October 27, 2014

University announces $511 million in total fundraising last year

The University raised a record-breaking $511 million in fiscal year 2014, coinciding with the launch of the public phase of a new fundraising campaign.

Announced last week, the $511 million includes gifts donated to specific causes, such as a $90-million gift for cancer research from Ludwig Cancer Research. Other gifts include $25 million from the George Lucas Family Foundation for the creation of a new arts hall at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, and a $15-million gift from the Pritzker Foundation for a new nanoscale fabrication facility at the Institute of Molecular Engineering.

“The University’s record-breaking annual fundraising results show that we are reaching new heights of support at exactly the right time,” Chair of the Board of Trustees Andrew M. Alper said in an e-mail. “Our alumni, parents, and friends are demonstrating unprecedented enthusiasm and commitment to the University’s ambitious intellectual agenda.”

This year’s amount marks an 11-percent increase from the last fiscal year. The University has seen an overall increase in alumni gifts and involvement from past years, with 41 percent of alumni donating to the University in fiscal year 2014 and more than 81,000 alumni donating, volunteering, or attending University events.

The Senior Class Gift campaign also showed record success in the past year, with 1,013 students participating to raise more than $107,000 toward The College Fund.

The record fundraising contributed to the preliminary, or quiet phase, of a major new fundraising campaign, The University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact. The public phase of the campaign is set to begin on Wednesday and will conclude in 2019. According to a press release, the University created the campaign to enhance “support for faculty and researchers who are shaping fields of inquiry, distinctive educational opportunities for students at all levels, and innovative programs to enhance the University’s local and global reach and impact.”

The campaign’s fundraising goal is set at $4.5 billion. As of May 2014, the quiet phase of the campaign had already raised more than $2 billion toward this goal.

Alper said that members of the board have already provided immense support to the campaign.

“Our trustees, trustee emeriti, and their families together have donated more than $825 million to the campaign thus far, representing more than a third of the money raised during the campaign’s quiet phase,” he said.