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Advancement Committee says Honor the Future campaign fundraising remains ahead of schedule

92 percent of the $5 billion goal achieved

The Advancement Committee oversees University development, which includes communication with alumni and the public and organizing outreach events.
The Advancement Committee oversees University development, which includes communication with alumni and the public and organizing outreach events.

The University is ahead of fundraising goals for the fiscal year, according to the Board of Visitors Advancement Committee. The Committee announced during the meeting Thursday from 2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. that 92 percent of $5 billion campaign goals have been reached as of May 22 — a 3 percent increase since March

The fundraising plan, outlined in the Honor the Future Campaign launched in 2019, supports the University's core pillars of education, democracy and research.

In this fiscal year, total annual philanthropic cash flow from donors has reached $300 million and total commitments from future donors reached $463 million. Vice President for Advancement Mark Luellen described philanthropic cash flow as cash received “in the door” that can be put directly towards initiatives. Luellen also said the committee is likely to reach the goals outlined in the Honor the Future Campaign sooner than the two year deadline. 

“I think the only real question is where will we be when the campaign finally finishes,” Luellen said.

The Advancement Committee oversees University development, which includes communication with alumni and the public, organizing outreach events, branding efforts and capital campaigns. The Committee has also seen about 62 percent growth in gifting commitments over the last five years. 

Luellen attributed this growth to several different factors, including an increase in large gifts to the campaign. In the first five years of the HTF campaign — before the initiative went public — there was an average of about 50 gifts a year of $1 million or more. In the last five years of the campaign, that number has grown to 90 gifts a year of $1 million or more — an 80 percent growth in large gifts. In total, large gifts have composed about 57 percent of the total campaign. 

Other areas of monetary growth in the HTF campaign include gift planning and corporate and foundation relations. In the last five years, the campaign had a 50 percent per year increase in bequest intentions — gifts to the University through wills or living trusts. 

Through the life income program, donors are able to donate assets to the University while also receiving a stream of regular payments for the duration of their lives.

“We now have a total life Income program that has surpassed Princeton, Penn, USC, Berkeley, UNC and others,” Luellen said. “So it has been again a big area of growth for us.”

Corporate and foundation relations also increased. Gifting grant conversations have increased 112 percent and commitments have increased 65 percent in the last five years, according to Luellen. 

Cindy Fredrick, University advancement senior associate vice president of engagement, addressed the Committee with a presentation regarding the Office of Engagement, whose work includes networking with alumni, friends and family. Over the last six years, 111,000 individuals have donated or registered for 5,700 events organized through the Office of Engagement. Fredrick attributed this improvement as a result of increased direct marketing of fundraising campaigns to the community. 

The University Clubs Global Network program — a network of over 1300 current and former volunteers over 120 regions — also aids the office by organizing diverse events for alumni, parents, family members and current and prospective students. This collaboration is key to achieving the goals of the Office of Engagement, Fredrick said.

“We all win when we work together to achieve our common goal of engaging the U.Va. community in the life of the University,” Frederick said. 

In other engagement efforts, Fredrick said University President Jim Ryan has led 18 “Run with Jim’s” — a running series started by Ryan around Grounds in 2018 — with groups from Miami to London. Additionally, a record number of 902 fourth-year students participated in the Fourth Year Run with Jim — an annual fourth-year run to celebrate the graduating class. 

The Advancement Committee will meet again for the September meetings of the Board of Visitors. 


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