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Foundation posts solid results for 2005

by Art Sorrentino - September 12, 2005

Fund-raising totals for the 2004-05 fiscal year were the third highest in the University’s history.

New gifts and commitments received during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005 were $55.8 million, the UConn Foundation has announced. The previous year – the final year of Campaign UConn – the Foundation reported gifts totaling $74.8 million.

There were nearly 36,000 donors to the University: 35,951 households, compared to 37,852 in 2004. The largest single contribution was $10 million from Ray Neag ’56 and Carole Neag to support the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Health Center. Largely as a result of that gift, the Health Center raised $21 million – an all-time high for a single year. The Division of Athletics raised $16.8 million in 2004, also a record high total; while contributions to benefit the Storrs and regional campuses were $18 million.

Alumni contributed 38 percent of the amount raised; corporations provided 24.6 percent; and private foundations another 16.6 percent; the remainder was contributed by other individuals who are not alumni.

Cash gifts, which include payments in the current year on new pledges, as well as those made on outstanding pledges from previous years, amounted to $56.2 million.

A total of 49 new endowed funds were established by donors to fund scholarships and programs across the University and support faculty, bringing the overall number of these funds to 1,065. The dollar value of endowment gifts eligible for state matching grants was $16.5 million, an increase of 51 percent over the previous year.

Although the state match is calculated based on calendar-year gift receipts, the June 30 total represents 82 percent of the University’s goal of $20 million for 2005. Earlier this year the state legislature amended the terms of the state matching program to provide a one-to-four match ($1 in matching funds for every $4 raised) for gifts and pledges to endowment made after Dec. 31, 2004.

The Annual Fund, which raises unrestricted gifts for the University, increased its receipts by 20 percent, surpassing the $3 million threshold for the first time. As part of this, contributions to the deans’ funds in various schools and colleges grew 41 percent compared with last year’s results. A total of 26,787 donors supported the Annual Fund.

On the investment side, returns for the Foundation’s pooled investment portfolio were 10 percent, compared to Standard & Poor’s national benchmark return of 6.3 percent. Among the highlights: emerging markets and real estate investments showed particularly strong growth, each generating returns of approximately 35 percent; while bonds, hedge funds, and private capital portfolios produced returns of 8 percent, 9.5 percent, and 16 percent, respectively.

This is the third consecutive year that investment returns have helped produce a record high endowment total at the University. At the end of the fiscal year, endowed assets totaled $272 million, an increase of $20 million, or 8 percent, above the total at the close of 2004.

“Coming off the success of Campaign UConn last year, we have kept up the momentum in our fund-raising efforts during 2005,” said Foundation president John K. Martin.

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