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April 13, 2011 | Campaign News

It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the first-ever CUNY PHILANTHROPY FORUM – ACCEPTING THE CHALLENGE.

This event has been specially designed to help us reflect on the recent fundraising success at the colleges of CUNY and prepare to accept the challenge of establishing a true culture of philanthropy for the future.

Chancellor Matthew Goldstein in 2004 asked the presidents of the colleges to look beyond government funding to meet our budget needs.   The Chancellor and our Board of Trustee Chairperson, Benno Schmidt envisioned a university that would look towards our alumni, our NYC institutional supporters, our many friends at the colleges and around the city – as well as our elected officials – and offer them an opportunity to invest in CUNY and transform the colleges of CUNY into an ever growing resource for the students and the city we serve.

The campaign launched in 2004 “INVEST IN CUNY, INVEST IN NEW YORK” has been a great success and I congratulate all of you on your efforts.   In preparing for this event we have taken a close look at the last ten years of fundraising at CUNY.   I would like to review some key findings:

  • First, fundraising has been a greater success than anyone thought possible.  We have raised more than $1.8 billion and we are doing so at a rate of over $200 million per year.
  • Second, comprehensive campaigns conducted on each college campus are proving successful in increasing the rate of fundraising.  The 7 colleges in a declared campaign actually grew their annual fundraising by 13 times!
  • Third, our alumni have been our most loyal and generous supporters.  More than 80% of all the philanthropy we have received in the past ten years comes from our alumni.
  • Fourth, our capacity for continued growth is undeniable.  On an annual basis, we reach only about 20% of our more than 1.3 million alumni!

Finally, I leave each of you with a challenge and ask that you use today’s presentations and workshops to assist in developing the answers to this challenge – how can we raise in the next four years an additional $1 billion in support of our colleges?

I believe the answers will include new efforts at reaching our alumni, increased dedication to the principles of comprehensive campaigns, new collaborative approaches to our corporate and foundation supporters, renewed partnerships with our college volunteers and the foundations they work on and an awareness that we must increase the staff and financial resources we dedicate to  effective fundraising.

Thank you and enjoy the day.