University of Vermont

Center for Cultural Pluralism

UVM Foundation Sets New Fundraising Records in Fiscal 2014

Participants in UVM's Investiture Ceremony for endowed professors and chairs, April, 2014. Donors funded 23 new endowed faculty positions at UVM in FY14, one of many highlights in a record-setting fundraising year by the University of Vermont Foundation. (Photo: Sally McCay)

The University of Vermont Foundation set new records in its fundraising activities on behalf of the university during fiscal 2014, surpassing the previous historic milestones for both commitments and receipts from donors.

New fundraising commitments broke the $55 million mark for the first time in UVM history. Total commitments to UVM reached $55,248,575 as of June 30, 2014, compared with $44,523,540 in the same period a year ago, an increase of 24 percent. The previous record of $45,067,395 was set in FY12. Commitments include new gifts, new pledges and new bequests documented during the year.

Total receipts for the same period also reached a new record -- $37,119,156 compared with the previous high of $37,003,059 set a year ago. Receipts include new gifts, payments on current and prior years’ pledges and realized bequests. Online giving reached a record high of $656,000 in receipts for the year, a 12 percent increase over FY13.

“This was another outstanding year for philanthropy that benefits the University of Vermont,” said UVM Foundation president and CEO Richard Bundy. “Over the three and a half years the UVM Foundation has been in existence, our donors have consistently demonstrated that they support the university and understand the profound impact private gifts have on the ongoing strength and vitality of this truly exceptional institution.”

Of the more than $55 million in new commitments, $10.3 million was given for student scholarship support, $7.4 million for endowed chairs and professorships, $9.3 million for facilities, and $28 million for support of academic and other programs. Nearly the entire total — $53 million of the $55.25 million (96 percent) — was restricted by the donor for specific purposes. The $21,991,660 in commitments to the College of Medicine was also a new record.

“Passing the $55 million mark in our annual fundraising efforts is truly a significant milestone for the University of Vermont,” said Tom Sullivan, UVM president. “This level of support signifies that our donors are solidly committed to UVM’s strategic direction and priorities, which are tightly focused on academic excellence, student success and providing an exceptional student experience.”

The $10.3 million contributed to student scholarships -- a 35 percent increase over last year’s $7.6 million -- supports Sullivan’s top strategic priority of keeping a UVM education financially accessible and affordable for students. He has also stressed the importance of attracting and retaining outstanding faculty, an aspiration advanced by the twenty-three new endowed faculty positions created by donors in fiscal 2014, including 14 Green and Gold Professorships established with a single, $3.5 million gift from the surgical faculty at the College of Medicine and Fletcher Allen Health Care. There were 52 endowed faculty positions at UVM when Sullivan became president, and he has made doubling that number by 2019 a priority for the university and the foundation. There are currently 87 endowed professorships and chairs at UVM.

Of the $9.3 million devoted to facilities projects, $5 million was contributed by alumnus Jack Silver ’64 and his wife, Shirley, for the renovation of the Billings Library on University Row and the Alumni House at 61 Summit Street. An additional $2 million gift from alumna Michele Resnick Cohen ’72, and her husband, Martin Cohen, will be used to create new classroom, studio and exhibit space in the Elihu B. Taft School on South Williams street, significantly expanding facilities dedicated to the visual arts at UVM.

More than half of total commitments -- $28,185,991 -- were directed toward support for individual programs or research projects across the university, including the College of Medicine, Vermont Cancer Center, Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, Lake Champlain research, Fleming Museum, UVM Extension, UVM Athletics and many others.

About half of the university’s 21,000 donors were alumni of the university.