In the midst of budget cuts, the University’s fundraising efforts rose to the occasion last year, resulting in the second-largest year for donations in UNC history.
The University raised $287.4 million in the 2012 fiscal year, coming in short of the record $300.9 million raised in 2008.
Scott Ragland, director of development communications, said last year’s success reflects the way donors view the University.
“They see we’re doing wonderful work and want to support it,” Ragland said.
Matt Kupec, vice chancellor for University advancement, said the University went about fundraising just as it always does — by pitching UNC’s vision of excellence.
“(It was just that) the economy got a little better,” he said.
Ragland said alumni gifts make up the biggest percentage of donations each year.
Chancellor Holden Thorp said he and other administrators traveled this summer to appeal to big donors.
“We do really well getting gifts between $500,000 and $2 million,” Thorp said.
Kupec said this is because the state pledges to donate $1 for every $2 donated to endowed professorships in this range.
One summer gift was a $2.7 million donation to the UNC School of Law from the Kathrine R. Everett Charitable Trust.
Kris Jensen, associate dean for advancement in the law school, said the law school typically raises funds independently but works with the University during campaigns.
“Each unit sets their own goal as part of the overall University goal,” she said.
Jensen said that donations are particularly important in the wake of drastic budget cuts.
“Donations take what they can off the plate that would have to be transferred to the students eventually,” she said.
The University is currently preparing for another fundraising campaign, following the 1999-2007 Carolina First campaign, which brought in $2.38 billion.
Kupec said the campaign is still in the planning process.
“We’re going to take this year and get more details on the plan,” he said.
Kupec said officials will present recommendations to the Board of Trustees in May, but right now it’s too soon to make predictions.
But he said even in non-campaigning years, UNC is typically successful in bringing in donations.
“This University, in terms of fundraising, finishes 17th or 18th year in and year out,” he said.
Contact the desk editor at email@example.com.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.