U hits record donation total

Andrew Donohue

The University hit a record mark in donations for the 1997-98 fiscal year, raking in $134 million from charitable gifts.
The University Foundation, which oversees all the University’s fund raising, released numbers Monday showing the University increased its donations by 26 percent over the past year, topping the $107 million collected last year.
“I think there is high confidence in the leadership of the University,” said Gerry Fischer, president and chief financial officer of the foundation, of the reason for the increase. “There has clearly been a strong enthusiasm for (University President) Mark Yudof’s statement of values for the University.”
Also, Fischer said a strong economy and increased public relations efforts from deans and chancellors fueled the rise.
Donations from alumni, organizations, faculty and staff all increased.
Most notable is alumni philanthropy, which skyrocketed by 79 percent. The $54 million given by alumni totaled the largest sum ever donated by University graduates.
Staff donations added up to $2.5 million, more than doubling the prior year’s total. Corporations and foundations followed the same upward trend. The groups showed a 12 percent increase in gifts, giving $49 million.
The donations usually end up supporting specific colleges or financial aid and scholarships. Richard Pfutzenreuter, associate vice president for budget and finance, said the donations rarely go to central administration.
State funding and tuition fund core expenses like faculty and staff salaries, Pfutzenreuter said.
“We think of fund-raising money as supplemental support,” he said. “Every year we need it.”
Program support gained the biggest boost from the fund raising, pulling in $89.1 million, 66 percent of the total amount.
Scholarship support received $16.5 million from the fund. Capital improvement gained a $13.9 million boost, while $13 million went to research.
The remaining $2 million was allotted for faculty positions.
Because of the record fund raising and other investing, the University Foundation’s endowment climbed 13 percent, reaching $560 million.
The University Foundation was created in 1962 to spearhead the University’s fund-raising efforts and keep tabs on all gifts given to the University.
— Staff Reporter Kane Loukas contributed to this report.