Fundraising and Development
At the time of my taking office, Stanford had completed its $1.1 billion Centennial Campaign with a remarkable total raised of $1.269 billion over six years. President Donald Kennedy officially opened the campaign in 1987 and concluded it in February 1992. The Centennial Campaign added $350 million to the university's endowment for professorships, undergraduate financial aid, and graduate fellowships (primarily in the professional schools). Another $250 million was received for facilities, ranging from the Near West Campus (Keck Science, Green Earth Sciences, and Gilbert Biology) to student residences, to the Bass Center in Washington, D.C., and the Haas Public Service Center on campus. Expendable funding for academic programs went to, among others, the Bing undergraduate teaching initiative, Undergraduate Research Opportunities, and the Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI). About $600 million was raised that was not campaign-dependent. President Kennedy, the Office of Development under John Ford, and many dedicated volunteers had successfully seen to completion the nation's first $1 billion university fundraising effort.
While this was an excellent result for Stanford, it left me with the question: "What now?" Extra staff that had been added for the Centennial Campaign was reduced, the Office of Development suffered further reductions as a result of our budget crisis, volunteers were exhausted, and the new president was unknown to everybody and knew nothing about anything. Nervousness, especially in the Office of Development, was high. The basic problem was a very simple one: Would Stanford, without the motivation and organization provided by the campaign, see a sharp diminution in its fundraising results?
I came under tremendous pressure to set new fundraising priorities for a university that I was just beginning to learn. My first task was to calm everybody down and make them understand that fundraising would not stop because it could not stop; that we had to determine needs and opportunities; and that we also had to understand our weaknesses in fundraising and do something about them. I ruled out anything that resembled a campaign and instead stressed the importance of identifying discrete urgent projects that needed funding. Having had my first personal fundraising experiences as a dean at Chicago, I also favored a somewhat more decentralized structure than was customary at Stanford. There were all too many "discrete urgent projects" that needed funding, ranging from the devastation still left by Loma Prieta (only the Graduate School of Business and Memorial Church had been fully restored, and the church was reopened on October 2, 1992, the day of my inauguration); to the rapidly aging science and engineering facilities; to financial support for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty; to programmatic priorities that came to be developed, such as Stanford Introductory Studies.
Among the weaknesses on which I focused quickly was the fact that Stanford's superb results in what is called "major fundraising" had masked relatively poor annual giving totals. We thus launched The Stanford Fund for undergraduate education and the President's Fund. Both have been successful undertakings, The Stanford Fund raising participation levels from 24 percent of undergraduate alumni to 34 percent over four years. Annual gifts for these purposes have grown from less than $2 million in 1993 to more than $9 million in 1997. While this is progress, I remain very concerned that we are not even close to a fair number of our competitors, some of which, as I pointed out earlier, also have endowments that are considerably larger than ours.
My happiest experience with respect to annual fundraising has been the so-called Senior Class Gift. When I first encountered it, at the end of my first year, the participation rate was 8 percent. With a challenge from Peter Bing and the Parents Program Advisory Board, we went from 44 percent for the class of '94 to 62 percent for the class of '97. I very much hope that this is the harbinger of a more broadly based commitment among our alumni to the sustenance of their alma mater.
In connection with earthquake restoration, renewal of facilities, and some new construction, generous gifts were made to the general Restoration Fund; for the Museum and for the Library; to fulfill Stanford's long-held dream of a Science and Engineering Quad; for the new Center for Clinical Sciences Research; for the business school's Residential Center; and many more, including the Encina Restoration.
On the programmatic side, we succeeded in raising endowment for the Terman Fellows; the Humanities Center; the deanships in Education, Earth Sciences, and H&S; Stanford Introductory Studies; and Stanford Graduate Fellowships. Athletics began and concluded its Campaign 2000, the Law School is in the final stage of a successful campaign, and the Hoover Campaign is just beginning.
In the last five years we were able
to achieve gift results that, without a campaign, were at--or,
for the last two years, above--the level of the Centennial Campaign
(expressing results in 1987 dollars). In nominal dollars, we have
raised $1.275 billion over five years. The outcome confirms the
high quality of the Stanford development office (even in its slimmed
down version), as well as the continuing commitment of many supporters
who responded magnificently to the project needs the university
had identified. The results would be wholly satisfying were it
not for the fact that other universities have gone on to conduct
their own "mega" campaigns: Harvard alone is headed
toward $2-3 billion; Yale, this fall, will complete a five-year
$1.7 billion campaign; and Columbia is aiming for $2.2 billion
(over ten years), while even among public universities Berkeley
and UCLA are going for at least $1 billion. Stanford needs to
assign a high priority to thinking about its fundraising future.
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