UNCG raises $110.6 million, eyes next drive

Patricia W. Stewart
Patricia W. Stewart

Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — For the capital campaign it kicked off July 1, 2004, with an initial goal of $78.2 million, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro expanded its previous North Carolina focus and worked aggressively to raise money throughout the U.S.

The strategy paid off: After reaching that goal in just two-and-a-half years and then increasing it to $100 million, UNCG now has raised $110.6 million, including two gifts of roughly $4 million each from donors in Seattle and San Diego, and an anonymous gift of $6 million through a trust company in Denver.

“We broadened our horizons from just North Carolina to canvassing the country,” says Patricia W. Stewart, vice chancellor for university advancement. “You have to go where the donors are.”

Now, UNCG is developing a strategic plan, setting priorities and looking ahead to its next campaign.

If it follows the trend reflected in the current campaign, which doubled the total raised in one that ended in 1999, the next campaign could set a goal over $200 million, Stewart says.

“If we’re on that tangent, if we continue on the same trajectory, we could potentially double that number again” from the current campaign, she says.

But she cautioned that many variables, such as the economy and “donor fatigue,” would be factors in setting a goal.

UNCG likely will begin a study in about a year to test the feasibility of a new campaign.

For now, the university still is raising money and collecting pledges for the current campaign, and considering a mini-campaign over the next two to three years to raise funds for ongoing scholarship and research needs.

Fundraising staff, for example, will be making “identification calls” to roughly 8,000 alumni to learn more about them and ways in which they might want to be involved in the university.

The staff also will be following up with roughly 800 people who attended “Meet the Chancellor” events this year with Linda Brady, who began working as chancellor last August 1.

Co-chaired by Linda Arnold Carlisle and Norman and Sylvia Samet, all of Greensboro, the campaign raised $59.8 million for student support; $14.1 million to attract and retain faculty; $29.1 million for academic programs and facilities; and $4.1 million for research and service.

Funds raised in the campaign have created 14 new professorships, 193 new undergraduate scholarships and 152 program endowments and student-awards programs.

Givers included over 13,800 alumni, over 7,400 friends, over 1,000 corporations and foundations, and nearly 1,200 faculty and staff.

The three biggest gifts will support a range of activities.

A $4 million gift from alumna Rebecca Lloyd of San Diego, UNCG’s biggest gift ever from an alumna, will endow the school’s International Honors College, supporting recruiting of students from throughout the U.S. and abroad and letting freshmen travel to any of 43 sites in the world where the school offers programs.

A $3.85 million gift from Robert McDowell, a Microsoft executive, and his wife, Lissa Shelley McDowell, will support global information technology, the Weatherspoon Museum of Art, and the improvement of students’ reading, writing and speaking skills.

And the $6 million gift from the anonymous donor, UNCG’s biggest gift ever, will support student aid and new professorships.

The campaign that is just ending also has had a big impact on annual fundraising and planned giving at UNCG, Stewart says.

During the course of the campaign, the school’s annual fund grew to $3 million, up from less than $1 million during the previous campaign, which raised $55 million and ended in 1999.

And planned giving grew significantly, Stewart says, with irrevocable planned gifts more than tripling in the first four years of the campaign, and revocable planned gifts more than doubling.

“A campaign is really good for getting everybody’s boat to float higher,” she says. “We got out there in the public’s eye much more often in terms of communications and engagment. Overall, what the response became was our alums and friends believe in this institution and our mission and what we are fulfilling, especially for the state of North Carolina, in educating for our future.”

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