Since the beginning of conversations about the need to rein in
the rising costs of fringe benefits, many people have proposed that
Emory close any budgetary gaps by launching a fund-raising campaign.
To get a perspective on what such a campaign might be, some perspective
on recent history could be useful.
The last capital campaign at Emory closed its books on Dec. 31,
1995, having raised more than $420 million in gifts and pledges
during the five-year campaign and another $160 million in planned
gifts (money that will come to the University in the form of bequests
upon the deaths of the givers). Most people would be astonished
to learn that, in the six years since the end of that campaign,
the University has raised an additional $1.12 billion in outright
What has happened to that $1.12 billion? Much of it has gone into
the endowment (see
graph), and most of that is restrictedthat
is, it must be spent for specific purposes designated by the donor.
A large share of the total has been given to help Emory build the
classrooms, laboratories and office space we have so badly neededthe
Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, the Whitehead Research
Building, the Mathematics and Science Center, Emerson Hall, the
Winship Cancer Institute and the Nursing School Building. In other
words, some $200 million of that total has gone directly into bricks
and mortar, at the request of the donors.
Had Emory not raised this additional $1.12 billion since 1995,
the endowment would be much smaller than it is, and, without new
teaching and research spaces, new library facilities and new resources
for faculty enhancement and student scholarships, our academic progress
would have slowed tremendously.
It is worth noting that, during this same period, a number of other
universities carried out formal campaigns to raise $1 billion or
more. Some of those universitiesHarvard, Stanford, Duke and
Johns Hopkinshave both larger alumni bodies and wealthier
alumni than Emory. (Stanford, sitting in Silicon Valley, probably
has produced more millionaire alumni through its engineering school
than Emory has produced in all its schools combined.)
But even without a full-scale campaignwithout the additional
development staff, University publications, consultants and planning
documents, involving faculty members as well as administrators and
trustees, that such a campaign would requireEmory has done
extraordinarily well in raising money.
Of the nearly $300 million raised just last year, one-third came
from sources beyond the Woodruff Foundation and its related interests.
So far this year, the University is on course for another $100 million
in funds raised from sources other than the Woodruff interests.
Nearly all of those funds, however, have come in the form of restricted
gifts to the endowment for designated purposes.
Despite Emorys remarkable record in fund raising, the
Universitys growth in programming, staffing and faculty has
required every dollar of income available from this munificence
for capital projects, personnel and academic programs.
Emory has raised this money very efficiently. The Institutional
Advancement Division spends less per dollar raised than the average
among our peer institutionsin fact, about half what our peers
spend to ask for and receive each gift of a dollar. Last year Emory
ranked seventh in the nation in fund raising among private universities;
Harvard ranked first. Harvards budget for development (see
graph) is more than eight times that of Emory.
One area where Emory could do better in fund raising is in the
Annual Fund. This program brings in unrestricted gifts that can
be applied directly to the Educational and General Budget. At some
universities, particularly those with strong and established alumni
programs, annual funds typically bring in millions more dollars
per year than our annual fund, which averages less than $5 million
We have a relatively young alumni cohort, however. Indeed, fully
half of our alumni have graduated since 1984, and half of those
in the last eight years. Our alumni, therefore, have not reached
their peak earning years and have not matured as a body of philanthropists.
In time they will become much stronger in supporting the University;
however, that will not solve in the next few years the problems
that are now before us.
To take the Annual Fund to a higher level of success will require
greater expenditures for this program. Those additional costs will
be more than met by increases in Annual Fund revenues. But even
if annual unrestricted giving to the University doubled next year
and remained at that level for another five years, the additional
infusion of funds to the budget would not make up the deficit that
would accrue under the old benefits plan.
The Board of Trustees, meeting nearly a year ago in June 2001,
recognized and discussed at considerable length the need for a comprehensive
capital campaign to provide another boost to the Universitys
finances. In February the board authorized fund-raising initiatives
that will target priority needs of up to $150 million in each school
or unit. These initiatives, and the planning they will generate,
are critical to laying the foundation of a major capital campaign.
As Emory moves into the 21st century, it has become clear that
fund raising must play a central role in helping to meet the Universitys
multiple needs in its quest for excellence at all levels. To become
one of the top 10 universities will require resources that are not
currently available through our endowment, our research dollars
or the potential for growth in tuition. We simply must ask our friends
(and friends yet to be) for more support.
The current plan to undertake fund-raising initiatives will allow
the schools and units with immediate and critical needs to begin
to address those needs at once.
At the same time, these initiatives constitute a transition phase
for the University, giving us time to prepare to launch a major
campaign in four to five years. That campaign will no doubt set
a goal of raising at least $1 billion.
To the extent that future fund raising will augment the resources
available to the Educational and General Budget, the University
will have to determine the priorities to which these resources can
and should be most prudently directed.