Hokie Club Announces 110% Campaign

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Today, the Hokie Club announced a new “110%” campaign to raise money to cover Cost of Attendance for athletes at Virginia Tech. We’ve been expecting some sort of announcement from Virginia Tech regarding Cost of Attendance, so today’s news was no surprise.

The Hokie Club released several pages of information regarding Cost of Attendance. We’ll include a picture of each page in this article. The Hokie Club has challenged members to increase their donation levels by 10%, and has targeted a $110 gift for all new Hokie Club members.  You can click on these pictures for a larger version.


On the first page, we see a simple form letter from Whit Babcock and Lu Merritt which highlights all the challenges faced by the athletic department in the modern era. Note that 110% campaign participants can donate until December 31, but those who donate before July 1 will be invited to take a tour of the new Football Indoor Practice Facility and participate in a team walk-through on October 2, the day before the Pitt game.


The second page goes into a little bit more detail. As most of you are already aware, the cost of education is a big issue in the United States these days, and Virginia Tech is not exempt. Scholarship costs have risen 38% since the 2009-10 academic year. That’s a huge increase.

During that time, the Endowment Fund has grown by 33%, which is a big deal. However, the General Scholarship Fund (which finances most of Tech’s scholarship costs) has dropped by 17% since 2011-12. Right now I believe the Hokies are still in decent shape, but if the General Fund keeps dropping and scholarship costs keep increasing, the athletic department could one day be forced to dip into their operating budget to pay for scholarships. That would be extremely bad.


The third page gives us a view of the overall cost of an athletic scholarship for both in-state and out-of-state students. Included is the Cost of Attendance amount, which is $3,280 for in-state students and $3,620 for out-of-state students. That’s a larger amount that was initially forecast ($2,500 was the original number that was released), and overall Tech expects to have to pay approximately $950,000 per year for Cost of Attendance.

In other words, costs are continuing to rise, and Virginia Tech needs their loyal fans to step up so the Hokies can keep up with the Joneses.

If you’re interested in joining the 110% campaign, call 540-231-6618, visit HokieClub.com, or print off the panel from picture #3 above and mail it in. If you’re interested in joining the Hokie Club for the first time, it is now easier to join online by using their website. Click here to join directly.

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22 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. For a number of complicated reasons, I dropped my Golden Hokie Club membership this year after 8 years and $18K of giving. I have no regrets. In the past I gave for the love of my school and for its continued tradition of excellence and I’m comfortable with the decisions I made. But going forward I have different priorities and have moved my money elsewhere.

    I’m sure many people have given far more, and many have given far less. But I tend to think I’m a typical VT donor in his prime earning years. And I was quite surprised that after suddenly ceasing all that donating, I haven’t heard a peep from the VTAF. This is puzzling.

    We’ve all heard that if the Hokie club members would just increase their donations by 10% we could cover this cost of attendance bill of about 900K. That means the VTAF generates around $9 million each year from donations. And that matches up with what I see in the number of members at each level times the minimum donation for that level. That $9M covers the shortfall in scholarship costs which run over $10M/year of which only about $2M is covered by ROI from our $35M endowment fund. So, our money should be damn important to them.

    If you look at the amount given by Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond Hokies, it’s about $8M. The remaining $1M comes from all the lower levels. And about half of that $8M comes from GOLDEN Hokies. So one would think the Golden Hokies are pretty important to the Fund. If the VTAF wants to increase revenue, they need to find more people willing to give $2K and up. We have about 2000 GH members left right now. In 2008 we had 2687. That’s a 25% decline. Overall we’ve lost about 2000 Hokie Club members since 2008 in steady fashion.

    Why do people give and why are fewer giving now? Is it because we all need a fresh dose of pride in our school – win or lose on the gridiron? Are we not loyal enough? That seems to be the message we’re getting and I don’t think it will work at all. I think the 800 lb gorilla in the room is that most people are starting to feel it isn’t worth the investment anymore. They don’t see a return. The school’s athletic brand name is NOT improving.

    On the other hand, our Engineering school is doing fabulously. Take a look at their endowments and their national rankings which continue to climb. That’s something I can get behind and that’s something I can invest in with pride. If the athletic department wants more investors, they need to show a RETURN on investment. And that’s the bottom line. It’s on THEM, not US. Period. These aren’t taxes and we’re not all being asked to pay our “fair share”. This is hard earned money they’re asking people to part with. We expect to see a return – not in our pocket books, but in our perception of the product we’re investing in.

