Medical foundation raises more than $78 million

Jamie VanGeest

Large donors, corporation owners, organizations and foundations contributed to the Minnesota Medical Foundation’s year of fundraising success.

The foundation had its biggest fundraising year since its conception in 1939. During fiscal 2005, the MMF raised $78.3 million.

This amount is $20 million more than the foundation’s previous record, which was $57.9 million during fiscal 2000.

“Support for medical education and research has been growing for years,” said Carl Bendorf, vice president for development at the Minnesota Medical Foundation.

More people have donated to support research, medical scholarships and the recruiting and retaining of renowned researchers, Bendorf said.

Also during fiscal 2005, a record 22,738 people donated to the Minnesota Medical Foundation. This is approximately 1,000 more donors than the previous record of donors set in 2001.

Donations will support research, education and services at the University’s Medical School, the School of Public Health and the University’s Cancer Center.

The Minnesota Medical Foundation also received one of the largest financial gifts in the University’s history this year.

The Frederick B. Wells Foundation donated $28 million in support of the Medical School’s psychiatry department. The donation will be used to study the prevention, management and treatment of schizophrenia.

The Medical School’s psychiatry department has used previous donations from the Wells Foundation to support schizophrenia research and to renovate labs to attract researchers, said Charles Schulz, head of the department of psychiatry.

Schulz said there is a stigma surrounding donating to mental health research and said he is thankful for the gift.

“We hope people will see this donation and will want to donate more money for mental health research,” Schulz said.

The University’s School of Public Health has used past donations from the Minnesota Medical Foundation to fund scholarships for students.

“Student scholarships are really important to attract and maintain top-tier students to our program,” said Carmela Kranz, director of development and head fundraiser for the School of Public Health.