University of Nebraska Foundation a Top 100 Charity

Contributors to the University of Nebraska are receiving the recognition they deserve.

The University of Nebraska Foundation, the charitable arm of the University of Nebraska and its affiliates, is named to America’s Favorite Charities for 2018.

The top-100 ranking was released by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, a national publication that focuses on the U.S. nonprofit sector.

This places the University of Nebraska in the company with many of its peer universities and the likes of the Mayo Clinic, American Red Cross, American Heart Association, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Harvard University and others.

The Chronicle’s ranking is based on charitable organizations that received the most in contributions of cash and stock gifts in 2017. Its new report replaces its 30-year-old “Philanthropy 400” report.

Colleges and hospitals account for 49 of the groups on the debut list. Charitable support of these institutions climbed 44 percent from 2007 through 2017, even after adjusting for inflation. Among the list were Mayo Clinic, up 202 percent; the University of Notre Dame, up 100 percent; and the University of Nebraska, up 77 percent.

In an interview with the Chronicle about the rankings, Brian Hastings, president and CEO of the University of Nebraska Foundation, cited the generosity of Nebraskans and that of the university’s alumni and friends around the world.

He also gave credit to the generosity of the many people and organizations who committed gifts during the University of Nebraska’s last comprehensive campaign, Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities, between 2005 and 2014. The campaign set a goal of $1.2 billion and concluded with gifts and gift commitments of $1.9 billion.

“The impact of large comprehensive campaigns cannot be overstated,” said Hastings as quoted by the Chronicle for its series.

In discussing the recent rankings, Hastings added, “This tremendous growth period reflects the combination of a loyal and generous donor base, outstanding university leadership with big ideas and big projects to inspire philanthropy. …”

Significant university projects and programs around 2017 that benefited from generous private giving also helped the university increase in rank among charities. These include:

  • the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, located on the campus of Nebraska Medicine and the University of Nebraska Medical Center;
  • the Dr. Edwin Davis & Dorothy Balbach Davis Global Center for Advanced Interprofessional Learning at UNMC, home to health care education, training and research that incorporates a range of simulation and visualization technologies;
  • the College of Business — Howard L. Hawks Hall at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, which represents the largest privately funded academic facility in UNL’s history;
  • a major estate gift from Robert Sahling of Kearney for permanently endowed student scholarships at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and support from contributors early childhood education programs and facilities at UNK;
  • the addition to the Biomechanics Research Building and the addition to and renovation of the Willis S. and Janet A. Strauss Performing Arts Center at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

As the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports, the gift of stocks also helped move some organizations up in 2017 rankings, including the University of Nebraska. Nearly one in three dollars raised by the University of Nebraska that year came in the form of stock donations. Other institutions whose stock gifts made up a big share of contributions include the California Institute of Technology at 33 percent, Notre Dame at 21 percent and Stanford at 17 percent of total contributions.

The ranking shows giving soared to health care organizations such as the Mayo Clinic and to colleges like Harvard while falling off significantly at the United Way and other better-known charities.

The link provided to the full 2018 America’s Favorite Charities article is used with permission of the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

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