Friends' Donations Reach Record High
2004 was a record year for donations to the Friends of the Center for History of Physics, with a total of $1,022,700 collected in annual gifts and personal solicitations. The annual giving program received about $119,500 in gifts. This probably would have been our highest level of annual giving in any year except that several large donors initiated an endowment for the History of Physicists in Industry (HoPI) and diverted their annual gifts (and a bit extra) to this.
Significant gifts included $800,000 for the Avenir Endowment for the Oral History of Physics, $25,000 to the Center's Campaign, "History That Matters", by Margaret Taylor Macdonald in honor of the Center's former Associate Director Joan Warnow-Blewett, $40,000 to the Center's Oral Histories program by the Avenir Foundation, and gifts from John Armstrong, Charlie Duke and Don Scifres to the HoPI endowment.
Last year we sent a solicitation letter to readers of Physics Today and The Industrial Physicist. Such mass mailings are primarily meant as a way to attract new donors to the Center and are conducted every four or five years. The mailing paid for itself and did find a number of new Friends, who we hope will stay with us. The rate of return, however, was not as high as in previous mailings, a problem faced by all organizations like ours as mailboxes become ever more stuffed with such solicitations.
This year we will launch a new planned giving program to encourage Friends to join our Legacy Circle by announcing plans for a bequest. We will also send a letter to all Friends to request a special donation to our History that Matters Campaign to help fill in the final $400,000 needed to reach our $3 million goal. Meanwhile the Friends' Web site has been significantly improved and updated. Please visit the new site at www.aip.org/history/historymatters. We welcome your comments and suggestions for improvement.