With less than a year to go and $3.64 billion raised to date, Penn is in the final stretch of “making history.”
However, while the Making History fundraising campaign reached its overall goal of $3.5 billion in September — over a year ahead of its scheduled close this December — many of its core goals and priorities have not yet been met.
The “stretch goals” of Making History, according to Penn President Amy Gutmann, will be “motivating the campaign” in its final year.
Gutmann said the campaign must still raise $370 million before reaching its $1.67 billion allocated for several “core goals,” which include faculty support, undergraduate financial aid, medical research, capital projects and other initiatives.
These goals are “embedded within [Penn’s] schools and centers,” Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations John Zeller said.
Gutmann added that, to date, Making History has raised $296 million out of the $350 million set aside for financial aid. Additionally, funds for faculty support are still $123 million short of their overall $623 million goal.
“In any big campaign like this, there are always going to be some goals that won’t be met fully, and we realize that coming in,” Zeller said.
Before the campaign ends in December, the University will be “focused on those core priorities and trying to drive as much money and commitments to those as we possibly can,” he added.
Zeller said the fact that Making History has reached its overall monetary goal but remains short in several specific areas is due to the fact that Penn has received unexpected gifts that are “designated in terms of where [they] might go.”
Marybeth Gasman, a Graduate School of Education professor who specializes in higher education philanthropy research, explained that these specified donations are common in a large-scale fundraising campaign.
“Fundraisers often have a difficult time persuading donors to give unrestricted funds,” she wrote in an email. “Good fundraisers, and Penn has a lot of them … can craft a story that connects with the donor on many levels.”
However, Making History has also surpassed a number of its goals, including research support and term funds for professors. The goal for recruiting Penn Integrates Knowledge professors has also been surpassed, Gutmann said.
“Having broad goals that many donors can agree with is a good strategy — this provides more room for movement in terms of what can be funded,” Gasman added.
Eight-five percent of overall fundraising for Making History — which now amounts to $3.64 billion in commitments — has already been received in cash payments, Zeller said. These funds will be distributed across Penn’s 12 schools and six centers, and will go toward key priorities like faculty support and undergraduate aid.
To date, the campaign has raised approximately $235 million in new commitments from the start of Fiscal Year 2012, which began on July 1, 2011.
“For our first six months of this academic year, compared to the first six months of prior years, we are significantly ahead of pace,” Zeller said. “FY 2012 promises to be a very successful one … It’s going to be a pretty exciting next 12 months.”
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