News: Featured Stories

November 21, 2014

Your Generosity. Our Talent. UMass seeks to raise $800 million to $1 billion in private funds.

  • The UMass System
UMass Foundation launches first-ever, system-wide capital campaign.

BOSTON – The University of Massachusetts Foundation has launched a multi-media advertising campaign to support the University’s first system-wide, comprehensive capital fundraising campaign, which seeks to raise $800 million to $1 billion in private funds.  The funds raised will help support student scholarships and financial aid, faculty research and other campus priorities.

“This campaign will help all the campuses in their fundraising efforts, which are vital as the University seeks to build on its current momentum and critical to its long-term success,” said UMass President Robert L. Caret, who is also president of the Foundation.  “The state has demonstrated a strong commitment to the University and we are grateful for the public support, which we believe reflects our legacy of delivering results.  Now, we are looking to couple that with increased support from the private sector because the future of this vital state asset lies in sustained support from both the public and private sectors.”

In the fiscal year that ended in June, the five-campus UMass system – recently ranked as the No. 1 public university in New England in the World University Rankings -- increased private fundraising by 12 percent, helping to drive the University’s endowment to a record $757 million.

“The campuses generated real fundraising momentum in the past year and we believe this effort will help them build on that progress as they begin their capital campaigns,” said Charles Pagnam, vice president for advancement of the University and executive vice president of the UMass Foundation.

The Foundation’s “Your UMass Gift Works” campaign comes as the UMass President’s Office moves forward with its multi-media “Here For a Reason” branding campaign, which focuses on the activities and accomplishments of UMass students and faculty.  The branding campaign is the University’s first since 2012, when it produced a series of television advertisements celebrating the accomplishments of UMass alumni.  Both campaigns come at a time when UMass has enjoyed a string of successes, including surging student enrollment and continued recognition as a national research and discovery leader.

The “Your UMass Gift Works” campaign focuses on the return Massachusetts receives on its investment in UMass, specifically the contributions made by the University and its alumni in workforce development, technology, healthcare, and education.  For example, the ads note that:

UMass produces more women STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) graduates than any other college or university in Massachusetts.
The University trains more health care professionals—including physicians, nurses, physical therapists and nutritionists—than any other college or university in the Commonwealth.   
Sixty percent of the University’s 450,000 alumni live in Massachusetts, building lives and communities, creating jobs, and helping drive the state’s innovation economy.

The campaign, which consists of print, digital, and radio, will take place in two stages – November and December, when philanthropic giving is at its peak, and April and May, when commencements and alumni reunions occur.  The ads will appear in local and national publications, as well as theater and symphony playbills and programs; local and national digital news outlets; regional and streaming radio; North and South Stations; and Logan Airport.  The campaign also includes a microsite with video remarks from President Caret and links to the campus development websites.

The ads were produced by the national marketing communications agency Lipman Hearne.  The “Here For a Reason” campaign was developed by Boathouse Inc. of Waltham, in association with the UMass President’s Office communications department.

About the UMass Foundation

The UMass Foundation is a private, non-profit corporation founded in 1950 to foster and promote the growth, progress and general welfare of the University of Massachusetts, recently ranked as the No. 1 public university in New England in the World University Rankings.  The Foundation provides a depository for charitable contributions to UMass, manages the University’s endowment, promotes private support of public higher education, and supports the fundraising efforts of the five UMass campuses – UMass Amherst, UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth, UMass Lowell and UMass Medical School.


Media Contacts:

For UMass Foundation

Ray Howell, 617-571-3114,

For UMass President’s Office

Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073,