Over the past fiscal year, the University of California (UC) system has received over $1.56 billion from private support.
According to the 2011-12 annual report on the UCs’ private support, this is considered a tremendous increase from previous years. Over the past decade, the amount in private support has steadily risen. According to 2010-11 annual private support report, in 2008-09 about $1.3 billion was received. In 2009-10, about $1.35 billion was received. In 2010-11, $1.58 billion was received.
The money is being used to recruit faculty, build research facilities and expand student scholarships.
According to Daniel Dooley, senior vice president for external relations of the UC Office of the President (UCOP), philanthropic funding is becoming an increasingly important part of the UC budget, although it will never fully replace state funding.
“As our state funds have fallen, we’ve seen donors step up to create more endowed faculty chairs and student scholarships, gifts that go right to the heart of our funding challenges,” Dooley said in a press release.
Each campus has received different types of donations and the funds are always directed to specific purposes. There are about 250,000 individuals who donate to the university.
“Virtually all of this money is directed by donors for very specific purposes,” said Geoff O’Neill, the associate vice president for Institutional Advancement. “The only common theme is that they are individuals, corporations and foundations that are looking to support programs that are outstanding and want to make a difference in the life of the university.”
One example is Project You Can, launched by the UC system in 2009. It is an effort to raise $1 billion for scholarship funding. In June 2012, they hit the halfway mark by raising $500 million.
Dooley said it is an attempt to ensure that tuition is never a barrier to students’ access to the UCs.
“We’re looking to develop partnerships with California’s business community and [are] considering a variety of other creative ways to spur private support for our students,” Dooley said.
A detailed report on private support to the UCs gives details on each campus and what its private funding is being used for.
UC Davis in particular raised about $132.4 million during the last fiscal year. As of June 2012, the Campaign for UC Davis has gathered about $826 million in gifts to increase research, scholarships and public service.
The “We are Aggie Pride” program was launched by students to provide emergency financial aid to students in need. They have raised about $30,000 from 300 donors over the first five months.
“This philanthropic support has brought tremendous benefits to our students by allowing them access to a top-quality education at UC Davis, despite a nationwide recession,” said Sarah Colwell, senior manager of marketing and development communications at UC Davis, in an email.
According to Colwell, donors directed about $8 million to support patient care and various programs, including the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, which opened a new building in October 2012.
Certain departments are using funds for improvement projects. A donation of $500,000 is being used to build a classroom and recital hall to support the music department at UC Davis.
Alumna Sandi Redenbach recently gave $5,000 to create a matching fund in support of the School of Education’s Power of 10 Scholarship Fund.
Sustainable buildings like the Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building and the university’s new 34,000-square-foot teaching and research complex were financed entirely by private philanthropy.
“We appreciate each and every one of the donors whose great commitment to UC Davis has made this achievement possible,” said Shaun Keister, vice chancellor for development and alumni relations and president of the UC Davis Foundation, in a statement. “These gifts are already making a tremendous difference in improving the lives of our students and faculty members, and in advancing our innovative research programs, stellar academic instruction and top-quality patient care.”
PAAYAL ZAVERI can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.