Private support of $228.6 million sets new record

Recently ended fiscal year sees highest giving total in CU history
By Staff

Scholarships, including one in Boulder for participants in precollegiate programs, that help students afford college. A new Colorado Springs program that inspires and prepares students to become K-12 teachers in technical disciplines. An innovative center for commodities to anchor a new downtown Denver business school building. Endowed chairs that support faculty excellence in women’s health research, childhood dental medicine and adult diabetes on our medical campus.

These are among the more than 2,300 programs that more than 47,000 individuals, foundations and corporations supported this past year at the University of Colorado, which benefited from more than $228.6 million in private support for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2012. The preliminary numbers represent the highest fiscal-year total in CU history.

“I appreciate the confidence donors have in our great university, and the support they provide that makes us even greater,” said CU President Bruce D. Benson. “Private support is increasingly important to CU’s operations, and our donors help ensure that CU continues to provide teaching, research, health care and outreach of the highest caliber.”

Nearly half the funds were donated through the University of Colorado Foundation, the university’s development and investment management arm. Donors gave $110.1 million through the foundation, a 7.5 percent increase over last year and the foundation’s second-highest single-year total ever.

The $228.6 million total also includes $118.5 million in private support booked directly through CU or the CU Real Estate Foundation. This aggregate total exceeds by 7 percent last year’s then-record of $213.6 million in private support.

Gifts through the CU Foundation include $43.5 million toward the Anschutz Medical Campus, $45.5 million toward the University of Colorado Boulder, $7.6 million toward the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, $13.1 million toward the University of Colorado Denver, and just over $300,000 directed toward the CU system.

CU Denver enjoyed its most successful fundraising year ever, bolstered by three seven-figure commitments, including $5.5 million by J.P. Morgan Chase to name the J.P. Morgan Center for Commodities on the first floor of the new CU Denver Business School building.

“The strong support of our donors is a clear indication of the life-changing work occurring on each of CU’s four campuses,” said CU Foundation President and CEO Richard W. Lawrence. “We will continue to work hard to reinforce our donors’ faith in our efforts.”

Another positive fundraising development this year is a continued strong pipeline of bequest commitments made by donors. The foundation recorded more than $30 million in future estate commitments this year, and the total pipeline of provisions made by donors in their estate plans this year surpassed $190 million — nearly half of which has been committed in the last three years. Though not counted in aforementioned fundraising totals, these commitments indicate a strong likely future flow of gifts that will benefit CU for generations to come.

 Donors are creating futures at CU by supporting:

  • Discovery and Innovation at CU Denver, where a $900,000 grant by the Merck Foundation supports an XSci research collaborative that explores how extraordinary physical experiences can make good teachers great.
  • Learning and Teaching at CU-Boulder, where Roe Green (’70) endowed the first faculty chair for an arts program in CU history with a $2 million pledge establishing the Roe Green Chair in Theatre.
  • Community and Culture at the Anschutz Medical Campus, where a $1 million commitment from the Bolanos Foundation will help establish a health clinic in Guatemala, in conjunction with efforts by faculty and students at the CU Center for Global Health.
  • Health and Wellness at UCCS, where, thanks to a $4 million gift, the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences will integrate clinical care, teaching, and research to benefit Pikes Peak region seniors athletes and others.

Benson reinforces that, because more than 98 percent of donors earmark their gifts for specific purposes, philanthropy does not replace the need for operational funds squeezed by declining state funding.

CU has raised more than 80 percent of its $1.5 billion goal for the Creating Futures campaign, which began in 2006 and was announced publicly in April 2011. Ongoing priorities for support for this campaign include: scholarships, endowed chairs and professorships; research programs; buildings and infrastructure; and academic support.

Endowments held by the CU Foundation were valued at approximately $773 million as of June 30, 2012. The CU Foundation’s Long Term Investment Pool (LTIP), which includes the vast majority of these endowments, declined 0.9 percent in the trailing 12-month period, bettering the 2.5 percent decline of the LTIP’s benchmark (this benchmark is based on the average performance of a fund with the LTIP’s target asset allocation). Over the trailing five years, the LTIP has gained 9.7 percent, materially exceeding the benchmark’s 1.3 percent decline.