Barry McNamara  |   Published May 15, 2016

1853 Society

Harrod ’07 returns to alma mater to work with key giving society
  • Mollie Williams Harrod ’07 returns to her alma mater as the first associate director of the 1853 Society.
Monmouth College graduate Mollie Williams Harrod ’07 is excited about the chance to make history at her alma mater.

Harrod was recently named the first associate director of Monmouth’s 1853 Society, one of the College’s key giving societies.

Named in honor of the year the college was founded, the 1853 Society encourages greater annual financial support, promotes long-term giving and pays tribute to an “elite group” of donors. The 1853 Society includes five annual giving levels – beginning with $1,000 gifts and extending to gifts of more than $25,000.

“This is an elite group of donors, representing 9 percent of the donors who contributed to the Monmouth Fund during the 2013 fiscal year,” Harrod said. “Together, they funded 78 percent of that year’s donations.”

Harrod said that in a typical year about 40 percent of Monmouth Fund gifts support scholarships. That’s especially important because 97 percent of Monmouth students receive some type of scholarship and state support for higher education in Illinois continues to shrink. For example, this school year the state of Illinois delayed funding of the Monetary Award Program until late April and then funded only one-half of the grants awarded to college students.

“Gifts to the Monmouth Fund are more important today than ever because of the financial instability due to the lack of MAP grants,” Harrod said.

Director of alumni engagement Hannah Maher said she is excited that Harrod has joined the College’s development program.

“I have full confidence in Mollie’s ability to meet the demands of the position,” Maher said. “We are very excited for the future of the Monmouth Fund with the addition of this important role, as well as what this growth will mean to our students, faculty and staff, and the institution as a whole.”

Membership in the 1853 Society is based on gifts made within a fiscal year. Harrod said that some donors make their annual donation all at once, some do it in 12 monthly gifts, and others combine their gifts with their company’s matching-gift programs. Benefits of being a member of the 1853 Society include invitations to special College events.

“I’m looking forward to helping increase the number of donors in the 1853 Society,” Harrod said. “I love connecting with alumni and hearing their stories, such as when they talk about Monmouth being where they met the love of their life, or their best friend.”

That’s a description that also fits Harrod – her husband, Richard, is also 2007 Monmouth graduate.

After graduating from Monmouth with a degree in environmental science, Harrod earned a graduate certificate in international nonprofit management from Texas A&M University. Last year, she completed her master’s degree from North Park University in nonprofit administration with a focus in nonprofit fundraising.
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