Record-breaking gifts from Milken Institute, Sumner M. Redstone Foundation and Milken Family Foundation contribute to total.
The George Washington University finished significantly ahead of its 2014 fundraising goal, raising $191.3 million during the last fiscal year, $80 million of which came from record-breaking gifts from the Milken Institute, Sumner M. Redstone Foundation and Milken Family Foundation to GW's Milken Institute School of Public Health.
A record 26 principal gifts ($1 million-plus donations) were made to GW this year, totaling $129.5 million. That number represents an increase of five donations and $81.8 million in principal giving from a year ago. GW also launched the public phase of its “Making History” campaign this summer, a $1 billion philanthropic effort that will bring GW into its third century and support its “Vision 2021” strategic plan.
“This has truly been one of the most memorable years that I have experienced in my career,” said Michael Morsberger, vice president for development and alumni relations. “From our record-breaking gifts to the Milken Institute School of Public Health to the public launch of our ‘Making History’ campaign, the entire GW community can take pride in our achievements and the outstanding progress that the university has made over the past year.”
"Making History," which began with a quiet phase in July 2011, has raised more than $525 million. The campaign is focused on three core areas: breaking new ground, enhancing academics and supporting students. GW has set goals to raise $500 million for academic programs, $400 million for student support—half of which will go to Power & Promise Scholarships—and $100 million for capital projects for new and existing facilities.
Over $35 million was raised for Power & Promise student aid this year, more than twice the previous year. A portion of the Milken Family Foundation gift was earmarked to Power & Promise scholarships within the Milken Institute School of Public Health.
Annual giving numbers also increased from a year ago, as more than 22,000 donors (the most ever at GW in a single year) made gifts to the university. The senior class set a record for participation and dollars raised, with more than 58 percent of the graduating class contributing $94,450 (this includes additional gifts that came in from members of the senior class after the May 15 presentation of the class gift). For the third consecutive year, Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell, B.A. '85, and his wife Michele met the senior class challenge with a matching gift of $55,000 to Power & Promise.
“Those $50 gifts, $100 gifts, they add up,” Mr. Carbonell said in an interview for the 'Making History' campaign launch. “They allow us to support scholarship and research and things that we do here in the same way that the larger gifts do. When we think about people making GW a priority philanthropically for themselves, well … many of the seniors, 58 percent of them, gave a gift. That habit of giving and that connection to our community, that's as important as the large gifts.”