Private donations to the University dip in FY 2010

The U received $186 million, an $81-million decrease from the previous fiscal year.

Adam Daniels

Christmas came early, if a bit disappointingly, as the Board of Regents analyzed private gifts Friday.

The University of Minnesota Foundation received almost $186 million during the 2010 fiscal year, which came from about 84,000 private donors, more than half of whom are University alumni.

The $186 million was a decrease of $81 million from the 2009 fiscal year.

The Medical School received the most with 10,000 donors who gave more than $41.5 million.

“Not surprisingly, many of our donors are grateful patients,” Becky Malkerson, president and CEO of the Minnesota Medical Foundation, said. “Some are alumni, but many are not.”

Gifts range from hundreds to millions of dollars and can be instantaneous or future commitments.

It costs 11 cents to raise a dollar, and each one is designated toward a specific purpose, such as academic programs, student support or outreach.

Between the beginning of July and the end of September, the University received more than $26.5 million in gifts.

SeptemberâÄôs largest gift came from the Minnesota American Legion and Auxiliary Heart Research Foundation. The gift was for more than $1 million and is intended for medicine.

In the Big Ten

Fiscal year 2008 was the UniversityâÄôs best year within the past decade, raising nearly $300 million.

Despite the stagnant economy and being $81 million short of 2009, 2010 wasnâÄôt the worst year. Back in 2005, the University raised only a little more than $100 million.

Within the Big Ten, the University out-raised other schools that had near-record years.

The University of Iowa Foundation had received about $170 million in total âÄî the schoolâÄôs third best year but still $16 million less than the University.

Indiana University Foundation hit its third highest total on record, $166.8 million.

And the University of Illinois Foundation had a thousand more donors than the University, but still raised less with $157.5 million.

Grants buoy university research

Last spring at an alumni event, President Bob Bruininks said that “even in the current economy, we continue to attract approximately $700 million annually in competitive grants and contracts.”

In August, the National Science Foundation gave the UniversityâÄôs Institute for Mathematics and its Applications $20.5 million.

Others in the Big Ten have received big checks as well.

Indiana more than doubled its total gifts with research grants, bringing the schoolâÄôs total to $342.8 million âÄî a 38 percent increase over fiscal year 2009.

Iowa also received $21 million directly, bringing the schoolâÄôs total to $191 million for the fiscal year.

Illinois received $54.3 million directly, totaling $211.8 million. Fiscal year 2010 was the third consecutive year âÄî and fourth year in the universityâÄôs history âÄî that Illinois eclipsed the $200 million mark in gifts received.