University of Illinois, UIF set new fundraising records, direction

Oct 18, 2013 09:01 AM

Thomas J. Farrell, president of the University of Illinois Foundation, wants to establish a new strategic direction for the University of Illinois to not only to raise more money, but also to engage its alumni and donors in supporting the University on various levels, including serving on volunteer boards and serving as ambassadors for the University.

Farrell addressed more than approximately 450 elected Foundation Members and members of the President’s Council and Chancellor’s Circle at the U of I Foundation’s Annual Meeting today (Friday, Oct. 18).

He and other speakers at the meeting encouraged and applauded engagement by alumni and friends and congratulated them for elevating the University of Illinois to a banner year in fundraising.

The University and UIF raised $234.9 million in outright cash gifts, pledge payments, annuities/life income gifts and estate distributions, according to Walter Knorr, U of I chief financial officer and treasurer of the University of Illinois Foundation. This is the largest year in terms of cash in the University’s history and is an 11.5 percent increase ($24.3 million) increase from FY12. The University processed 144,820 gifts during FY13; that is a 2 percent increase from a year ago.

The University and UIF also established a new record in new business during FY13. New gifts, grants, pledges, and deferred commitments totaled $434.9 million. This is the first year that the University has eclipsed the $400 million mark and it is a 40 percent ($124 million) increase from FY12. It is the seventh year in a row that new business has surpassed the $250 million mark.

The combined active endowment for the University and UIF stands at $1.93 billion as of June 30, 2013, compared to $1.65 billion at the end of FY12. The endowment performance for the active blended endowment pool was 12.8 percent for FY13.

“The gifts we continue to receive are a cornerstone that supports the best and brightest students, world-class faculty and leading edge academic and research programs that transform lives and drive progress of our state and nation,” said Robert Easter, President of the University of Illinois.

“The president, chancellors, deans and academic leadership of the University are firmly committed to the idea of building and strengthening relationships within our University community,” said Farrell. “This plan is really their plan and our entire team is dedicated in moving it forward.”

Farrell outlined the framework of a new plan entitled: “A Roadmap to a New Culture of Philanthropy and Engagement.” The plan, once it is finalized, will lay the groundwork for ambitious goals of doubling the fundraising in the next seven to ten years and doubling the endowment. The University-wide plan will be finalized within the next few months.

“We all must work together to continue to advance the University of Illinois as one of the preeminent public research universities in the country and the world,” said Farrell. “This is a critical time for higher education in this country. It is an extremely competitive environment that we operate in. Everybody is recruiting top researchers and scholars to go along with attracting the top students in the country. We must work in a more strategic fashion on all fronts if we want to continue to elevate the University of Illinois and demonstrate our impact nationally and globally.”

“We want to increase private support for the University of Illinois and have it be more in line with the strategic direction and academic priorities of the University,” Farrell said. “That is the most critical part of this plan. Our alumni and donors should have a vested interest in the success of the University of Illinois as we move forward.”

The University of Illinois is a world leader in research and discovery, the largest educational institution in the state with more than 77,000 students, and campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I awards more than 20,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.

The University of Illinois Foundation, which was established in 1935, is dedicated to securing and administering private gifts for the University of Illinois and its three campuses. Since its inception, UIF has been instrumental in securing and administering more than $5 billion in gifts for the University.

For additional Information, contact:

Don Kojich
Vice President for Marketing and Communications
University of Illinois Foundation