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Northeastern sets new fundraising record

Photo by Mary Knox Merrill

Northeastern University has achieved its best fundraising year by generating $53.5 million in new gifts and pledges during the 2011 fiscal year, surpassing its annual goal by $10.5 million.

Since 2007, Northeastern’s yearly fundraising average has more than doubled — a remarkable accomplishment given the economic climate.

“Our fundraising success is emblematic of the momentum we have as an institution,” said Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern. “People are investing in Northeastern because of the powerful impact our teaching and research have around the world.”

This year’s fundraising success demonstrates that Northeastern’s shared vision for the future is reaching a broader audience than ever before. Alumni, parents and friends of Northeastern, for example, now give to all of the University’s schools and colleges at an unprecedented rate.

The vast majority of the $53.5 million — a total of $41.5 million — comes from gifts of $100,000 or more, as well as support from alumni, parents, corporations, foundations and friends. This bodes well for Northeastern’s future success as major gifts often catalyze other significant contributions.

“This year we truly raised the bar on giving across the entire University,” said Diane MacGillivray, senior vice president for advancement. “We are building the pipeline for the future and this extraordinary year provides the perfect platform as we embark on a comprehensive fundraising initiative.”

Five colleges received gifts of $1 million or more from new donors. The University added a total of more than 2,100 first-time donors to the pipeline, an increase of more than 17 percent over last year.

Northeastern also had the highest number of undergraduate donors since 2005 and exceeded its participation goal of 11.5 percent, which builds a strong pipeline for the future.

Governing board members, whose philanthropic support has inspired others to step forward and invest, have been instrumental in Northeastern’s fundraising efforts, Aoun added.

At the same time, the recently built internal fundraising infrastructure has enabled deans to identify gift opportunities among co-op employers, vendors and others who have traditionally not engaged in philanthropic opportunities.