  2. Why dont they break down the donations into monthly withdrawals like the other donations. Maybe they do but the material does not clearly indicate that. Im more likely to forgo a 12 pack of highlife a month to give ten bucks then drop 110 at the get go. Think of it like unicef or some other org. “It only takes $2.00 a week..”

    Anyone have info on this?

      1. thanks CC – I knew I had seen that before. It kind of shocks me that they did not provide this info in the brochure as it could be a key selling point to increasing donations –

  3. I increased my $$$ donations to the HC (went from Silver to Golden Hokie) at the end of 2014. I admit it – it wasn’t to help cover the Cost of Attendance, but to be in better position of picking new FB season tickets in 2015. I HATED the people that sat behind me! Got tired of them telling me (and my friends/fam) to sit down, etc. They were a bunch of “jerks” (a more colorful metaphor would be appropriate here, but want to keep this post PG). I don’t even care if my seats are “worse” in 2015. I just want to get away from them.

    PS – Isn’t Sam Roger’s dad a big-time developer in the Richmond area? Doubtful they need help to pay for college. Probably should have used a different FB player in the ad…

  4. When the Hokie Club is reorganized and uses common sense fund raising techniques, more money will pour in. The old, good o boy system now used does not work and irritates the low and mid range givers. New leadership should help improve the Hokie Culb.

  5. Sorry to break ranks, but this campaign is a stupid idea.

    HC membership is a product like any other. And given the paltry membership numbers most VT fans think the price is too high. So they’re going to increase sales by increasing the price? If fans weren’t joining at $100 then why the heck would they join at $110? Plus the fact we’re in an economic recession makes this campaign even more of a head-scratcher.

    The way forward for the HC is a larger number of small donations, not the other way around. They should drop the first membership level to $50 (or lower) and make it easier/faster to join. No $100 minimum for online credit card donations and no hand-written applications sent by snail mail. This is 2015 not 1985.

    1. “HC membership is a product like any other.”

      That’s how Jim Weaver treated it — as a product, a payment for perks (parking, seating) and services rendered. Whit is attempting to change the culture around Hokie Club membership, and to treat it truly as a donation for the betterment of Virginia Tech athletics. Call it the “we’re all in this together” mantra that Frank used to preach back in the day.

      Now, as for dropping the minimum membership level, and making it easier/faster to join, I agree.

      1. I totally agree Will. Sadly, I have only directly contributed to VT athletics once since I left in 1997. Weaver never made the support gesture mean anything me and it seemed the attitude from his camp was we are asking for support but “we can care less if you don’t donate”. Now, simply because of the way Whitt has positioned the cause, I feel compelled to support our Hokies because Whitt has reached me in a different way with the same product. Whitt’s approach has now resonated deeper with me. Now I find myself compelled to donate because I want our Hokies to compete and succeed against the other big “boys” no matter what or where the money is used: Whether On The Recruiting field, Whether On the Gridiron Battle Field, Whether to support our other Title X1 Sports, or Whether its simply to help Tech improve the cost on an already Fantastic & High Value Education.

    2. ummmmmm… not sure if you’ve been paying attention but the recession ended a while ago. We’re probably closer to the next recession than we are the last one.

      But otherwise I agree, not exactly a well execured campaign!

  6. I raised mine up before this started. But IF every Hokie grad would join or even 5% increase from that group would join. VT could be great shape, IMO. I say Mr. Babcock sees that and will work on getting more to join the Hokie Clubs .

  7. appears you and I are the only people that think this is a good question. I guess the answer to your question is no! GO HOKIES!!!

  8. Virginia Tech an ACC – and Power Five Conference school! Holy Cow, I never thought I would live long enough to see the day.

    TO ALL OF YOU WHO ARE NOT IN THE HOKIE CLUB [email protected]#$!

  9. Was thinking on this today. When was the last time VT raised the thresholds for giving levels? I’d say a good way to increase giving levels 10% would be to increase these thresholds by that amount.

  10. Hopefully a lot of our former scholarship athletes will also be giving $ to the athletic dept. 100% should be giving something, but that will never happen.

  11. Question: If someone were to join the Hokie Club or up their donation level in response to this campaign, would there be any way for TSL to get credit for it?

    1. Wonder if TSL – as an entity – could in itself be a Hokie Club rep? (Alternatively, it could just be Will). In other words, Will/TSL becomes our Hokie Club rep, and hence gets credit as other reps do. Downside is, there are lots of loyal Hokie Club reps who patronize TSL, and it wouldn’t be cool to cannibalize their members. TSL should get credit more than my actual HC rep, though. I haven’t heard from mine in 15 years.

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