The August Challenge: Oxford seeks to build its alumni giving rate.

One of the areas where Oxford wants to create an upward trajectory is its alumni giving rate.

In recent years Oxford College has raised the bar on nearly every aspect of its profile. The past decade has seen dramatic improvements to campus facilities, including a dozen projects of major construction, historic restoration, or landscape design. During the same time period applications to Oxford increased exponentially to more than 14,000 applications for entry to the class of 2017-18, and the academic profile of Oxford students has risen steadily each year to historic heights. Great strides have also been made in terms of curriculum and academic innovation.

Dean Doug Hicks is not content to sit on such laurels. “If there is one word that captures what is going on at Oxford it is momentum,” he says. “At every turn we see good things that keep improving, and we want to keep that momentum going.”

One of the areas where Oxford wants to create an upward trajectory is its alumni giving rate. “I’m issuing an August challenge to our alumni,” says Dean Hicks. “I am so grateful to them, because without their engagement in the life of Oxford College, we would not be enjoying this current momentum. We believe that we can move our alumni giving rate even higher. We want to increase our rate for this year by at least one percent higher over last year. We’ll continue building from there.” Oxford’s fiscal year ends on August 31.

Alumni giving rate—the percentage of alumni who make a donation to their alma mater in a given year—is an important metric for colleges and universities. It is one of the measurements used in overall college rankings and other kinds of higher-education ratings. When colleges such as Oxford apply for foundation grants or other financial support, the alumni giving rate is one of the first things that foundations look at, because they consider it to be a sign of strength and loyalty.

“Loyalty is not something Oxford is short on,” says Hicks. “Ever since coming here a year ago, I have been touched by the love for Oxford our alumni express in so many ways. I believe firmly that we can push our alumni giving rate to a level that accurately reflects the deep level of our alumni commitment.”

Oxford’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations has made it easy for alumni to donate quickly through its online donation page. With an alumni base of 13,000, Oxford will meet the goal if at least 130 additional alumni donors as compared to last year give to Oxford by close of business on Thursday, August 31.