UConn Foundation Reaches Donation Milestone

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Suzanne Morrissey

3 min read

Student scholarships, UConn Endowment are big winners in the FY17 totals

The UConn Foundation has raised nearly $72 million in FY17. Over the last three fiscal years, donors to the University have made commitments and gifts totaling $227 million, by far the best three-year period in UConn’s history.

The $71.8 million in new contributions and pledged commitments comes from 22,243 gifts – most of which were less than $1,000. It is noteworthy that the Foundation reached the $70 million threshold without a gift of more than $4 million, evidence of its emerging strength in its mid-level giving tiers. In FY17 there was a 20 percent increase in the number of gifts between $25,000 and $500,000.

The past fiscal year also saw the Foundation surpass the halfway mark on its multi-year hallmark initiative: Transform Lives scholarship initiative. The Foundation publicly launched Transform Lives to raise $150 million for scholarships and student support in January 2015. Adding $22 million for this initiative in FY17 and reaching $77.1 million overall is a major source of pride for donors and staff.

“Our commitment to students who dream of a UConn education but think it is financially out of their reach is strong,” said UConn Foundation President and CEO Joshua R. Newton. “We want every deserving student who wants to be on a UConn campus to have that chance. Reaching this milestone in the Transform Lives initiative shows our donors, alumni, and friends feel the same way. It is inspiring.”

Of the total funds raised last fiscal year, $5.7 million was in support of capital improvements at UConn, $22 million for scholarship and student support, $25.7 million for program support, $7.4 million for faculty support, and $11 million for research. All told, $42 million was designated for current operations and $29.8 million earmarked for the endowment, which now stands at more than $400 million, with an increase of more than 10 percent since the end of the last fiscal year.

Within these totals are some exciting gifts and commitments worth highlighting. They include:

  • $4 million in support of Environmental Research, the Music Department and Biomedical Engineering
  • $3 million for Athletics, supporting the Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center
  • $3 million for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) in support of an endowed professorship in Psychology
  • $2 million for the School of Social Work supporting scholarships
  • $2 million for the School of Fine Arts in support of Illustration and Graphic Design
  • $1.9 million for the Humanities Institute within the CLAS
  • $1.5 million for the School of Business
  • $1 million for the School of Business supporting scholarships
  • $1 million for Athletics in support of baseball
  • $1 million for the Hartford Regional Campus supporting scholarships

“As chairman of the UConn Foundation Board, I’m proud of the contributions we’ve made to extend UConn’s excellence,” said Dan Toscano. “We must continue to grow the endowment, to partner with donors, and to secure UConn’s future.”

The Foundation has taken bold steps in the last year to strengthen giving on all levels, including the creation of its first-ever Office of Principal Giving, focused on securing transformative gifts, and increasing overall donor count through new methods of engagement with smaller-level donors. With these industry-leading changes and continued support from donors, the University, and the Board of Trustees, the Foundation is well-positioned for a very successful FY18. The fundraising goal for FY18 is $85 million, the largest total for any fiscal year in the UConn Foundation’s history.

“I’ve never been more excited to begin a new fiscal year than I am right now,” Newton said. “Our principal giving program is already producing dividends, and philanthropy will undoubtedly play an increasingly important role in moving the University forward. There are great days ahead for UConn Nation.”

“Our generous donors are key to UConn’s continued climb among the finest universities in the nation,” said UConn President Susan Herbst. “We see the power of philanthropy every day on our campuses throughout the state. UConn’s donors help scholarship students achieve their dreams and fund vital research university-wide. We are incredibly grateful for their friendship and support. Together we look forward to another successful year.”

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