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UA Foundation plans to expand funding, double fundraising efforts

A+look+at+the+UA+Foundation+office+located+on+1111+N.+Cherry+Ave.+on+Thursday%2C+April+14.
Jesus Barrera
A look at the UA Foundation office located on 1111 N. Cherry Ave. on Thursday, April 14.

In partnership with the UA, the University of Arizona Foundation has begun working to implement a new strategic plan that aims to double the foundation’s fundraising efforts within the next five to eight years.

The mission of the UA Foundation is to support the university and it has done so since its founding in 1958. The foundation provides the UA with assistance in fundraising, asset management and facilitation.

The UA Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques Center, which is currently undergoing renovations, received a $5 million donation from the foundation in 2015. The donation was intended to renovate the facility and support the students and staff. In addition, the UA Foundation handles a $673 million endowment and an $852 million asset base. With this, the foundation supports UA research, scholarships, programming and more.

“The UA Foundation is an arm of the university,” said Andrew Comrie, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “We have been working on a high level strategic plan over the last year and we do plan to make big investments.”

Moving away from the developmental stage and into the implementation process, the university plans to increase it’s fundraising staff.

Members of the board include civic and business leaders who handle the foundation’s development efforts and policies. The board is supported by the National Leadership Council, a panel that supports the UA Foundation and advocates on behalf of UA.

In order to double the annual fundraised amounts, the university and the foundation plan to invest in faculty and fundraising staff. Currently, UA development officers are meeting with back office staff to get feedback and figure out the best ways to tackle the new fundraising goal.

Twenty nine percent of the university’s budget comes from three primary sources: tax dollars, student fees and local funds, according to the UA Foundation website, and the remaining 71 percent comes from private gifts and research contracts.

In 2015, the UA received $293,505,878 million in new gifts and commitments, all of which were managed by the UA Foundation. If the new strategic plan is successfully implemented, that number could reach near $600 million by the year 2024.

“One team, shared vision” is the motto that the administration has attached to the new plan throughout its development. The university and the foundation essentially work as one, even though they are each separate entities.

Of the money given to the UA in 2015, less than one percent was unrestricted, meaning that most of the capital received by the UA Foundation has a predetermined purpose. For example, 22 percent went directly to research, 13 percent to capital improvements and another five percent to athletics, according to the UA Foundation 2015 Endowment Report.

John-Paul Roczniak was officially named CEO and permanent president of the UA Foundation in early April. Roczniak has been serving as the interim president since July 2015 and has been a central part of the new fundraising strategy.

Roczniak, along with the rest of the UA Foundation and the UA administration, agreed that implementing this new plan, which invests in staff and development, will be a successful strategy. The UA Foundation Board of Trustees’ next meeting will be the annual meeting, which usually takes place in May or June.


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