JBU Completes $10 Million Challenge

Siloam Springs, Ark. (January 19, 2007) - John Brown University is excited to announce that it has completed fundraising for its $10 Million Challenge endowed scholarship campaign, nearly doubling the university’s endowed scholarship funds in only half the time given to complete the project.

When all the funds are received, the new funds will increase JBU’s scholarship endowment from $12 million to more than $22 million. Funds include current gifts and deferred gifts that will be available in the future when they mature. Starting this fall, over $300,000 in new scholarships will be available to JBU students.

“We have been blessed by the generous response of so many friends of JBU to this challenge to support JBU students through endowed scholarships,” Dr. Charles W. Pollard, JBU’s president, said. “These endowment gifts will help generations of students, and we are deeply grateful for that support.”

The $10 Million Campaign was initiated by a $5 million matching pledge from an anonymous donor. In order to receive the full $5 million gift, JBU had to raise $5 million in current and deferred gifts designated to new or existing endowed scholarships in three years. The matching funds were awarded to the university as corresponding funds were received from other donors.

“The enthusiastic response from donors was amazing,” said Mr. Paul Eldridge, director of planned giving, said. “In the first six months, we received approximately 33 percent of the goal from people who recognized the great opportunity and jumped on board immediately.”

The Challenge was a unique giving opportunity in several ways: it allowed donors to contribute to almost any endowed scholarship at JBU, even opening a new scholarship if they wished; it allowed donors to give in a variety of ways, including cash, stock, real estate, deferred gifts and other assets; and it enabled donors to double the value of their gift immediately.

“Donors gave larger gifts than they have given in the past, and some gave multiple gifts to take advantage of this opportunity,” Eldridge said.

“One donor who had planned to give a gift, ended up increasing his gift twenty percent after he considered the value of the matching funds. He told me he felt it would be bad stewardship if he did NOT give that gift to the Challenge,” Eldridge said.

All gifts received through the Challenge had to fund new or existing endowed scholarships at JBU. In opening new scholarships, donors had the freedom to establish specific criteria for students receiving the scholarship, but each scholarship had to have the minimum criteria of good character, financial need, and a minimum ACT score of 21 to qualify for the Challenge matching funds.

Monies raised through deferred gifts will be added to the endowment when the gift matures. However, the anonymous donor contributed the matching portion of deferred gifts to the endowment immediately.

“Gifts to the $10 Million Challenge ranged in size from $10,000 to $1 million, and each was doubled by matching funds,” Jim Krall, vice president for university advancement, said. “Gifts came from people of all different means and backgrounds. We were blessed to have so many generous people supporting JBU and wanting to participate.”

Before the campaign, 27 percent of JBU’s $49 million endowment was reserved for scholarships. That percentage has increase to 35 percent.

John Brown University is a private Christian university, ranked sixth by U.S. News & World Report in the Southern Region. JBU enrolls more than 2,000 students from 40 states and 45 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges & Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.

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