Donors deposited a record-breaking amount of money into the University of Missouri’s coffers last fiscal year.
The university in Columbia, Mo., beat its 2013-14 fiscal year goal of raising $150 million by pulling in $164.5 million. The amount broke the previous record of $160 million raised in fiscal year 2008.
Thomas Hiles, MU vice chancellor for advancement, says the record is noteworthy because it was reached without mega gifts, which the university has received the previous two years.
“The last two years, we had $30 million gifts, which were tied for the largest gifts ever to the university,” Hiles says. “And obviously those are incredible, transformational gifts. This year, our largest gift was $10 million, so we were really able to grow that base of support.”
Hiles attributes the school’s financial boon to an increase in smaller donations, as well as increasing the number of $1 million donors.
“It’s been a combination of broadening our base of support, people who give every year, we’ve been able to grow those numbers,” he says. “But then we’ve also had a series of leadership gifts as well, and by that I mean million-dollar-and-up gifts.”
The university raised 20 percent more money than in the previous fiscal year, raising its endowment to $783 million.
Hiles says that in the face of diminished state education funding, the university is prepared to rely increasingly on private gifts.
The university received gifts of more than $1 million to the law school and veterinary school. And the Missouri School of Journalism received a $6.7 million donation from reality television producer Jon Murray – known for his programs about the Kardashians — to establish a documentary journalism program.