The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee announced its second-highest fundraising year in the history of the university. Between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, nearly 6,000 donors gave $35.2 million to the UWM Foundation, which supports UWM. In 2018, the university raised $38.6 million.
“I am thrilled to announce this good news,” UWM Chancellor Mark Mone said. “Clearly our donors believe in UWM’s dual mission of providing access to education for students from all walks of life while promoting world-class research that addresses many problems facing our world today. I am deeply grateful for all of our donors’ generosity and their incredible show of confidence.”
UWM received several major gifts during the 2019-20 year, including $10 million from an anonymous donor of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation in support of the School of Freshwater Sciences’ research vessel. In addition, the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin gave $2.1 million to construct a multipurpose building connected to the Klotsche Center & Pavilion, which will improve student recreation space on campus.
Support from UWM’s own faculty and staff also increased this year. Compared to last year, 14% more faculty and staff made gifts, and their total amount given was 30% more than last year. This year, gifts made by UWM faculty and staff averaged $983.
In March, when classes shifted to an online format and many students lost their jobs due to coronavirus restrictions and the shuttering of businesses, UWM’s Office for Development & Alumni Relations focused its fundraising efforts on emergency funds, the UWM Food Center & Pantry, and the newly created Chancellor’s Student Success Fund. Emergency funds provide support for students’ most basic needs, such as housing, food and educational supplies necessary for online learning, while the Chancellor’s Student Success Fund expands on this support by providing scholarships and programmatic support in addition to emergency assistance. According to UWM’s Division of Student Affairs, 92% of UWM students who receive emergency aid stay in school.
“When so many of our students faced financial difficulties this spring, our donors, including our faculty and staff members, stepped forward with tremendous generosity,” Vice Chancellor for Development & Alumni Relations Patricia Borger said. “We all want our students to be successful, and our top priority is keeping students on the path to graduation and a fruitful career. I deeply appreciate the outpouring of support from our alumni, friends, corporations, foundations, faculty and staff.”