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URBANA — In a fiscal year marked by a return to campus during the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Illinois’ fundraising totals hummed right along.

The University of Illinois System and the UI Foundation pulled in their fourth-largest fundraising total on record in the fiscal year that ended June 30, with $446.1 million in new gifts, grants, pledges and deferred commitments.

The total for fiscal 2021 is only surpassed by the three previous fiscal years, when the system raked in record donations during its major fundraising initiative, which is expected to wrap up next year.

The majority of new contributions this fiscal year came from UI alumni ($172.3 million, or 38.6 percent) and individuals ($69.9 million, or 15.7 percent).

The remaining 45.7 percent came from foundations ($58.9 million), family foundations ($37.5 million), corporations ($31.1 million) and other sources ($76.6 million).

In fiscal 2020, alumni and individuals contributed 45.7 percent ($211.2 million) of new commitments to the UI system, while corporations provided 22.2 percent ($102.5 million) of the year’s total.

For the second year in a row, the UI system topped $400 million in both cash and new commitments, with another $400.2 million in outright cash gifts, pledge payments, annuity or life income gifts and estate distributions.

A majority (52 percent) of the donations went to research ($112.9 million), facilities ($50.6 million) and student support ($45.5 million). Another $29.8 million went to academic programs, $16 million to public service, $12 million to faculty support and $5.3 million to other areas.

The other $128.1 million was donated for unrestricted use by deans or department heads at their discretion.

The biggest increases were in research and facilities donations, which constituted 19 percent and 6 percent last fiscal year, respectively, and rose to 28 percent and 13 percent of the cash in fiscal 2021.

Around 69 percent, or $274.4 million, of the cash total is designated for use in the current fiscal year, up from 60 percent last year. Another 30 percent will go to the endowment, while the remaining 1 percent will go to annuity/life income funds.

The UI system’s three campus fundraising initiatives have exceeded the initial $3.1 billion combined goal, raising $3.26 billion since the campaigns began in 2017.

The Urbana-Champaign campus’ “With Illinois” campaign has raised $2.42 billion, or 107.7 percent of its goal. The Chicago campus’ “Ignite” campaign has raised $709.4 million, or 94.6 percent of its goal, while the Springfield campus’ “Reach Stellar” campaign has raised $40.1 million, or 100.4 percent of its goal, through fiscal 2021.

The combined active endowment of the UI System and UI Foundation stood at $3.82 billion on June 30, its highest total ever, up from $2.92 billion the year prior.

The UI announced the new totals ahead of its 86th annual business meeting, in conjunction with Foundation Weekend festivities.

“I am in awe of the new standard of sustained philanthropic success that is being established by our donors,” UI President Tim Killeen said. “Their generosity has been inspirational to our cause and motivational to our advancement professionals, our university and system leadership, our faculty and staff, and our stakeholders across the system.”

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