Duke University has yet again surpassed its previous impressive fundraising efforts by setting a new record-high – $441.8 million in donations for the 2013-2014 fiscal year (up 7.5% from the last year). Their number of donors went up, from 109,013 to 110,962.
What’s The Recipe For Success?
According to a story from The Durham News, the consistent increase in donations can be attributed to the continued support of both alumni and friends of the university. Duke President Richard H. Broedhead said, “The generosity of Duke alumni and friends expands the potential of what Duke can do – creating transformative opportunities for our stellar faculty and students and providing resources for them to continue engaging with global problems.”
It’s All About The Relationships!
It’s clear that Duke has been doing a phenomenal job keeping both their alumni and trustees engaged, fostering their desire to give back to the university. This can clearly be seen as alumni, parents, students and friends of Duke all contributed to a $35 million donation to the Duke Annual Fund which helps cover the cost of financial aid, faculty support and educational programming for all of Duke’s undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, as well as the operations of the libraries, Duke Gardens, Duke Chapel and Nasher Museum of Art.
Among other notable contributions, alumni J. Michael and Christine Pearson made the largest single gift to Duke in 2013-14, a commitment of $30 million to the Pratt School of Engineering to advance engineering and science education across the university. These contributions are only a few of the other large donations made to the university by alumni and friends – all of which show the value and importance of maintaining relationships with constituents.
The Zell Family Foundation has recently made a donation of $17 Million to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra which marks one of the largest single gift amounts ever donated to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The Zell Foundation’s $17 million gift is helping the association establish in perpetuity its first named music director in CSO history.
What’s the Reason Behind This Large Donation?
For starters, Sam and Helen Zell have been financial supporters of the CSO for more than a decade, underwriting concerts and programs. Furthermore, as Sam Zell (who is now 72 and estimated to be worth $4.5 Billion by Forbes) and his wife Helen start to age, they have begun to hit the prime time for their donations to start hitting new levels.
Another reason that we can assume was a key factor in the Zell family’s decision to make the large contribution was the fact that, as we can see via the relationship map below provided by Prospect Visual, Helen Zell is extremely well connected to many members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Board of Directors and Trustees.