UMKC Foundation breaks records

Hope Austin

The UMKC Foundation collected 57,507 gifts during fiscal year 2013-14, which set a new record for donations, totaling $40.12 million. The number of gifts exceeded the previous year by nearly 7,500.

Major donations include real estate totaling $6 million for the proposed Downtown Campus for the Arts; a $2 million gift to the School of Law, the largest in its history; and a $5.6 million donation from the Hall Family Foundation, including $3 million to fund the renovation of Spencer Theatre.

A portion of the donations will support scholarships and new programs.

Murray Blackwelder, president of the UMKC Foundation, said the past fiscal year’s increase in gifts is likely related to a recovering economy, more alumni donating larger amounts to the University and the Campaign for UMKC, a $250 million capital campaign launched by the foundation in 2011.

“When you’re in a campaign, people seem to respond a lot better,” Blackwelder said. “It gives them more excitement.”

Including donations from the most recent fiscal year, the campaign has raised over $220 million total.

“We always have a public goal,” Blackwelder said. “It keeps everyone honest. This year our goal was $40 million – next year it’s $50 million.”

According to Blackwelder, the 2013-14 fiscal year ranks 5th best in UMKC’s history.