You probably received an email this morning from Cynthia Reed and the MHC Alumnae Association. It contains a link to the preliminary strategic plan for the college over the next five years. I wanted to draw your attention to a few excerpts from it, and ask that you consider making a financial contribution to the college before the fiscal year ends on June 30th.
Under the section regarding Financial Challenges (page 5):
* An array of financial factors, some external and some internal, are affecting Mount Holyoke’s present and its foreseeable future.
* Barring a change in the financial model, Mount Holyoke projects a structural deficit of approximately $5 million annually.
* Mount Holyoke is competitive with peers in terms of giving, and the generosity of alumnae has played a major role in the success of Mount Holyoke in recent years. But gift revenues are not a large enough percentage of the operating budget (about 12%, including the annual fund at 8% and another 4% for specific operating budget purposes) nor are they growing at sufficient rates to have a material impact on the basic financial structure.
* Expense budgets have been constrained for a number of years, resulting in departments that are struggling to support the programs and services that the College requires to remain in its current position as a selective liberal arts college.
* Balancing the operating budget in coming years will require either significant new sources of revenue or a significant reduction in the programs and services the College offers. Or both.
Under Section VII (page 13):
Mount Holyoke College will develop and begin to implement a financial model that is sustainable and achieves the College’s goals while continuing to produce a balanced annual operating budget.
1. Increase revenue from current sources.
1.1 Complete current fund-raising campaign.
1.2 Develop a plan for post-campaign fundraising that supports institutional priorities, including budget relief.
1.3 Increase annual fund giving by 4% annually and alumnae participation percentages by 1% annually.
2. Seek new revenue sources.
2.1 Fast track the Complementary Program Development initiative, focusing on programs that have the greatest potential for significant, near-term net revenue production.
2.2 Evaluate the opportunity to appeal to a broader student population by making some alterations in the current curriculum and implementing those that have promise.
2.3 Perform a comprehensive review of the likely costs and benefits of admitting men to the B.A. program.
There are a number of other elements mentioned in the report, including one that I find encouraging, about working to improve the connection of classroom skills to post-MHC careers.
This is a long email, all with the point of saying that Mount Holyoke needs us. We think our small gifts don’t matter, but together they add up to a lot. Please think about making a contribution in the next 6 days, whether you already have this year or not, and then signing up for a monthly pledge in the new fiscal year. Every dollar helps.
Written by SH, Class of 2000