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WSU’s fundraising goal comes up shy

Department sought 4,000 new donors

PULLMAN – On October 9, 2009, the Washington State University athletic department announced a new fundraising goal.

The Cougars wanted to add more than 4,000 contributors to their Athletic Foundation, which funds scholarships, in an attempt to reach 10,000 donors – defined as someone who gives at least $100 annually – by October 10, 2010.

Last week, the foundation quietly announced it had come up more than 2,000 donors short.

“We still have a significant way to go to reach our stated goal, but I’m extremely proud of the number of folks who have contributed since the start of this initiative,” WSU assistant athletic director Dan Meyer said in a news release. “When you look at the economic realities people are facing, I tip my cap to the folks who have donated what they can.

“We set our sights high, to become the first Pac-10 school with 10,000 annual donors, and we will continue this initiative until we reach it.”

The initiative was launched under former athletic director Jim Sterk, but it continued after Sterk’s resignation and Bill Moos’ subsequent hire in February.

“I applaud the concept,” Moos said recently.

However, even Moos said there wasn’t an emphasis on the plan.

“This has been one that has been shuffled in transition, I have to say,” Moos said.

Despite the changeover, the foundation added more than 1,700 donors in a year.

WSU’s 319 athletic scholarships in the 2009-10 fiscal year cost $6.6 million, with $2.6 million offset by the WSU Athletic Foundation efforts, according to the department.