U has second most lucrative year for donations

The year was marked by two of the largest donations in University history.

U has second most lucrative year for donations

The University of Minnesota brought in $267 million in donations in the 2009 fiscal year a 7.6 percent decrease from 2008. However, the total raised was still the second most ever. The donations in 2009 were marked with the two of the three largest single gifts in University history, said Martha Douglas , spokeswoman for the University of Minnesota Foundation . A gift of $50 million was made by Caroline Amplatz to the Amplatz ChildrenâÄôs Hospital last February in honor of her father, a retired University professor. The hospital was renamed because of the donation. Best Buy, Inc. founder and chairman Richard M. Schulze gave the University medical school $40 million to research type I diabetes. There has been no pattern to which schools have been successful at fundraising during the economic recession, said Rae Goldsmith , vice president for advancement resources at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). CASE is an international association of about 3,400 educational institutions, including the University. âÄúSome institutions are doing well, and some are doing not nearly as well,âÄù Goldsmith said. âÄúAny institution that is having great fundraising success in the current economy is clearly doing something right to connect with donors.âÄù According to CASE statistics, donations at its member schools have increased an average of seven percent per year over the past 20 years. However, the organizationâÄôs fundraising index predicted an average decrease in giving of 3.9 percent for 2009. âÄúThatâÄôs a big gap,âÄù Goldsmith said. âÄúItâÄôs telling, I think.âÄù The poor economy was the major reason Douglas cited for the decrease in donations. âÄúGiven the economy, itâÄôs been really pretty great,âÄù she said of the fiscal year, which ran from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009. According to the 2009 Report of Giving to the University of Minnesota, $161 million was donated for educational purposes. Of the UniversityâÄôs colleges, the medical school received the most money âÄî $71.3 million including the Schulze family donation. Donations also help fund things like athletics, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and the Bell Museum of Natural History . The role of private donations Private donations made up 6 percent of the UniversityâÄôs budget in the 2009 fiscal year. Steve Goldstein, president of the University of Minnesota Foundation, and Becky Malkerson, president of the Minnesota Medical Foundation, addressed the regents about the role of private giving Thursday. A key role of donations in a time where state appropriations are down lies in providing funding for scholarships to lessen the burden of the UniversityâÄôs âÄúlargest and most predictable revenue stream:âÄù tuition. University President Bob Bruininks said the University should work to increase private giving, increasing the 6 percent, though he did not specify how much or by when. But he added that donations cannot be relied upon to make up for the lack of state funding. âÄúDonors are not attracted to the pot hole approach,âÄù Bruininks said, adding they canâÄôt be asked just to âÄúfill the holes, but fill the things that really matter.âÄù A formal report of donations in 2009 will be presented at the board meeting Friday.