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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

‘Deis raises $81.3 mil

Published: September 1, 2006
Section: News

Brandeis set a university fundraising record of $81.25 million in cash gifts for the fiscal year ending on Jun. 30, according to the University Office of Development. This eclipsed the old record of $72 million, which was set in 2003.
The record total included $19.7 million from alumni, $8.3 million from the parents of students, $17.8 million from corporations and foundations, and $29.5 million from friends of the university. The contributions received from alumni, comprising 24% of the total, also constituted a new record, as did the $27.5 million donated by members of the Board of Trustees.
One thing we really care about is alumni giving, because alumni giving is our future, said Nancy Winship, Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement. Weve been able to quadruple alumni fundraising over the years, and thats been very important.
However, Winship added that at the same time, we cant neglect our friends because Brandeis has always been supported by friends. A friend is a personal donor who is neither an alumni or a parent, such as Carl J. Shapiro. Other notable donors include Michael Steinhart, the Mandels, Barbara and Richard Rosenberg, and Lester Crown.
Friends have always been essential for Brandeis, said Winship. Whereas other institutions traditionally turn to their alumni, Brandeis needed its friends. Brandeis will always depend on friends, and were very fortunate to have them.
Since Brandeis is a relatively young institution, graduating its first class in 1952, it can not depend upon alumni giving as older universities do. Schools such as Wellesley, Dartmouth, and Harvard receive over 40% of their contributions from pre-1952 graduates according to the Brandeis Development Office and thus do not need to rely as heavily on friends and foundations.
The University Development office actively pursues new friends, particularly through connections fostered by the Board of Trustees. Our trustees open doors. They meet people and say Id really love to tell you about Brandeis, noted Winship, also adding that a lot of the programs we do attract people who come maybe to hear a lecture. So, its a combination of the programs, the academic excellence, [and] the mission.
In addition to the cash gifts, Brandeis received $63.3 million in new pledges, which are binding commitments to give monetary gifts over an extended period of time. Maybe its a two year commitment, maybe its a three year commitment, said Winship. Thats a pipeline that you know is there, signed, sealed.
Over the last eight years, the percentage of alumni gifts as part of the total moneys received has more than doubled. In 1998, only 10.1% of funds raised by the university came from alumni. The Development Office hopes that in the next few years alumni gifts will equal the total given by friends of the university.
Weve been able to do both, increase alumni giving and still find new friends who are very passionate about Brandeis, what it represents, and our mission, said Nancy Winship, adding that Brandeis has never been in better shape. We worked very hard to get where we are. Ten years ago the fundraising development operation was like a mom and pop shop and now its as professional as any other part of the university, as any of our benchmark institutions.