Record donor support in 2009-10 benefits students, faculty, and communities
Donors stepped up support for the University of South Carolina in 2009-2010 to a third consecutive record in private giving, $117.6 million for the year ending June 30. Overall gifts and pledges represent a 9.4 percent increase above 2009-2010 total of $107.5 million.
Carolina's new fundraising milestone is especially remarkable given a continuing recession that impacts universities across the nation. The Chronicle of Philanthropy, after citing a 6 percent drop in charitable giving to education in 2008, is reporting a 3.2 decrease for education in the 2009 calendar year.
Carolina's donor base, totaling 47,408 who made gifts and pledges, increased 2 percent over the previous year. Included is an anonymous gift of $30 million gift to be formally announced in September and increased funding for the Gamecock Guarantee, the University's program providing financial help to students needing assistance with tuition and other costs. Private gifts also played a key role in shaping the newly dedicated Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library.
Carolina's ability to attract the best students, researchers, and public-private partnerships, depends more each year on philanthropy.
"Like our College World Series champs during a final at bat, our South Carolina alumni and friends came through with unprecedented support during the past fiscal year," President Harris Pastides said. "Their gifts ensure our steady transformation into a world-class institution despite economic uncertainty. Once again, those who are most loyal and dedicated to the University's future have made a Carolina education a one-of-a-kind experience."
Among the gift highlights are: $65.1 million in program enhancements related to research and outreach; $29.8 million in scholarships, assistantships, and fellowships, a 30 percent increase; $13.5 million in capital projects, more than doubling the previous year's total; $5.3 million in unrestricted gifts, a 29 percent increase; and $3.9 million for faculty support including endowed professorships and chairs. University staff, faculty and retirees contributed $2.7 million, an increase of 260 donors.
Michelle Dodenhoff, University vice president of development and alumni relations, said donors know their gifts will make a real difference for students, faculty, programs and capital needs. Their gifts are an indicator of the esteem and loyalty donors have for the University of South Carolina. Philanthropy is now the fourth highest source of income for the University, surpassing state appropriations.