Helped by an enthusiastic group of loyal supporters, the Virginia Tech Athletics and Hokie Club had a record-breaking year that included an all-time high of 29,056 donors and raised more than $20 million to support student athletes through annual giving support. In total, more than $40 million has been raised or committed during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022.
“Thank you for having our vision and believing in us,” Athletics Director Witt Babcock She said. “We will work every day to make you proud to be Hokie. As we celebrate today, it is important that we do not lose our momentum moving forward. If you are an existing donor, we thank you for your loyal support and for staying with us. If you haven’t participated, there has never been a better time to commit with Hokies”.
Hokie Scholarship Fund
The Hokie Scholarship Fund was established in 2016 specifically to mitigate the increasing expenditure of scholarships for student-athletes. As this cost continues to grow, support for this fund should continue to grow. In Drive Year 2022, a donation to the Hokie Scholarship Fund saw this necessary growth, with cumulative giving exceeding $17.4 million. In addition to this giving flow, the spin-off from the annual grant will generate more than $3.3 million, which means the grant bill will be covered with room to spare.
Keep the jump box
In the face of challenging times at the start of the COVID era, the Keep Jumping Fund was created as an unrestricted fund to support any additional student-athlete needs not covered by the Hokie Scholarship Fund. Over the past year, a variety of donor growth-based campaigns have been launched to support this fund, and Hokie Nation has risen to the plate. More than $350,000 has been donated to the fund with more than 4,000 new donors joining the hockey club. These donors are an important part of the foundation of Virginia Tech Athletics as we build for our long-term future.
Another area that saw record highs last year was contributions to sports funds. Throughout the year, a new Sports Giving Framework was introduced, to assist programs with both annual financial support and transformational giving. As part of this framework, the first “Triumph Together” campaign was launched in September. This was a two-and-a-half day giving campaign that focused primarily on supporting the operating budgets of all 22 college sports. During this campaign, gifts arrived from 1,993 donors resulting in $593,801 in production for these programs. Excluding the donation to football and men’s basketball, a total of $2 million was raised for sports-specific donations, an increase of 107% over the previous year.
Through a select group of contributors, the Men’s Football and Basketball Association has seen additional support over the past year in addition to long-term commitments over the next five sporting seasons. This support in Drive Year 2022 alone totaled more than $7.5 million for football and $1.4 million for men’s basketball.
Launched at the start of the Drive Year campaign in April 2021, Reach for Excellence was presented as the Department’s most ambitious fundraising campaign ever, with the goal of reaching $400 million. As part of the university’s $1.5 billion Unlimited Impact campaign, supporting Reach for Excellence affects the entire department as we build for the future college athletics landscape. The five pillars of the campaign are to boost football’s operating budget, fund the entire renovation of the Castle Coliseum, increase scholarships, and provide comprehensive support for all 22 college sports. The campaign is approaching halfway and plans more specific numbers to participate in the near future.
Drive for 25
The Drive for 25 campaign officially concluded in the 2022 Leadership Year period. Beginning in December 2016, the Drive for 25 goal was implemented with the hope of bringing the total membership of the Hokie Club to 25,000 members. Virginia Tech Athletics alumni, fans and friends rose to the occasion in 2022 to cross that limit by a wide margin, beating the original target with 4,056 donors. At the time of the initiative’s launch, the hockey club had fewer than 10,000 members. At the conclusion of the driving year, Hokie Club’s current donor count was 29,056. This number puts Virginia Tech’s athletes at the top of the ACC, and as mentioned this helps build a strong foundation for our future. As Drive Year 2023 begins, the focus will continue to be on donor growth, while also focusing on donor experience and retention.
“As we celebrate these remarkable achievements, and look to the future, we would be remiss if we did not stop to say ‘thank you’ to all the members of the Hokie Nation for your unwavering support,” Babcock said. “Just like Coach Beamer used to say, ‘We’re all in this together.’ We say now that we’re strong together, and when we come together as a Hokie nation, no one can defeat us. So, from myself, and on behalf of the entire athletics department, thank you for everything you’re doing. To support Hokies”.
* The driving year is the year in which benefits such as tickets and parking are received. For example, a gift given after April 1, 2021 and before March 31, 2022 will count towards Drive Year 2022, with benefits beginning to be received in the fall 2022 athletics season.