Volume 12, Number 18 May 13, 2005

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Capital campaign tops $74 million; public appeal to go early in 2006

campaign logo

By Colleen MacPherson

With a lot of work still left to do, the University’s major capital campaign has already hit the $74-million mark in pledges and donations, with some $30 million of that raised in Saskatchewan alone.

“We’re really pleased with where we are at with the campaign,” said Heather Magotiaux, vice-president of University Advancement, “and the $30 million from Saskatchewan donors is really an impressive number. Overall, this is where we expected to be but we have a lot of work to do with major gift solicitation before we move into high-profile public appeals somewhere between January and March.”

Begun in 2001 and officially launched in late 2004 with a goal of raising $100 million by the University’s 100th anniversary in 2007, the Thinking the World of our Future campaign has tapped into what Magotiaux termed a “new generation” of donors and volunteers. The largest group of first-time donors in both Saskatchewan and Alberta falls in the 30- to 40-year-old range, she said, reflecting alumni who are well-established in their career and are beginning to give back to their alma mater. Although not necessarily solicited as part of the campaign, new donors total 7,736 with 3,685 being alumni, 3,171 non-alumni and 880 organizations.

“Just as important as the money we’re raising is the fact that we’re building capacity,” said Magotiaux. With the campaign being run by University Advancement, future efforts will benefit from the skills learned and relationships established by staff and volunteers.

Of the money contributed to date, the biggest single amount – about $19 million – has gone to student scholarships and bursaries. “Alumni like to help students and we’ve been helped by the national publicity about the need to support students,” she said. The next largest group of donations – about another $19 million – are unrestricted “which will mean great flexibility for the University to allocate those resources at the end of the campaign in the areas of greatest need.”

Part of the overall fundraising effort is a campaign targeting University staff. According to Kim Robertson, director of donor relations and stewardship, that too is going well. So far, over $2 million has been committed from more than 1,200 individuals from all areas of campus, she said. She pointed out that 300-400 employees usually donate to the University annually.

Contributors to the campus campaign can direct their money to a priority of their choice, she said, and those are often within specific colleges or units. A report to the community about the campaign is expected in June with highlights of some of the projects and new initiatives already underway as a result of donations, she said. Giving one example, she explained that the accounting department staff joined forces to set up a scholarship in the College of Commerce and the first one was recently awarded.

Like the overall campaign, the Campus Community Campaign will continue until 2007.

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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