Good Year for Fund Raising

October 1, 2006
Good Year for Fund Raising

George Diebold Photography

Duke received a record-breaking $341,894,326 in charitable gifts between July 1, 2005, and June 30, 2006. That total represents gifts received during the 2006 fiscal year.

Gifts came from 95,614 donors, including about 41,000 alumni—more than a third of them in the year's fourth quarter. The last record was set in 1999-2000, when Duke received $302.6 million in philanthropic support.

"We were all really grateful, and, to be honest, even a bit relieved about the way the year ended following all that happened and how it was reported in the press," says Robert Shepard, vice president for alumni affairs and development.

"We knew the university would set an overall giving record because we had several very large gifts to Duke's Financial Aid Initiative earlier in the year.

"But we had no idea that the number of donors in the last quarter—April, May, and June—including alumni donors, would be above our averages, or that the Duke Annual Fund would just blow by its goal during that period.

"Perhaps the only conclusion we should come to with certainty is that Duke donors care a lot about this university. I am absolutely sure those numbers show that is true."

Duke's Annual Fund, supported by more than 44,000 alumni, parents, and friends, exceeded its goal for the thirty-first consecutive year and also established a record with more than $25.4 million. Annual Fund donors provide Duke with unrestricted operating support, which helps pay for a wide range of immediate needs and gives university leaders the flexibility to invest in new programs.

The Duke Endowment, the Charlotte-based charitable trust created by university founder James B. Duke, was the largest single donor, giving about $53.6 million for a variety of purposes, including scholarships and academic and community-outreach programs. Last October, the Endowment announced its intention to make its largest contribution ever to Duke—$75 million—for financial-aid endowment at Duke, to be paid over three years.