University 14th in Charitable Donations

The significant increase in donations may reflect the success the University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact.

By Hannah Hu

The University of Chicago raised $443.79 million through donations from alumni, parents, students and friends in 2015, making it the 14th largest fundraiser among higher education institutions.

These statistics come from the 2015 Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey the Council for Aid to Education (CAE) released on January 27. The CAE is a nonprofit organization that aims to help “educational institutions measure and improve learning outcomes for their students”, according to its mission statement. Every year it publishes the VSE survey, the national database of charitable donations to higher education institutions.

The University of Chicago’s total donations increased to its current amount from $405.35 million last year. This 9.5% growth in monetary donations surpasses the 7.6% national growth from $37.45 billion in 2014 to $40.30 billion in 2015. The University also jumped up three spots in the ranking of institutions that raised the most money from 17th in 2014 to 14th in 2015.

This significant increase in donations over the past year may reflect the success of the University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact, which aims to raise $4.5 billion total by 2019. The Campaign had already reached 60% of its target amount in October 2015, one year into the Campaign’s public phase, when the University began to solicit donors.

In an effort to reach its goal, the University introduced the Maroon Loyalty Society in 2015, which recognizes those who have donated for at least three years consecutively with benefits such as invitations to exclusive events. Additionally, in April, the University’s first giving day, 24 Hour Impact, raised $1.4 million. The next 24 Hour Impact is scheduled for February 24-25, 2016.

Furthermore, the University received donations from 41% of College alumni this past year, which is among the highest undergraduate alumni donating rates in the country. “The extensive participation of our alumni in activities as well as donations is an indication of the lasting impact of the University in their lives,” acting Associate Vice President of Communications Jeremy Manier said.

Donations to the University will be used to support faculty and researchers, provide scholarships and other educational opportunities for students, and implement initiatives that further the role the University plays in its local and global communities, according to a 2015 UChicago News article.