UConn Donors Top Fundraising Goal for 2012

The University of Connecticut Foundation on the Storrs campus.
The University of Connecticut Foundation on the Storrs campus.

Donors contributed $60 million to support the University’s students, faculty, and programs during the 2012 fiscal year, exceeding the $57 million goal for the year, the University of Connecticut Foundation announced July 31.

The $60 million in new gifts and pledges is 18.7 percent higher than the $50.6 million raised by the Foundation in 2011, and marks fiscal year 2012 as having the highest annual fundraising total since the $600 million Our University. Our Moment. campaign began in 2006. It is also the second most successful year since the Foundation began actively fundraising at UConn in the mid-1990s.

“This is fabulous news for the entire UConn community,” says UConn President Susan Herbst. “We are already a top research university with an international footprint across disciplines. However, the University cannot achieve its goal of joining the very top tier of international leaders in higher education without greater levels of private giving.”

Of the $60 million in private gifts and commitments, $11.4 million was directed for scholarships and other student support; $1.4 million for faculty support; and $47.2 million for program support and facilities. Donors contributed $11 million to the University’s endowment.

Nearly half of the total raised ($27.4 million) was designated for general university purposes, while $21.8 million was raised for the Division of Athletics and $10.9 million for the Health Center.

Since Herbst became President in 2011, the University has embarked upon a number of high-profile initiatives that have raised its visibility and provided donors with potential new avenues to support UConn. These include the Bioscience Connecticut initiative at the UConn Health Center in Farmington, the new Technology Park in Storrs, the recent announcement of plans to hire 290 additional faculty in the next four years, and the acceleration of plans to build a new basketball practice facility on the Storrs campus.

Of the funds raised for the Division of Athletics, $11.3 million was designated for the basketball facility, which will be the first major construction project at UConn to be funded entirely through private donations. A $4.5 million contribution from Peter and Pamela Werth for the project is the largest single gift ever to the Division of Athletics. Another historic pledge to University athletics – $3 million for soccer and the Morrone Stadium Enhancement Fund – was made by an anonymous donor.

“Our fundraising in the future will be focused on all aspects of the University, but of course support of students and faculty is central,” says Herbst. “My highest priorities are helping students afford college, making their experience great, supporting our faculty, and creating campus facilities that compare with the very best.”

Other fundraising results:

  • The total number of gifts received for the year exceeded 29,000.
  • Alumni contributed $21 million, or 35 percent of the total, while parents and other individuals donated $19 million, or 31.8 percent.
  • Corporations contributed $9.3 million, or 15.5 percent, and private foundations gave $5 million, or 8.5 percent.
  • The Annual Giving program raised slightly more than $8 million in current university operating support from 23,498 donors.
  • Estate gifts represent $10 million, or 18 percent of the total funds raised.

“We have achieved an important milestone in our fundraising efforts,” says John Martin, president of the UConn Foundation. “As we work harder to broadcast UConn’s excellence and value, our alumni and friends are increasing their support and demonstrating their awareness of the role of private philanthropy in sustaining UConn as one of the top public research universities in the country.”

The current capital campaign, called Our University. Our Moment, was launched in 2006 to substantially increase the University’s endowment and to increase the resources available to support students, faculty, and programs across all of UConn’s campuses. So far during the campaign, the UConn Foundation has raised $337 million from nearly 85,000 gifts toward the overall goal of $600 million. During the campaign, 70 donors have made gifts of $1 million or more.