KU Endowment’s annual report shows market value of $1.22 billion

An annual report released Friday from Kansas University Endowment shows a decrease in the market value of the endowment but higher levels of donor support and money transferred to KU.

The overall market value of the endowed funds fell to $1.22 billion from $1.24 billion last year. The report reflected the state of the endowment on June 30, the end of the fiscal year.

Following years of double-digit positive returns, the endowment began to see the effects of a slumping economy.

“We’re subject to the global economy just like everyone else,” said Dale Seuferling, KU Endowment president. “It’s a different environment within which to work.”

He said KU Endowment intended to stay the course with its investment strategies, saying that the endowed funds are well-diversified. He said he expects that KU Endowment will benefit when the market rebounds.

However, even in the tight financial times, 45,014 people donated money to KU Endowment during the last fiscal year, up over last year’s 43,400 donors. Seuferling said the number of donors was higher than ever before.

“We’re pleased with the ability to engage donors at record levels,” he said, adding that the economic downturn has required a different approach to use with donors in recent months.

The approach is more sensitive to those who may be struggling financially, and may involve a restructuring of a gift over a longer period of time.

Even with tighter economic times, the association has still been able to announce some recent large donations, including two for the KU Cancer Center. Those included a $1 million gift from George and Floriene Lieberman and a $20 million donation from Kansas City civic leader Annette Bloch.

In addition, the association announced it gave $112.1 million in support to KU campuses during the last fiscal year, up 18 percent from the previous year.

“Each year we strive to increase support,” Seuferling said.

The annual report was released to coincide with the annual meeting of the KU Endowment Board of Trustees.

KU’s endowed funds provide levels of support in many different measures of the university, including providing funds for most scholarships, recruitment of faculty, support of new research and programs and construction of new buildings.

The association provided $40 million for facilities during the last fiscal year, and saw the completion of three new buildings – the Anderson Family Football Complex, Krehbiel Scholarship Hall and the Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center.