UC Davis Announces New Phase of Two Billion Dollar Fundraising Push

(Tommy Ly)

By Trevor Brandon-Harris

UC DAVIS – UC Davis announced Friday the beginning of the “public phase” of a multi-year $2 billion fundraising campaign.

In a press release, the university announced that it had already raised $1.2 billion since July 2016 from its “closest donors and friends” during the campaign’s initial “quiet phase.” The statement said that with the campaign’s new public phase, UC Davis is “reaching out to the entire university community to help make a greater impact on the world.”

“Together, we will redefine expectations for what a great public research university can achieve in partnership with those who share its vision for a better world,” said Chancellor Gary May during the campaign’s virtual launch.

The fundraising campaign, which the university has termed “Expect Greater,” mirrors the university’s 2006-2014 Campaign for UC Davis. That campaign, which was publicly announced in October 2010, brought in $1 billion, including $604 million during its 2006-2010 quiet phase.

According to figures from the new campaign’s website, over half of the funds raised so far were donated to the School of Veterinary Medicine, the School of Medicine and the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, each of which have raised over $200 million.

Donors have also contributed more than $180 million in this campaign toward student support. As May explained in the virtual campaign launch, these funds allow countless students to receive the financial assistance needed to attend the university. 

Philanthropic donations account for a small, but significant, portion of the university’s overall income. In July, UC Davis announced that it had raised a record of $252.9 million in donations over the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The campus anticipated $5.4 billion in total annual revenue during the same period.

“It’s important to note that most of our fundraising dollars provide support for specific programs and projects — including some of our coronavirus efforts — that do not have other funding sources,” May said Friday in an email to students, faculty and staff.

In the same email, May also said that he was “heartened” to learn that nearly $14,000 had been donated to the Staff Emergency Fund, which he said will begin “distributing grants to employees in need” once it raises $30,000.

Grant recipients will be selected based on “determination of an objective financial need.” A confidential evaluation committee will review grant applications once those become available.

Those interested in donating to the Staff Emergency Fund can do so via UC Davis Crowdfunding or by signing up for a payroll deduction

However, May stresses that such donations impact not only UC Davis affiliates, but others around the globe as well.

“Your gift will have a powerful impact – inspiring bigger ideas and bigger and bolder solutions that build stronger communities, helping people around the world lead healthier and richer lives, and shaping a brighter future for the planet we share.”

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