University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota Foundation
Giving to medicine and health at the University of Minnesota

U achieves second-best year on record for philanthropy

Contacts: Martha Douglas, University of Minnesota Foundation, (612) 626-9712 Sarah Youngerman, Minnesota Medical Foundation, (612) 626-5378 Daniel Wolter, University News Service, (612) 625-8510

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (11/12/2009) —More than 83,000 donors to the University of Minnesota gave $267 million in gifts and pledges in fiscal year 2009, which ended June 30, 2009. This follows the best year of giving to the university. The total given in FY 2008 was a historic $289 million.

“I’m humbled every day by the generosity of the people of Minnesota, our donors, friends and alumni,” said university President Robert Bruininks. “Despite the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, donors to the University of Minnesota seek to fund research that changes our lives, to support talented students who feed our economic vitality as a state and to build assets only the university can bring to our state and our world.”

The giving total was boosted by the second- and third-largest gifts ever made to the university. Caroline Amplatz, pledged $50 million to name University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. Her gift was inspired by the work of her father, longtime university professor and medical device pioneer Kurt Amplatz. The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation pledged $40 million to cure type 1 diabetes. Richard Schulze, the founder of Minnesota-based Best Buy Co., Inc., has a daughter with type 1 diabetes.

Donors also gave $11 million during the fiscal year for TCF Bank Stadium, for a total of $89 million raised in private gifts and sponsorships for this historic capital project, surpassing the fundraising goal.

The $267 million raised in FY 2009 includes gifts made to all U of M campuses, colleges and departments, including gifts made through the University of Minnesota Foundation, the Minnesota Medical Foundation, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Foundation and the 4-H Foundation. It includes current cash gifts, pledges and other future gift commitments.

The foundations distributed more than $160 million to the university in FY 2009 — up 16 percent compared with FY 2008 — for the purposes designated by donors. This includes funds for facilities, student scholarships and fellowships, faculty support, research and academic programs. Disbursements come from current cash gifts and payouts on endowed funds.

“This is the true measure of the impact that donors make on the university through their giving,” said Steve Goldstein, president and CEO of the University of Minnesota Foundation. “And we are particularly proud that, despite a year of economic uncertainty, we maintained support for all U programs supported through endowed funds. Strong investments in previous years and careful management of the endowment made this possible.”

Donors made new gifts and pledges totaling $35 million for student support in FY 2009, and $27 million was distributed in scholarships and fellowships during the year. Helping students meet the cost of their education is a major university goal that is being addressed through fundraising as well as through state and university grant programs to help low- and middle-income families.