Cash gifts exceeded goal last year

Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The University raised a total of $162.8 million in cash gifts last year, exceeding its goal of $140 million but falling short of the $167 million raised in the previous fiscal year.

New gifts and pledges rose by about 24 percent to $167.5 million for fiscal year 2011, up from $135.3 million raised in fiscal year 2010.

“In a slowing economy the second half of the year, cash giving of $162.8 million was something we had to feel pretty good about,” said Steven King ’91, senior vice president for University advancement. The University collected gifts from just under 33,000 donors.

The Annual Fund, which raises funds that contribute to around 6 percent of the University’s operating budget, raised $35.4 million from 31,793 donors, according to Samuel Mencoff ’78 P’11 P’15, co-chair of the Annual Fund.

Beppie Huidekoper, executive vice president for finance and administration, wrote in an email to The Herald that the University “essentially reached all of its goals” for the last fiscal year.

The most recent fiscal year was the first opportunity for the University to test its fundraising might after the completion of the Campaign for Academic Enrichment Dec. 31, 2010. The fundraising effort, officially launched by President Ruth Simmons in 2005, raised a total of $1.61 billion.

“It was always the plan to raise the bar and create a new level of fundraising success and sustain that going forward,” King said.

This was the second most successful year for the annual fund since its inception, Mencoff said.

“The amount was slightly below our goal, but at Brown we always set our aspirations very high,” he said. The goal for fiscal year 2011 was $36 million, which is equal to the record total raised in the previous fiscal year.

Mencoff said the most important conclusion to be drawn from the Annual Fund’s latest year is the trend toward increased participation in the effort.

The annual fund raised $15 million in 2001, he said, meaning it has increased 236 percent since Simmons came to the University. “She has joked that the Annual Fund is the first thing people should think about in the morning, the thing they should think about when they brush their teeth,” Mencoff said.

King said Simmons’ leadership has enhanced the University’s ability to raise large sums of money. “She’s obviously done an incredible job as our leader,” he said. “Her Plan for Academic Enrichment has resulted in Brown believing it can do more.”

King said he does not expect a major dip in fundraising due to the completion of the campaign or the transition to a new president.

“There are external factors beyond our control, but I think in terms of our engagement and efforts over these years, we’re positioned to be in a strong position going forward,” he said.

“The last thing we want to do is have a big drop-off in fundraising and have that impact the transition that will take place,” he added. “We’re going to stay focused and continue to do business as usual in support of University priorities.”

—With additional reporting by Erin Kilduff

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