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Discussion Forum: Annual Fundraising Goals

Our friends at The University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine reached out about annual fundraising goals. Their Vice-Preisdent of Veterinary Sciences is trying to determine realistic expectations of what the college should be raising. Any help you can provide by answering the questions below would be greatly appreciated.

  1. How many fundraising dollars were raised in the last 1 – 5 years?
  2. How many front-line fundraisers do you have?
  3. What is the breakout – individuals, foundations, corporations, research grants?
  4. Of individual donations, how much is from grateful patients, alumni, friends, etc.?
  5. How much comes from central foundation fundraising (outside of your office)?


  1. Diana Turner says:

    Greetings from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University!

    1. We raised almost $55 million over the last five years or an average of $11 million per year;
    2. We have two front line fundraisers (which includes myself);
    3. Research grants are also not a responsibility of the development unit. We raise about 17% from Corporations/Foundations or Other organizations
    4. Individual donations breakdown is:
    * 47% alumni
    * 37% friends
    * Remainder, Faulty/Staff/Students and Parents
    5. We have a tremendous and talented planned giving group that is always available to assist us and we ask for bequests. Central Development is available to assist us as well, but they are asking for gifts for all colleges/units at Auburn University, so a small percentage overall comes from that area.

  2. Lynne Haley says:

    From Washington State University:

    1. 2014: $13,421,148 2015: $11,813,129 2016: $16,166,679 2017: $13,401,223 2018: $15,378,829
    2. Four frontline fundraisers (although they don’t all spend 100% of their time doing major gift fundraising)
    3. FY18: Individuals gave 38% of the “cash” received, Foundations gave 3%, Corporations gave 48%. Private grants (counted differently than the funds already mentioned) were 24% of our total.
    4. As with U of MN, I can’t drill down to VetMed alumni only, but can tell you that WSU alumni were 26% of the donors and gave 14% of the money. Non-alumni (or friends!) were 64% of the donors and gave 23% of the money.
    5. Our central foundation provides support with annual giving (mailing, calling, email, etc.) and planned giving (estate gifts, etc.).

    Hope this helps!

  3. Bill Venne says:

    From U of MN:

    1) We have averaged $8 million each of the last five years.
    2) Four front line fundraisers
    3) In FY18–84% of our donor base were individuals for 84% of the money. Research grants are NOT the responsibility of our development dept.
    4) U of MN alumni (I am not able to drill down to vet med only alumni) were 35% of the donors for 56% of the money and grateful clients/community members were 50% of the donors for 28% of the money. In years past the central foundation has reported 10% to 12% of our DVM alumni supporting us in any one year.
    5) We receive a lot of help from planned giving in the central foundation but not much major gift help from our regional team. If we exclude planned giving team support, I would say less than 10% came from central foundation fundraising team.The central foundation annual team does most of the heavy lifting for small gifts–92% of our donors for 4% of the money.

    Feel free to reach out to me if you want to discuss this more.

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