Notes: FSU increasing local donor base, football ticket sales up

Florida State athletics director Michael Alford spoke to the school’s athletics board on Wednesday afternoon. Below are some updates on capital projects, growing the base of boosters, football ticket sales and graduation rates.

Increasing donor base

Alford said the number of fans who have contributed to the annual fund has fluctuated but is now at 11,000 members. The annual fund has $16.2 million in cash, which is 98 percent to the goal. “The annual fund is really the lifeblood of what we do,” Alford said.

Fundraisers are trying to increase the engagement with alumni. Alford said FSU has 375,000 living alumni, the largest base in the ACC by about 50,000 (No. 2 is North Carolina). But FSU is ninth among ACC schools in donor numbers as only about 2 percent of FSU’s alumni contribute to the boosters. He said a slightly larger percentage donate to the university.

One area of considerable growth is among the 45,000 FSU alumni in Tallahassee. Alford said only about 1,000 local alumni were donors as of a year ago, but the number has jumped to 2,500.

“We’ve changed the message, we don’t tie it to tickets as much,” Alford said. “Giving to the fund really allows us to provide these resources to the student-athletes so they have an enjoyable experience.”

Each sport has a coach’s club, which can be used at their discretion for a variety of projects or travel. Alford said donors surpassed the $3 million mark in combined contributions to all of the coaches’ clubs, which was 122 percent of the goal.

Football operations building fundraising

Alford has remained consistent with a goal to break ground in December on the football operations building. He reported $60 million in pledges, with $18.7 million already paid. In February, Alford told the school’s Board of Trustees that there were $53 million in pledges. 

Football ticket sales for 2022 up

FSU has surpassed the 25,000 mark for tickets sold for the 2022 season with a renewal rate of 87 percent. (The renewal rate is up from 82 percent in 2021.)

“This would mark the first time that we’ve actually grown our football season ticket base since 2014,” Alford said. “So there’s a lot of excitement for the program and where the athletic department is heading right now.”

Academic achievement for all FSU’s sports

Alford praised the work of student-athletes across the board, who earned a 3.133 spring GPA. Among the teams, 15 had a spring GPA of 3.0 or higher and 64 percent of student-athletes (324) had a GPA of 3.0 or above. The top teams are women’s cross country (3.645 GPA) and men’s golf (3.214). Alford said he is proud that FSU’s student-athletes graduate at an 85 percent rate.

Future streamlining of FSU’s athletics board

Dr. Mike Brady, who is FSU’s faculty athletics representative and chairs the athletics board, said there is an effort to eliminate redundancies of the board and FSUAA. As part of the transition, the goals of certain committees will remain the same but move over from under the athletics board to the FSUAA. Brady emphasized the athletics board is “not going away.”

Student-athletes happy with FSU experience

A survey led by Dr. Alma Littles was conducted in the spring/summer of 2021. The data reflected a high level of satisfaction among student-athletes with their FSU experience — 86.2 percent rated it from very good to excellent. The survey also asked, “If I were being recruited today, I would choose to attend FSU again.” Nearly 90 percent said yes.

Athletes who completed the survey were asked for responses to various questions and also could write in responses. A number of volleyball players seeking improvements to Tully Gym and softball players pushing for a new scoreboard (the old scoreboard was taken down on June 1). New videoboards at soccer and softball are set to be complete later in 2022.