts to support WSU’s student-athletes.
“I applaud the commitment demonstrated by all current members of the Cougar Athletic Fund,” said WSU Director of Athletics Bill Moos. “I am confident our membership numbers will continue to grow to the upper levels of the Pac-12 Conference.
“Two years ago we needed thousands of new members to rival the membership bases of our northern division foes and we have closed that gap considerably,” Moos continued. “To all current CAF members, I applaud and thank you. To all Cougars who are not yet members, I encourage you to “Be a Member, Join the Team.”
In addition to the record-setting numbers, the CAF has announced the launch of the “Be a Member, Join the Team” campaign. The campaign will feature an increased focus on current student-athlete features, member profiles and former student-athletes who have made the commitment to join the Cougar Athletic Fund. Members will enjoy exclusive monthly communication from the Cougar Athletic department and Director of Athletics Bill Moos, as well as a new CAF website and online presence, and greater visibility at Cougar home athletic events and on television and radio broadcasts.
In the last several years the CAF has overhauled its membership ranking system, benefits structure and annual calendar, as well as adding an annual volunteer fund drive to enhance scholarship support. Additionally, events such as the Nights with Cougar Football held throughout the state and the annual Legends Weekend have become significant fundraisers with 100 percent of the proceeds directed towards meeting the annual scholarship bill.
Throughout the past five years the WSU student-athlete scholarship costs have risen 46 percent, from $6.4 million to $9.4 million, placing a greater emphasis on membership support to cover those costs. Reaching that goal through CAF annual giving allows the athletic department to reinvest additional revenue in facilities and programs that have a direct impact on the recruitment, development and education of student-athletes.
Those interested in making a difference by joining the CAF, please visit wsucougars.com/caf or call 877-IMA-COUG.