Emory Report
August 31, 2009
Volume 62, Number 2


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August 31, 2009
Campaign Emory
Nearing $1 billion in giving

By Maria Lameiras

In the year since the public launch of Campaign Emory in September 2008, the University’s historic $1.6 billion fundraising endeavor has raised more than $120 million in new commitments. The total raised since the campaign began in 2005 was $958 million as of July 31, 2009.

“People are still giving to Emory. We are grateful for the generosity and loyalty of our donors who are passionate about the work we are doing,” says Susan Cruse, senior vice president for development and alumni relations. “They understand the impact of their philanthropy and have demonstrated their confidence in us as good stewards of their investment.”

This good news comes despite the fact that charitable giving has decreased nationwide due to struggling global and national economies.

Although giving to higher education increased an average of 7 percent a year in each of the last 20 years, charitable giving fell last year by the largest percentage in five decades, to $307.65 billion from the $314 billion given in 2007, according to a study by the Giving USA Foundation. Given that charitable endowments fell by as much as 40 percent, the stock market declined by a similar margin, corporations posted significant losses, and unemployment soared, some experts were surprised the decline wasn’t steeper. However, indicators including the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Fundraising Index predict that philanthropic support will begin to recover in the 2009-10 academic year. The fundraising index is a new forecasting tool launched this summer by CASE.

Emory has maintained relative stability through the crisis due to strong donor relationships, an internal strategy of stewardship, and creative gift opportunities, Cruse says. Gift and estate planning have enabled some donors to make larger commitments to Emory while still maintaining their assets and, in some cases, creating a revenue stream.

“We have not been impacted as deeply as some other institutions,” Cruse says. “We had a strong June and we have made significant progress in the second half of this year.

“The number of gifts for this fiscal year is about equal to last fiscal year, although some of the amounts are lower,” Cruse says, adding that gifts and pledge payments continue to come in steadily with $132 million received this year. “The stock market affected every prospective donor. Individual net worth is down, foundation endowments are down, and corporate profits and stock prices are down. This had ramifications across the country.”

More than 66,500 donors have given to Campaign Emory, and while there have been many large gifts to the campaign, about 22 percent of the campaign total — $214.1 million — has come from donors of less than $1 million. Donors of $1,000 or less have contributed more than $8.9 million during Campaign Emory.

“That is clear evidence that every gift counts, no matter the amount,” Cruse says.