Dec 042009
 
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

University officials announced Tuesday that CSU’s capital fundraising campaign has reached the $300 million mark, which they call a “milestone” in its goal to reach $500 million by 2012.

The initiative, which was announced on Aug. 29 after reaching $250 million in what recently appointed Vice President of Advancement Brett Anderson called the “silent phase” of the campaign, has raised $50 million in three months.

Anderson, a CSU alumnus who has donated more than $2 million to the university since 2004, took over the position in September said 7,892 private donors have made contributions to the university since the campaign was announced.

“We’re seeing momentum,” Anderson said, adding that the goal is to reach $500 million by June 2012.

CSU President Tony Frank said the money raised through the campaign will mean a “dramatic” increase in scholarship funding, provide funding for the improvement of campus faculties and allow the university to create endowment funds.

Endowment funds, Frank said, give CSU a competitive edge when hiring professors who are nationally recognized for their expertise because they are paid a higher salary from the fund rather than the university’s operating budget and are provided with an annual budget for research.

Frank said the $50 million in donations fall right on track with the university’s projected fundraising timeline, and said the fact that donors are still willing to make contributions during hard economic times is a “testament to how much people value CSU.”

While the university has a development department within the administration dedicated specifically to fundraising, each college has its own development component along with separate teams for university athletics and the CSU library system.

Anderson said this separation exists because the programs have better connections with alumni and companies that work in the fields the specific college trains its students to enter.

“It’s that personal touch. You want to build that relationship,” he said. “(Specific colleges are) where all the connections lie.”

In addition to the teams working for each college, the administrative department dedicated to fundraising efforts focuses its efforts on four other areas: – Annual giving – Corporate relations – Foundation giving, and – Planned giving.

“This is (CSU’s) first campaign ever. Almost every other university has already completed one,” Anderson said.

The University of Northern Colorado is conducting its own capital campaign and recently ended what UNC spokesperson Nate Haas called its “silent phase” with a press release announcing a $1.5 million planned gift to the College of Natural and Health Sciences.

Frank said his hopes for the campaign put donations at the $350 million milestone by summer 2010 but said meeting that goal depends on the state of the economy.

“We have a great story to tell, and I think people are very committed to the university,” he said.

Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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