News

University breaks fundraising record again

After breaking the record for dollars raised or pledged in 2013, Institutional Advancement, the university office charged with soliciting donations, report a second consecutive record-breaking year.

Temple brought in more than $67.9 million during fiscal year 2014, which ended June 30, setting a new record for fundraising as well as the record for faculty support.

For fiscal year 2013, the university recorded $65.8 million in donations and commitments, a difference of more than $2 million from the most recent results. This marks the second year of record-breaking dollars raised.

“In terms of fundraising, I think that all of the building blocks are in place to continue this momentum,” said Vice President for Institutional Advancement James Dicker, who was tapped for the position in March and started in June.

Dicker said he believed the increase in donations is a “very positive find.” He said he believes the consecutive records are connected, marking a steady rise for the university.

Dicker attributed the greater funding to an increased alumni base created from the large increase in university enrollment which started around 2006.

The participation rate for last year was 7 percent, which was the same as the prior year. In a March interview, Tilghman Moyer, then interim senior vice president of institutional advancement, told The Temple News that a university study found this rate to be typical for urban and historically commuter colleges.

Other state-related colleges in the commonwealth boast much higher alumni participation rates, with Penn State reaching 30 percent and the University of Pittsburgh recording 35 percent two years ago.

However, over the course of three years, the university has seen a quickly increasing level of faculty support from $1.2 million in 2012, to $6.7 million in 2013 and a record-breaking $7.3 million in 2014, according to a university press release.

James Dicker

James Dicker came to Temple in June to head fundraising efforts moving forward. | COURTESY TEMPLE UNIVERSITY

Dicker said that the increase in faculty support not only helps the faculty increase in number, but also increases the quality and overall prestige of the faculty as well as the classroom experience for students.

Dicker said before he arrived, Moyer devised a few fundraising strategies for the university as interim vice president.

Dicker said the university has worked more than 3-5 years on finding ways to engage alumni in programming, athletic events, and more.  As a result, more alumni are returning to campus based on a trend line of attendance at these events, leading to increased fundraising.

A second strategy is the use of staff who are “external,” and out meeting with alumni and alumni chapters across the country as well as internationally.

“It’s hard to credit one person or even one group, fundraising is really a community effort,” Dicker said.

In March, Moyer told The Temple News that his office aimed to increase alumni donations and commitments to $70 million. They were $2.1 million shy of their goal.

The university increased funding for Institutional Advancement by $1.3 million for the last fiscal year. However, for the current fiscal year, the office will see a drop of nearly $1 million in funding.

For Temple students, the increase in alumni donations means an increase in capital projects like labs, classrooms, and athletics, as well as increases in need-based financial aid and scholarships.

Additionally, the influential annual U.S. News & World Report factors alumni participation into their rankings. According to the report’s website, approximately 5 percent of the decision comes from the alumni participation rate.

Looking toward the future, Dicker said he believes the university can be a Top 40 school based on fundraising, as well as possibly being at the top of the American Athletic Conference.

“In the near future, I believe that Temple will be a $100 million fundraising operation,” Dicker said.

Logan Beck can be reached at logan.beck@temple.edu.

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