University of Nebraska Foundation celebrates $290 million in philanthropic support during fiscal year 2019

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The University of Nebraska Foundation has announced that total philanthropic support, including all new gifts and commitments, surpassed $290 million in its fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. This compares to $231 million in total philanthropic support for the previous fiscal year.

“We could not be more grateful for this phenomenal support from our donors for all areas of the university,” said Brian F. Hastings, president and CEO of the foundation. “They are the reason we can achieve our mission to grow relationships and resources that enable the university to change lives and save lives.”

In all, 57,215 donors committed more than $244.9 million in gifts, grants and pledges, with an additional $45.6 million in future commitments through bequests and other planned gift intentions, such as charitable trusts and gift annuities. Donors provided gifts to a wide variety of priorities, including scholarships, academic and athletic programs, faculty, research, and construction and renovation.

Some philanthropic highlights from the year include the following:

  • Donors provided support for a universitywide Teacher Scholars Academy, which will help address the statewide teacher shortage.
  • At UNMC, gifts were provided to help the Munroe-Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation begin redevelopment of a new home that will be more easily accessible to the community. Donors also provided gifts to support the construction of the Davis Global Center, where students of health professions will be educated using augmented reality and other cutting-edge technology. Donors also provided support for programs in pancreatic cancer, addiction medicine and autism.
  • At UNL, donors created multiple endowed faculty positions at the College of Business, provided support to expand the College of Engineering, provided support to open new exhibition space at the University of Nebraska State Museum at Morrill Hall and is enabling a major redevelopment on East Campus to renovate the library and create the Dinsdale Family Learning Commons.
  • At UNO, donor support made possible the renovation and expansion of the Strauss Performing Arts Center, an addition to Mammel Hall at the College of Business Administration and an addition to the Biomechanics Research Building. They also provided scholarship support for first-generation students and students studying medical humanities.
  • At UNK, donors supported the LaVonne Kopecky Plambeck Early Childhood Education Center, provided scholarships for College of Education students through the One Room One Teacher program, created scholarships for future math teachers and supported the cybersecurity program.
  • New scholarship funds were also created to support students attending the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis.

“Philanthropic support allows the University of Nebraska to expand our impact in ways that would otherwise not be possible,” said Susan M. Fritz, interim president of the University of Nebraska. “Our donors are helping us keep education affordable for students, recruit and retain the very best faculty and conduct research that changes lives in Nebraska and around the world. We could not be more grateful for their vision, generosity and commitment to our 51,000 students.”

Donors created 99 new funds in the fiscal year, bringing the total number of funds managed by the foundation to 11,496. More than 99% of all assets are restricted by donors for specific university use.

The foundation has transitioned its annual gift reporting method to align with industry standards as outlined in the reporting standards of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Previously, the foundation reported total annual gifts using the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which does not take into consideration all pledges, planned gift commitments and other fundraising activity.

See the 2019 independent auditor’s financial statement. 

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