Campaign tops $86 million
Almost exactly one year and $29 million ago, the U of S held a gala five-city public launch of its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, called Thinking the World of Our Future. The goal is to raise $100 million in time for the University's centennial celebrations in 2007.
With the current total already exceeding $86 million, campaign organizers are pleased with the gifts coming in but say there's more work that needs to be done.
Heather Magotiaux, Vice-President of University Advancement, says while the campaign is on-track to reach its overall $100-million goal, some priority areas may not reach their funding targets. She says Development office staff and volunteers across the country will be busy over the coming months trying to ensure that all areas of the campaign succeed.
Support for research and student support currently top the list of where gifts are being designated. Libraries and capital projects have received the least support. For an overview of campaign money so far, see the chart below.
Campaign Communications Officer Susan Burton says the latest figures show that $86.04 million has been raised as of Sept. 1, roughly half from 22,000 individuals and half from 2,054 businesses and foundations. “It's really gratifying to see so many new donors and donors coming back to the U of S.” Burton says 38 per cent of all donors are first-time donors to the U of S, and another nine per cent have made their first gift in the past five years.
Burton says U of S faculty and staff have contributed $2.45 million to the campaign.
Magotiaux points out that the total raised is not the only measure of success. She says one of the campaign's biggest achievements to date is that the Development office is building a far greater staff and program capacity for ongoing fundraising into the future.
“This campaign is fully managed and operated by our staff and volunteers - which is a first for the University. There's no outside firm managing things,” Magotiaux says.
She says campaign workers will try to encourage more giving for graduate student support and the proposed Fine and Performing Arts Centre, since those areas are currently below their targets. She notes that while the University does have final say, donors have a wide range of projects or initiatives they may choose to support. Undesignated contributions will be held in trust until the end of the campaign and the Board of Governors will determine which projects those funds will go to.
Burton says the public will hear a lot more about the campaign in the coming months as more gifts are announced and donors are recognized for their generous support.