Columbia University broke an Ivy League record previously held by Penn for highest capital raised in a fundraising campaign.
Columbia raised a total of $6.1 billion — $1.8 billion more than Penn’s Making History Campaign, which raised $4.3 billion.
“It’s really just a matter of timing,” Penn’s Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations John Zeller said, explaining that Columbia was originally scheduled to end its campaign last year, but it raised its goal and extended the time frame. Making History was a five-year campaign, while the Columbia Campaign lasted six years.
However, it looks like Columbia will not wear the crown for long. Harvard University launched The Harvard Campaign in 2013 with a goal of $6.5 billion. If successful it will be the largest fundraising effort by any university in the United States, surpassing both Columbia and Stanford University, which raised $6.2 billion between 2006 and 2011.
According to Zeller, Penn is currently focusing on keeping its alumni engaged and involved as part of the Penn Compact 2020.
“We spent a lot of time focusing on our nonfinancial objective which was to make sure our alumni felt engaged with the institutions,” Zeller said. “There was an effort to reach out to young alumni and alumni in general, and that’s going to continue.”