Donations and pledges soared to a record $106.4 million for the Kansas University Endowment Association during the past year, lifted by contributions targeted for life-sciences research and for cancer treatment and prevention.
The total through June 30 marked a 13 percent increase from the record $94 million generated by the end of the previous fiscal year, the association announced Tuesday. The total number of donors also climbed to 45,186, the most during the association’s 118-year history.
Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment, said that the record levels of giving in an economic downturn showed that the giving public understands the needs of reinforcing university priorities, and showed confidence in KU’s overall mission.
“Really, it reflects the great depth and breadth of the university in so many ways,” he said.
Still, he said that while giving was strong during the first six months of the year, it tapered off during the last six months as economic conditions worsened.
“The willingness to be flexible with donors to establish pledges that they can pay over two-, three- or four-year periods as opposed to needing to have the commitment be completed all at once has been helpful,” Seuferling said.
KU Endowment is an independent, nonprofit organization that serves as the official fundraising and fund-management foundation for the university. Resources provided through the association help support university programs, projects, scholarships and other needs.
As KU continues to push for designation as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute, donors have provided resources during the past year to make these and other efforts possible:
• The new Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation, to help develop pharmaceuticals and biomedical devices.
• Expanded cancer treatment at KU Hospital through the Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Care Pavilion.
“I am deeply grateful to our donors,” KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said in a statement. “In this difficult budget environment, our donors’ generosity is inspiring. It speaks volumes about their determination for KU to maintain its place as a world-class university.”
In addition to the $106.4 million in gifts and pledges, KU supporters also documented an additional $9.6 million in deferred gifts.
Other efforts made possible by donors making contributions during the past fiscal year, according to the association:
• 88 new endowed scholarships and 12 new student awards, to benefit students in perpetuity.
• Three new endowed professorships, to help recruit faculty.