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UConn Foundation raises $65 million

Third quarter of fiscal year 2014, the Foundation raises just under half of its projected goal in do

By Jackie Wattles
On March 27, 2014

  • Susan Herbst deliberates with The University of Connecticut Foundation over raising funds for the foundation through donations. Although the foundation has only rasied 47% of the fund by its thrid quarter, there are reassurances that the goal will be met by the 4th quarter, which is historically a strong quarter for the foundation. File Photo/The Daily Campus

The University of Connecticut Foundation released its quarterly fundraising report, revealing that as of Feb. 18, the foundation has raised 47 percent of its $65 million goal for fiscal year 2014.
The report was presented to the UConn Board of Trustees at its meeting Wednesday morning, and it details donations given through the end of the third quarter of FY2014, which ends in June.
Marilda Gandara, the chair of the UConn Board of Trustees Institutional Advancement Committee, presented the report to the board and said that though donation revenue appears bleak, there is still time to reach fundraising goals.
"Usually the fourth quarter is our strongest quarter, so we're still hoping to reach our goal for this year," Gandara said.
She added that the foundation has solicited an additional $7.5 million in verbal donations, which would bring the total to $38.1 million. $12.8 million of the committed funds will go toward the university's general endowment, meaning the funds can be used to finance any expenditure in the school's budget.
The endowment will prove crucial to balancing the school's budget in the upcoming fiscal year, as the Connecticut Mirror reported yesterday that UConn will face a $46.2 million budget deficit in the next year - which is about 4 percent of the overall budget.
Board of Trustees Chair Lawrence McHugh clarified at Wednesday's meeting that contrary to what the Connecticut Mirror and other local news outlets reported, increasing student tuition is not one of the options the university is considering for closing the gap. However, tuition will increase by $678 next school year in accordance with a previously approved rate hike.
In an interview with the Daily Campus last month, UConn President Susan Herbst said the school's budget has been threatened by deep cuts in state funding - which has decreased by more than $40 million in recent years. Herbst said she wished she had more time to be out fundraising, but has been focusing on internal changes since she took office in 2011.
"I've been very inside for the past few years because I wanted to change a lot about UConn so that I could spend a lot more item building the endowment," Herbst said. "Because state appropriations, no matter how wonderful the governor or legislature are, we're not sure they're going to restore that money. We have to get it ourselves."
Herbst admitted UConn's endowment lags behind its peers, and she has made a series of hires geared toward bolstering the school's private fundraising efforts. In July, Herbst brought in Joshua Newton from Emory University to head the UConn Foundation.
On Wednesday, Herbst also announced Montique Cotton Kelly will serve as assistant vice president for alumni relations and executive director of the UConn Alumni Association beginning in June.
"Cotton Kelly comes to UConn from Bowling Green where she most recently served as executive director of the alumni association and director of alumni affairs since 2007," according to a press release from the UConn Alumni Association. "With more than 18 years of alumni relations experience, Cotton Kelly has extensive experience in strategic planning, budget management, board development, program development and fundraising."
The fundraising report from the UConn Foundation also states the Foundation Board Development Committee will meet to discuss long-term fundraising goals, aiming to "move fundraising from $60 million to $100 million over the next five years."
A detailed breakdown of the number of donors and where money and where the private donations are headed can be seen on the Board of Trustees website under the March 26 agenda under item number 11.

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