George Washington University Finishes “Making History” One Year Early

Amanda Kohn by on Aug 02, 2017

George Washington University announced at the end of June that its seven-year campaign, Making History: The Campaign for George Washington, finished one year early. In six years, the campaign raised a total of $1,023,690,000 from more than 66,900 donors, successfully surpassing its $1 billion goal by 2%. The campaign’s three pillars—Support Students, Enhance Academics and Break New Ground—focus on student financial aid and programs, academics, faculty support and campus facilities. According to a university representative, the school decided to stop the campaign before June 2018 for two reasons: supporters helped surpass the goal, and GW appointed a new president, Thomas LeBlanc, who started his tenure on August 1.

Compared to other recent capital campaigns, GW may be the first university to end its campaign early. Alumni Monitor’s research indicates that capital campaigns from other schools either end on time or extend for one of two main reasons: schools do not meet goals, or they want to keep momentum building despite reaching the goal. Ending a campaign with a year remaining is something of a mixed bag. Not only did GW surpass its goal, but the university may also want to start President LeBlanc’s tenure with a clean start, creating a path for his leadership to start planning another capital campaign or other initiatives.

After ending the campaign, the university announced the final results and highlights for Making History across multiple channels. GW published banner images and press releases on the alumni and giving websites, with related social media posts on the alumni Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. The Making History impact microsite presents a deeper dive into the campaign and its successes, including donor stories, progress meters, result charts, social media posts and videos that highlight the impact of the campaign gifts. The university noted that the top five funds receiving gifts from the most donors were Power & Promise Student Aid, President’s Fund for Excellence, Law School Dean’s Fund, Alternative Breaks Gift Fund and GW School of Business Annual Support.

Making History Impact Microsite (Truncated)

GW hopes that the $1.02 billion raised from the capital campaign will continue to transform the university’s student experience, research endeavors and programs. Highlights from the campaign results include:

  • More than $626 million raised to enhance academics, research and faculty positions
  • 165,000 individual gifts donated
  • 235 new endowments created
  • Nearly 42,000 alumni contributed to the campaign
  • Over $2.99 million raised from gifts of $100 or less
  • 4,027 continuous donors contributed each year of Making History

For more information on Alumni Monitor and our research on alumni outreach and engagement, please contact Dana Peterson at or visit us at

About The Author

Amanda Kohn

Amanda is a Senior Research Associate for Alumni Monitor at Corporate Insight. Read more