Private gift support at UA hits $163 million in fiscal 2019

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 548 views 

Photo courtesy of the University of Arkansas.

Giving to the University of Arkansas totaled $163.4 million in the 12-month fiscal year that ended June 30, university officials said Tuesday (Aug. 6).

That’s a drop of about 44% from fiscal 2018 ($292.7 million) when fundraising efforts were propelled by two substantial gifts from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation ($120 million) and Windgate Charitable Foundation ($40 million) to establish the UA’s School of Art.

UA fundraising in fiscal 2019 did easily surpass totals from 2017 ($134.2 million) and 2016 ($131.6 million). It also puts the school’s Campaign Arkansas overall total at $1.11 billion. The funding supports students, faculty and staff, as well as capital improvements and programs.

When UA officials announced the Campaign Arkansas drive in September 2016, $1 billion was the goal. UA officials are now hoping to raise $1.25 billion when the campaign ends on June 30, 2020.

More than 52,000 benefactors contributed 101,253 outright gifts and new pledges during fiscal 2019.

“We continue to see outstanding support from our donors and friends, who not only realize how important philanthropy is to enhancing the University of Arkansas experience, but are committed to advancing our vision,” Chancellor Joe Steinmetz said in a statement. “I’d like to thank each and every person, corporation and foundation who has invested in our future. Over the next year, we’ll continue to prioritize the resources and facilities needed for the success of our students. These initiatives are important to ensuring more Arkansans can graduate from the state’s flagship.”

The amount raised in fiscal 2019 includes gifts of cash, gifts-in-kind, planned gifts and new pledges. Approximately $17.8 million was directed by donors to be used as endowment when received.

Support for student scholarships and academic programs accounted for 31% of the money raised. Advance Arkansas, a scholarship initiative launched in 2017 to provide financial assistance for high school graduates from Arkansas, continues to be a priority. It has garnered $6.5 million in support since its inception, according to the UA.

Capital improvements received 39% of the funds raised in fiscal 2019, while other key initiatives received another 18 percent.

Allocations for faculty and staff support accounted for the remaining 12%.

Gifts from individuals, such as alumni, friends, parents, faculty and staff, made up 16% of the $163.4 million raised during the 2019 fiscal year. Another 35% came from corporations, while 40% came from foundations and 9% came from other organizations, including trusts and estates. All private gifts to the UA are designated and allocated for specific purposes set forth by each donor and used solely for those purposes.

Cash receipts, which include pledge payments, outright gifts and estate and planned giving distributions, reached $151.8 million in fiscal 2019.

Bill Dillard, a graduate of the university’s Sam M. Walton College of Business and chairman and chief executive officer of Dillard’s Inc., led Campaign Arkansas as chair during fiscal 2019.

“It has been a pleasure leading the campaign efforts this year,” Dillard said in a UA news release. “We surpassed the original $1 billion goal last fall and haven’t looked back. Alumni and friends from across the world are making gifts of all sizes in support of Campaign Arkansas. The confidence, enthusiasm and dedication shown to the university is outstanding. The campaign may end next year, but the impact and energy it created will continue for many years to come.”