September 16, 2015

President Meehan announces record-breaking fundraising year

Says fundraising success a key to becoming best public university system

BOSTON -- The University of Massachusetts enjoyed a record-setting fundraising year in Fiscal Year 2015, generating $129.5 million in new gifts and commitments and also attracting $98.6 million in cash gifts, President Marty Meehan announced today.

“Just as we see our reputation and rankings soaring and enrollment climbing higher, we now see a significant surge in private financial support for UMass, as alumni, friends and members of the business community want to be clear about their support for our mission and cause,” President Meehan said.

The $98.6 million in cash gifts received by the five campuses of the UMass system, a 12.6 percent increase over the previous year, is a record amount. The University also generated $129.5 million in new gifts and commitments, up by 11 percent over the prior year, and the second-highest amount ever.

Fiscal Year 2015 Fundraising
• $98.6 million in cash gifts received
• $129.5 million in cash gifts, new pledges and gifts in-kind

President Meehan also announced that the UMass endowment has reached $768 million as of June 30, a record high.

Financial gifts to the University are employed in various ways, but the two main uses are: funding student scholarships and providing research grants/supporting the salaries of faculty members. UMass students received $236 million in financial aid directly from the University last year, and scholarship funds donated to the University were central to the success of that program. Most of the funds contributed to the University – more than 80 percent – are restricted for particular uses, such as student scholarships, faculty research grants and other campus-priority areas, and cannot be spent for any other purpose.

“Fundraising strength demonstrates that those closest to us hold UMass in very high regard, and also positions us for future success by enhancing our ability to attract and retain top students, faculty and staff,” President Meehan said.

“Our goal is to provide the citizens of the Commonwealth with a public university system that is second to none, and raising private funds is one of the keys to achieving that goal,” he noted. “We’re focused on being the best and that requires a commitment to excellence in everything that we do.”

President Meehan released the new fundraising data as the UMass Board of Trustees met at UMass Boston.

Among the year’s fundraising highlights:

• UMass Amherst generated $47.37 million in new gifts and commitments last year, the most of any campus, and has surpassed the $300 million goal of its UMass Rising campaign more than a year early.
• UMass Lowell had its best fundraising year on record, at $21 million, continuing a five-year, record-setting streak.
• UMass Medical School also had its best year on record, at $45.5 million, up from $32.l million in Fiscal Year 2014.
• UMass Boston received new gift commitments from nearly 5,000 alumni -- the largest number of alumni donors in five years.
• UMass Dartmouth received total cash gifts of $3.9 million, up from $3.2 million in Fiscal Year 2014.

“We are going to continue to work hard in this area, given its importance to our mission and aspirations,” said President Meehan, who added: “I commend the chancellors and their staffs for their hard work and strong performance, and look forward to continued success in the future.”

At a time when UMass has been named one of the 100 best universities in the world and is winning acclaim on many other fronts, President Meehan said three major factors in ensuring future success are:

• Strong levels of private support
• Significant and predictable funding from the state
• The University’s continued focus on efficiency and effectiveness in its operations

“There is a clear financial formula for success and fundraising looms large in that calculation, which is why we are so pleased by the surge we are seeing and are working hard to build on the momentum,” President Meehan said. “I thank everyone who has contributed to UMass and ask our supporters to continue to stand with us, as we work to build an even better University and a brighter future for the Commonwealth, the nation and the world.”

Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073