Volunteer FAQs

Click on a question below to show the answer. Please feel free to contact us at supportmiddlebury@middlebury.edu for further explanation of any of the points below or to ask us other questions about the Annual Fund and the Class Agent Program.

Can I change the list of classmates to whom I’m assigned?

We absolutely want you to maintain a list of alumni whom you want to contact. You are welcome to modify your list at any time—either adding additional names or removing some from your current list. The easiest way to do that is through Agents in Action or you can also reach out to your staff coordinator, who can add or remove names for you.

I’m a member of the Cane Society. Does that count toward participation?

Our alumni participation rate is based solely on gifts made to the College within the current fiscal year. We are grateful for alumni who ensure their support of Middlebury for the long term, but in order to be counted in annual participation calculations you must make a gift of assets each year between July 1 and June 30.

How many people should I contact?

Most Class Agents contact 10-15 classmates, but please contact as few or as many as you can reasonably commit to contacting. We would much prefer that you have a smaller list of classmates, whom you can actually contact, than a larger list of classmates that you may not complete.

What counts towards a Reunion gift?

All gifts count towards your class’ reunion giving total.

Online gifts, checks, stock gifts, recurring gifts, gifts to any designation, MiddSTART gifts…all gifts to Middlebury count!

How do I see my classmates’ past giving?

Agents in Action allows you to access the past giving information of your assigned classmates. Click here to visit Agents in Action.

What does True Blue mean?

The True Blue Society is a giving society that recognizes Middlebury’s most loyal donors. To be a member, you must give to Middlebury annually and have done so for at least the past three consecutive years. Learn more about True Blue here.

Do you have any tips for trying to get someone to give who hasn’t given in awhile?

Here are two great options:

1. Stress the importance of participation. The alumni participation rate is a significant factor when Middlebury applies for grants from corporations and foundations. It also often (positively) affects the decision of larger donors to commit to Middlebury. You have to realize that they ask themselves this question when rendering a decision: if Middlebury’s alumni don’t feel that it is worthy of their support, why should we?

2. Bring up MiddSTART (http://go.middlebury.edu/middstart), Middlebury’s microphilanthropy portal. It features projects designed by students that may not be funded through other means and alumni sponsored scholarships. Click here to learn more about MiddSTART.

Do pledges count toward the Early Bird Challenge?

Pledges do not count toward Middlebury’s alumni participation rate,unless they are fulfilled prior to June 30. The Early Bird Challenge is offered to help the College know that we are on track to successfully reach budget goals. So, no, pledges are not part of the Early Bird Challenge count.

Some of my friends are listed as "check with annual giving office before calling." How does this work?

This indicates that the classmate is assigned to a staff fundraiser at the College who may already be in a gift conversation with the person. Depending on the status of the conversation, this is an opportunity for you and the gift officer to collaborate, or at least be on the same page, before contacting your classmate about a gift.

If my contacts have already donated in this fiscal year do you want me simply to say thank you, or to ask for more before June?

Middlebury’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30, so no need to ask for an additional gift for participation reasons. Of course, second gifts are always welcome!

If I gave in January through June 2017, do I need to give again before December 31, 2017?

We would very much appreciate it if all Class Agents make at least part of their total gift by the December 31 Early Bird Challenge deadline to be counted in our participation figures. For example, if you plan to commit $100 to Middlebury this year, you can split your gift into a $10 contribution now and the remaining $90 by June 30, 2017.

How many donors does 58% (FY15 goal) versus 57% (FY14 participation) represent?

The short answer is that each percentage point is about 250 donors.

The long answer is that we have about 25,000 alumni in the base. That number is adjusted each year with the addition of the graduating class and the subtraction of deceased or lost alumni. Recent classes have been in the 600-700 range, while the decrease is much smaller, so the base increases by about 400 alumni each year who also need to give at a rate of 60% (400 x 60% = 240). What this really means is that every single alum who gave last year needs to give again this year, plus an additional 490 (250 + 240) alumni.

Do I have the same classmates I picked to contact last year?

Yes, you do! If you’d like to modify your list, you can do so at any time on Agents in Action or by contacting your staff coordinator.

If two alumni are married, how are the gifts recorded?

Every alum has their own record, so gifts are split 50/50 between married couples unless they tell us otherwise.

I’ve heard that other colleges similar to Midd have larger endowments than Middlebury. Should we be asking classmates to give to our endowment as well as to the annual fund?

Middlebury has fundraising goals for both current use and endowed funds. If one of your classmates prefers to give to an established endowed fund, we are happy to direct their gift as requested. However, annual gifts toward immediate needs are essential to the health of the College. Individual philanthropic goals are very personal, so we encourage you to discuss all of the options with your classmates. As always, if they are looking for more information, please contact your staff coordinator.

Does Advancement contact those members of our respective classes whom the Class Agents don’t select on our personal lists?

Everyone in each class receives solicitations in the mail and electronically from Middlebury, and many receive calls through our Phonathon program, which is staffed by current students.

What does Cane Society mean?

The Cane Society recognizes individuals who support Middlebury through life income gifts and/or who include Middlebury in their estate plans. Click here to learn more about the Cane Society.

How does a multi-year pledge gift get counted in a reunion year?

The total of your multi-year reunion pledge will be counted in your class’ giving total.

So if you are making a 5 year pledge of $10,000 in your reunion year (that is $2,000 a year for the next 5 years) your final total of $10,000 will be counted in this year’s reunion giving total for your class.

Tell me more about recurring gifts – why is that a big deal?

By setting up a recurring gift on a monthly or quarterly basis, a person can make a larger annual gift by spreading the payments out over a longer period of time. Or if you want to be sure you are counted in participation every year, the annual recurring gift option is a good choice. By signing up for a recurring gift, the alum won’t receive annual appeals, but will receive all the other mailings such as the magazine and reunion information.

My class has an endowed scholarship fund that I like to support. Does this count as a participation gift or do I have to make a gift to the annual fund to count?
All gifts to Middlebury count toward our alumni participation rate. However, it is important to recognize that endowed funds provide long term support of the College, but that it is also important to support Middlebury’s immediate operating budget each year.
What is the real cost of a Middlebury education?

Currently, the cost of educating a Middlebury student is approximately $80,000. That is 40 percent more than the comprehensive fee. All students, even those paying full tuition, receive a hidden scholarship of $26,850. This subsidy is generated in two ways: from endowment earnings and from annual giving.