Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Donations for UNM Down
By Juan Carlos Rodriguez
Journal Staff Writer
Donations to the University of New Mexico Foundation dropped by about 16 percent last year, due to a decline in large donations.
The foundation reported it raised about $75.1 million between July 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010, compared to its goal of $90 million.
The year before, donations totaled $90 million and the year before that, $85.5 million.
Jill Zack, the foundation's director of marketing and communications, said the drop in funding was because there were fewer gifts of $1 million or more.
She said that type of gift can skew results from year to year. She didn't know why there were fewer during the past year.
"We're not even really that concerned about it," Zack said of the decline. "The foundation has two missions: one is to raise money and two is to manage the investment of the endowment for the university, and both of those are long-term strategic plans. We look at them in the longer range, not in the short range."
More than 17,000 donors gave in 2009-10.
"These donations are a sign of the solidarity we all share in promoting excellence at UNM, even during financially trying times," UNM President David Schmidly said in a statement. "Having received just 16.1 percent of our budget from state sources this year, philanthropic support is instrumental to us fulfilling our mission as the state's flagship institution of higher education."
The foundation is a nonprofit group that distributes its assets and earnings to UNM colleges, departments and programs per donor directions. If the donation is unrestricted, the foundation's volunteer board decides how to allocate it based on the university's priorities.
The foundation came under fire after it became independent from UNM in 2008, with several regents complaining about spending and employee salaries.
Henry Nemcik took over the job of foundation president about two weeks ago, replacing John Stropp, Zack said.
Zack said the foundation has set a goal of $78 million for next year.