It’s a tribute to UAB’s faculty, staff and students that the fiscal year just ended was the university’s most successful fundraising year ever, said Shirley Salloway Kahn, Ph.D., vice president for Development, Alumni and External Affairs—and she’s not just talking about people with direct responsibility for development.

 Salloway Kahn

“Donors most often make contributions because of the experience they have had with the institution,” she said.

“Everyone here contributes to that impression by the work they do, whether it’s a clean facility, a warm greeting, a well-done performance, an exciting lecture or a research breakthrough.

“Truly, all of us at UAB have a hand in the success of our fund-raising efforts.”

Kahn was relating the good news that UAB raised $91.9 million dollar in gifts and pledges this past year, some 15.6 percent more than the year’s $79.5 million goal — and more than the university’s previous year best of $88 million. This is especially significant, she said, considering that UAB has maintained its fund-raising momentum on the heels of what was a very successful comprehensive campaign that ended in 2003.

“Since the end of the campaign, we have surpassed our projections every year,” Kahn said. She attributed that success to the fact that “we have strong leadership, good strategic planning, identifiable benchmarks, great support in the community, and faculty, staff and students whose accomplishments are recognized nationwide.”

Beating the spread
Kahn said it is unusual for a university to be able to maintain—much less accelerate — fundraising momentum following a capital campaign. Often, the visibility of fundraising slips and donors will focus on supporting one project until its completion.

Topping the totals
• In FY 2006, UAB raised approximately $74.9 million, representing the second highest total of gifts and pledges in UAB’s history. Now it’s down to third highest.
• In FY 2007, UAB raised $91.9 million, its best year ever.
In the four years since the conclusion of the Campaign for UAB, which raised $388.7 million, the Maintaining the Momentum initiative has raised $303.7 million.

But that is not the UAB experience, she said. As the campus expands, the reputation of the programs grows and the quality of faculty and students is enhanced, donors still are eager to support our efforts.
“They are seeking us out,” Kahn said.

“People want to invest in people and programs that are making a difference, and the numbers show that the achievements of our employees and students are being noticed and appreciated,” she said.

“More than $76.5 million of the $91.9 million raised this past year was donated to support faculty, research, programs and scholarships, which is nearly $20 million more than the previous year.”
Kahn said one of the year’s most telling statistics is that $89 million of the total is in outright gifts – money that is available to the university for use immediately.

“This tells us that donors are reacting and responding to our pursuit of excellence,” Kahn said. In the four years since the conclusion of the Campaign for UAB, which raised $388.7 million, the Maintaining the Momentum initiative has raised $303.7 million.

“It also shows that parents, patients, vendors, neighbors and others who come in contact with our faculty, staff and students are confident that UAB is a good investment based on their experiences with our people, programs and services,” Kahn said.

“Our success is and always has been best-attributed to that teamwork.”