A Record-Breaking Year for Fundraising and Endowment Performance; Record Number of OSU Volunteers
FY21 was a record-breaking year for all areas of our mission.
- Inspire Investment – Donors gave more than ever.
FY21 was the best fundraising year in OSU’s history. Donors gave more than $177 million, eclipsing our previous record of $152 million in FY18 by over 16%. FY21 totals were also about 30% higher than our five-year average of $136 million. Additionally, we announced an anonymous $50 million gift to Completing Reser Stadium, which matched our largest gift ever in the history of the university.
Please join me in celebrating the College of Agricultural Sciences and Athletics, which both had their best fundraising year ever in FY21! The College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, the Honors College and University Initiatives all had their second best fundraising year of all time.
A point of pride again this year was that 100% of the OSU Foundation & Alumni Association staff and members of the OSUF and OSUAA boards made a gift in support of OSU’s mission, as did our university’s leadership – every member of the Cabinet, the Provost’s Council of Deans and the Provost’s Senior Leadership Team. This strong internal support sends a powerful message to our communities. Thank you to everyone who made a gift!
- Steward Resources – Endowment market value reached an all-time high.
On June 30, the endowment market value was $819.5 million, with a fiscal year return of 35.95% compared to our 31.24% benchmark. Our benchmark is based on a portfolio with 80% global equities as measured by the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) and 20% Global Fixed Income as measured by the Barclays Global Agg.
The market value of the endowment was less than $600 million on June 30, 2018; without question, we can attribute this growth not just to a strong stock market and the generosity of our donors but also to our outsourced CIO, Agility. Their experience and expertise have been invaluable.
Most importantly, this growth generated an increased endowment payout to the university of $22.3 million. This means that we were able to provide $1.4 million more than last year to support scholarships, faculty positions, programs and projects when the university needed it most.
- Engage our Community – A record number of engaged volunteers.
In a year when COVID curtailed so many of our traditional ways of connecting with constituents, I am especially pleased with how we creatively and strategically offered new opportunities for meaningful engagement and surpassed our goals in this important area. For example, we launched OSU Connections, an online network for the Oregon State University community, offering an easy and welcoming way for Beavers to take their careers to the next level and broaden their professional network.
We also significantly advanced our strategy to move program participants into volunteer roles, which increases their connection to the OSU community and their likelihood to financially support the university. We tracked nearly 5,000 volunteers in FY21, which is about 1,000 more than FY20, making this the sixth consecutive year we have tracked a record number of engaged volunteers.
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
We also made great strides in our DEI Action Plan, including building a diverse pool of potential board candidates, inspiring more than double the amount given to targeted DEI funds compared to FY20, and increasing our number of volunteers for our identity-based alumni groups by more than 300%.
As you know, we didn’t have a specific DEI action plan before last year. I am grateful to Charlene Alexander for her partnership and leadership in creating and achieving actionable DEI goals. Although we will miss her when she returns to Ball State University this fall, we will use the excellent foundation she helped us build to continue to take action on this important issue and advance diversity, equity and inclusion at OSU, in our profession and beyond.