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Sweet Briar Forever Month underway as college seeks donations

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AMHERST COUNTY (WSLS 10) - Sweet Briar College wants to raise a half-million dollars in just one day and another $500,000 by March 10.  The college has declared March "Sweet Briar Forever Month". It kicked off the month with a day of giving on Wednesday.

The annual alumnae giving blitz celebrates the birthday of the college's founder Indiana Fletcher Williams.

Two years ago, Sweet Briar College had money, but couldn't use it to save the school. Some donors had told the college exactly how they wanted their money spent.

"Unrestricted is critical to any operation," explained VP of Alumnae Relantions and Development Mary Pope Hutson.

Unrestricted giving, meaning use it how you see fit. Unrestricted gifts are what the college is counting on. Hutson said they raised more than $1 million in just a few days last March.

"We've done it before we can do it again," said Hutson.

Even restricted gifts will count toward this year's $1 million goal. But Claire Griffith, whose job is acquiring major gifts, of $25,000 and above for the college, said many major donors aren't as interested in having their name on a building or program when the college itself is on the line.

"Last year we had four different donors that gave over $1 million to the annual fund," said Griffith. "These alumni know what our needs are and they've stepped up to say even though it's the annual fund, we know how critical the need is, and we have a lot of people who say I want to give to the colleges greatest need."

"We will be celebrating at Sweet Briar in perpetuity," said Hutson.

Starting March 1st.

Click here to learn about ways you can give to Sweet Briar.