The Johns Hopkins: Knowledge for the World campaign has
attracted gifts and commitments of $1.544 billion,
surpassing in just over four years the record $1.52 billion
raised in the entire nine-year Johns Hopkins Initiative,
which ended in 2000.
Knowledge for the World, with more than 331,000 gifts
or pledges recorded so far, stands more than three-quarters
of the way toward its goal of $2 billion by the campaign's
scheduled conclusion in 2007. Accounting for $1.143
billion, or 75 percent of the total raised, are gifts of $1
million or more from 225 leadership donors.
"This outstanding success is a testament to the
loyalty and generosity of many thousands of alumni,
friends, foundations, corporations and other supporters of
Johns Hopkins," university President
William R. Brody said in an e-mail message to faculty,
staff and students. "It is also a tribute to you. It is
your hard work, your scholarship, your research and
creativity, your contributions of knowledge to the world
that inspire so many gifts, large and small, to Johns
To date, the campaign has raised $125 million to
support student financial aid and fellowships, one of the
university's major priorities. Knowledge for the World
donors also have established 25 new endowed professorships.
from private donors have been instrumental in the
completion of major capital projects, such as the $27
million renovation of the
Institute and the final buildout of the
Bloomberg School of Public
Health block on Wolfe Street.
Donors to the campaign also have supported research,
treatment and educational programs across the university
and Johns Hopkins Health System. Apparel magnate Sidney
Kimmel committed $150 million to the
comprehensive cancer center that now bears his name.
Anonymous gifts of $100 million and $58.5 million
Johns Hopkins Malaria Institute at Public
Health and the
Cell Engineering at the School of Medicine. Those are
three of the four largest gifts ever to the Johns Hopkins
A $40 million gift from the
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Public Health
supplemented the foundation's more than $20 million in
earlier gifts for the
Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and
Nationally, campaigns at institutions like Johns
Hopkins have become more and more reliant on gifts of $1
million or more, said
Robert Lindgren, vice
president for development and alumni relations. But
Knowledge for the World is also attracting donors of more
modest means. Since the early stages of the campaign, for
instance, the number of Homewood undergraduate alumni
making annual gifts of any size has increased from 28
percent to 32 percent.
"The combination of leadership commitments with
many, many thousands of very generous smaller gifts will,
by the conclusion of this campaign, have a transforming
effect on the Johns Hopkins Institutions," Lindgren
"By 2007, thanks to all our donors, we will be a
university with far more modern and more welcoming campuses
and more generous financial aid for students," Lindgren
said. "We will be a health system with the most up-to-date
facilities for patients. We will be institutions that
better support the work of our world-class faculty and
health care professionals. We will be in a better position
to contribute to society in everything that Johns Hopkins
does, across the board."
Lindgren said he is confident —"You bet," he
said — that Johns Hopkins will reach the $2 billion goal. But
he warned that, despite the campaign's rapid early
progress, the goal is still a daunting one.
For one thing, he said, competition for donors is
more intense than ever. When the Johns Hopkins
Initiative — launched in 1991 —
was completed in 2000, Johns
Hopkins became only the sixth institution ever to raise
$1.5 billion or more in a single campaign. There are now
nine institutions in campaigns to raise that much or more,
and 14 others seeking $1 billion or more, according to The
Chronicle of Higher Education. In particular, state budget
problems have prompted public institutions to more
aggressively court private donations.
Lindgren also noted that Johns Hopkins' peer
universities and academic health centers generally attract
about 12 percent of their campaign gifts to
"bricks-and-mortar" projects — new buildings and renovations.
Johns Hopkins was very close to that mark in the last
campaign, he said.
Because of the pressing need for new and updated
facilities across the institutions, however, the Knowledge
for the World campaign has a bricks-and-mortar component of
25 percent, or $500 million. Johns Hopkins Medicine —
which is seeking $1 billion, half of the campaign's overall
goal — has devoted an even higher proportion, 30 percent, to
"In a way, we're trying to buck the trend of how
donors give to institutions like ours," Lindgren said.
Decades ago, he said, donors often were attracted to the
idea of affixing their names — or a relative's or a
revered professor's — to a new building. Today, he
said, they are more often motivated by an idea, a research
project or a connection to a physician who cured them.
Meantime, given the sophisticated technology required in
new patient care, research and other buildings, facilities
projects are more expensive than ever.
So, Lindgren said, Johns Hopkins fund-raisers are
fighting — aggressively — something of an
uphill battle to attract support for capital projects. For
instance, Johns Hopkins Medicine development officers are
working toward a $272 million goal for private support for
a new cardiovascular and critical care tower, a children's
and maternal hospital, and three research buildings. Of
that, $116 million has been raised so far. Other important
capital projects included among campaign priorities are the
South Quad project and Gilman Hall renovations at Homewood
and a School
of Nursing expansion that will also house the
Another important campaign priority where there is
still work to be done in all divisions, Lindgren said, is
endowment, especially for student aid and faculty support.
For instance, the Krieger School of Arts
and Sciences and
Whiting School of Engineering are seeking $100 million
for undergraduate financial aid; $22.7 million is in hand
"We have a lot of momentum," Lindgren said, "but
there still are needs out there that are critical to the
university and the health system, particularly in
buildings, student aid and faculty support. Meeting those
needs and keeping Johns Hopkins competitive in those areas
is our top priority as the campaign continues over the next
Lindgren said that peer institutions have not sat
idly by while Johns Hopkins has raised $1.544 billion in
four-plus years. In the latest national rankings, Johns
Hopkins' endowment, despite the campaign's success,
actually fell from 23rd to 24th place.
"In 2007, we hope to be as competitive or better
with our peer institutions as we were in 2000, when we
started Knowledge for the World," Lindgren said. "But the
competition has become fierce."