Donations to Proudly Cincinnati campaign help UC invest in future.
By: Lauren Boettcher
The University of Cincinnati today announced fundraising totals in the amount of $107.8 million during its 2011 fiscal year – which ended June 30 – making last year one of the university’s best fundraising years since FY’00. The contributions to Proudly Cincinnati, the university’s billion-dollar fundraising effort, push the campaign’s total to more than $788.9 million.
News of the University’s strong fundraising year was celebrated by UC’s leadership, which has struggled against massive budget cuts and rising costs. With state funding covering only 21 percent of the University’s total annual budget, philanthropic dollars make all the difference in minimizing annual tuition hikes for students.
“Private support is critical to the University’s success, so we take pride in these accomplishments and the culture of philanthropy we have all worked so hard to instill at the University of Cincinnati,” said UC President Gregory H. Williams. “Investment in the Proudly Cincinnati campaign is essential to funding scholarships, co-op opportunities, research and innovation required to become a world-class institution.”
The university’s success in 2011 reflects a nationwide trend of incremental growth within the higher education sector. According to results of the annual Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey, charitable giving to U.S. colleges and universities increased by 0.5 percent in 2010, as compared to an 11.9 percent drop in 2009.
Williams noted that the point of difference for the Proudly Cincinnati Campaign this year was UC’s exemplary activity in three major areas: faculty and staff support, campaign volunteers and a renewed emphasis on alumni participation:
- Faculty and Staff Support: The 2011 faculty/staff campaign produced record-breaking results with 4,029 faculty and staff committing $6.73 million to their favorite UC programs and initiatives, representing a 42 percent participation rate among active, full-time employees. In addition, the Carl H. Lindner College of Business achieved 100 percent employee participation, becoming the first college to reach full participation in campaign history.
- Campaign Volunteers: A network of 12 regional campaigns, staffed entirely by volunteers and tasked with fundraising goals of their own, has been a critical contributor to the success of Proudly Cincinnati. In fact, the Washington, DC Campaign Committee, chaired by UC Foundation Trustee Todd DeGarmo, exceeded its initial campaign goal of $8 million. Committee members have challenged themselves to reach a new threshold in the final two years of the Proudly Cincinnati campaign.
- Alumni Participation: In FY ’11, UC focused its efforts on increasing alumni participation in the University’s fundraising efforts. Approximately 7,900 donations to the Proudly Cincinnati campaign were attributed to first-time or lapsed donors, due in part to tools like the 1819 effort – which encourages a low threshold of giving in the amount of $18.19, a nod to the University’s founding year – as well as the collective annual giving efforts of colleges and units university-wide.
Proudly Cincinnati: Tower of Strength, Rock of Truth is the University of Cincinnati’s most ambitious fundraising campaign in history, supporting the vision for UC to become the finest public research university in the United States. Proudly Cincinnati’s goal is to raise $1 billion by 2013.