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July 8, 2004

Donors Here Just Keep on Giving

While trends in donor giving to education swung downward last year nationally, Pitt made fund-raising history.

According to Albert Novak Jr., Pitt vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement, Pitt surpassed its capital campaign goal for fiscal year 2004 by $5 million. “Our goal was to reach $700 million,” Novak reported to the Board of Trustees at its June 25 meeting. “As of June 24, we’ve raised $705 million for the University of Pittsburgh ‘Discover a World of Possibilities’ campaign,” which has its goal to raise $1 billion by June 2007.

“In 2003, while overall philanthropy was up, giving to higher education declined by 3 percent,” according to recent editions of The Chronicle of Higher Education and the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Novak said. “In contrast, in 2003 Pitt enjoyed the best year in its history, raising $94.5 million, a 25 percent increase over the previous year’s total.”

Pitt will have received $30 million in commitments from individuals for the last six years, Novak said.

“This dramatic progress is remarkable, considering that prior to the beginning of this campaign [in 1997] giving from all sources to the University of Pittsburgh [per year] was less than $40 million, and pledges from all individuals did not even reach $1 million,” he said. “While this is not an apples-to-apples comparison of data, it still illustrates the impact this campaign has had on individual giving.”

Novak said the fundraising effort has attracted 92,000 donors, 45,000 of whom made their first gift to Pitt during the campaign. “In addition, 26 of our 136 million-dollar donors are first-time givers,” he said.

The campaign has funded 255 new scholarships, 19 new fellowships, 12 new professorships, 41 new chairs and 274 miscellaneous endowment funds. The total of $705 million in gifts and pledges sets a record for similar campaigns in the history of southwestern Pennsylvania, according to a statement released by the Office of Public Affairs.

-Peter Hart

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