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Campus Life

Donor Giving Boosts Endowment to Record Level

Mr. and Ms. Wuf celebrate at Belltower.

Another year of extraordinary giving by NC State donors helped propel the university’s endowment to an all-time high, boosting it a remarkable 76 percent in just four years to more than $884 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

Chancellor Randy Woodson targeted endowment growth as one of his key goals when he took the helm at NC State in 2010. Since then he’s led efforts to inspire alumni and other supporters to increase giving to record-breaking levels.

The university’s endowment is an increasingly important source of funds for NC State as state and federal budgets have tightened in recent years. The endowment creates financial stability, allowing NC State to be less dependent on unpredictable sources of revenue such as state appropriations. Money generated by the endowment pays for scholarships and fellowships for talented students, professorships and chairs for distinguished faculty members and programs advancing research and academic endeavors across campus.

“State funding gives the university the foundation to be good, but it is the support of alumni and friends that makes NC State great,” Woodson says. “Because of this generous support, we are attracting the best and brightest students, retaining the nation’s top faculty, and driving economic, societal and intellectual prosperity across the state and around the globe.”

The chancellor’s work to engage the university’s most successful alumni continues to pay off. Under his leadership NC State secured 27 seven- and eight-figure gifts in the 2014 fiscal year and three eight-figure gifts last year.

A New Normal

A look at recent fundraising trends at NC State shows that giving has jumped dramatically in just a few years, establishing a new normal in every category. Gifts and new commitments, which never topped $100 million before 2011, has been at or near $200 million for the past two years. In the last fiscal year alone, NC State raised more than $187 million. Gift receipts, an important measure of “cash in the door,” totaled $117.5 million year, making 2014 the third straight year that gift receipts exceeded $100 million.

Chancellor Randy Woodson, left, meets with donors Bill and Marsha Prestage at the chancellor's residence.
Chancellor Randy Woodson, right, meets with donors Bill and Marsha Prestage at the chancellor’s residence. Woodson has led efforts to engage NC State’s most passionate supporters.

Cash allocated to the endowment – just $17 million in 2010 – hit nearly $50 million in the last fiscal year. During this time, donations to NC State’s annual giving program reached a record $2.45 million, rising an impressive 25 percent over the previous year.

“Our recent track record in fundraising demonstrates the increasing awareness and support of this outstanding university,” says Brian Sischo, vice chancellor for university advancement. “NC State is on a rapid upward trajectory, and our alumni and friends are investing in the power of NC State to make a real difference in the world now and well into the future.”

Increases Across the Board

Giving to individual NC State colleges and units has also improved significantly. Following are some highlights of the amounts raised this year in gifts and new commitments, and the percentage growth over last year for select colleges and units:

  • Academic/Student Affairs: $1.7 million (+34%)
  • Agriculture and Life Sciences: $34.4 million (+20%)
  • Alumni Association: $1 million (+55%)
  • Education: $1 million (+57%)
  • Engineering: $20.3 million (+16%)
  • Humanities and Social Sciences: $2.4 million (+64%)
  • Poole College of Management: $5 million (+124%)
  • Sciences: $5.6 million (+124%)
  • Veterinary Medicine: $20.1 million (+85%)
  • Wolfpack Club/Athletics: $23.3 million (+13%)

Membership in the Alumni Association has reached an all-time high of 24,997, an increase of 25 percent over four years. Membership revenue has grown 15 percent to a record $648,000.

Woodson says the dramatic increase in donor giving shows that NC State is a good investment. And, he notes, research funding is on the rise as well, hitting a record $300 million this year.

“It’s a great time to be a part of the Wolfpack,” Woodson says. “I’m confident that with continued donor support, we’re just getting started. The best is yet to come.”