U. of Toronto launches $2-billion fundraising campaign, the largest university money-raising effort in Canadian history
The Globe and Mail
November 21, 2011
The University of Toronto has launched the largest university fundraising campaign in Canadian history, setting an ambitious $2-billion target as it recovers from the blows of a global recession.
The new campaign – twice as large as the university’s most recent effort, which ended in 2003 – was unveiled Sunday night at the university’s Convocation Hall, and suggests Canadian schools are getting more optimistic that donors are ready to loosen their purse strings again.
U of T has already raised $966-million of the total since president David Naylor took the helm six years ago, and calculated that another $1-billion should be a reasonable benchmark for the years to come.
University fundraising suffered everywhere in recent years as potential donors with dwindling portfolios took wait-and-see postures. In the U.S., giving to colleges plunged 12 per cent in 2009 and stayed down in 2010, according to studies by the Council for Aid to Education.
Confidence at major American universities looks to be rebounding of late, with the University of Southern California announcing a $6-billion campaign in August – the largest ever in higher education. But Canada has been slower to bounce back, Dr. Naylor said.
“I think every university has found the last two or three years a little slower this side of the border,” he said. “That’s why it makes so much sense to marshal your forces, get your messages straight and get out there. To simply bob along in slightly choppy waters seems defeatist.”