It would be little surprise to most people to find out that the number of minor donations at Pittsburg State — the $25, $50, and $100 donations — are not as strong as in years past.

It would be little surprise to most people to find out that the number of minor donations at Pittsburg State — the $25, $50, and $100 donations — are not as strong as in years past.
However, it is also true that the number of major donations — $20,000 or more — are on the rise.
“With private gifts, we have seen a change,” said Dr. Brad Hodson, PSU vice president for university advancement. “We have more money than ever before. In the $25, $50, $100 smaller gifts, those folks are sitting around their kitchen table and having a harder time with giving this year. Not to zero, not half as much, but less. We are up in the major gifts. People are really giving the significant investments in the university.”
Hodson, also the executive director of the PSU Foundation, said Pittsburg State remains on schedule to complete the $120 million fundraising campaign started in 2000. It is a 10-year plan that currently sits at $91 million, according to the Pittsburg State Web site.
“It’s a big thing for us to get to the $120 million and $1,” Hodson said. “We want to say we hit that. We want to be perceived as strong and vibrant even though there is a financial crisis going on that is not our fault.”
The financial crisis itself has hit the Foundation itself. The Foundation’s investment has taken a hit lately, but Hodson would not disclose the size or amount of the financial drop.
However, Hodson said that the Foundation’s investment committee has been active. The group has met often and has regularly received updates from the financial consultant for the PSU Foundation.
“We have made no major changes this year, because we are focused on long-term growth,” Hodson said. “We could have panicked and pulled all of our money out into cash and get a 4 to 5 percent return. When the economy comes back, we will not be earning as much back on cash. In the short term, it’s a tough time for everyone. In the long term, we’re right where we want to be.”
The 10-year campaign is not yet done, but Hodson can already point to a success — scholarships.
While tuition and student enrollment have risen, so has the scholarship fund. In fact, one of PSU President Tom Bryant’s main goals for the 10-year campaign was to double the scholarship fund.
“When I got here [six years ago], there was $1 million in the scholarship fund,” Hodson said. “Now, it’s up to $2.4 million.
“We are confident the long term investments will bounce right back. It’s a hiccup we will ride through.”

Andrew Nash can be reached at andrew.nash@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 ext. 132.