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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University October 25, 2004 | Vol. 34 No. 9
Campaign well on way to $2 billion

Commitments have already surpassed total of 1990s initiative

By Dennis O'Shea

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 Hopkins."

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. Funds from private donors have been instrumental in the completion of major capital projects, such as the $27 million renovation of the Peabody 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 established the Johns Hopkins Malaria Institute at Public Health and the Institute for Cell Engineering at the School of Medicine. Those are three of the four largest gifts ever to the Johns Hopkins Institutions.

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 Reproductive Health.

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 said.

"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 construction needs.

"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 Berman Bioethics Institute.

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 so far.

"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 three years."

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."


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