The University of Arkansas had its best fundraising year yet for Campaign Arkansas, raising $292.7 million during the 2018 fiscal year. The amount raised supports students, faculty and staff, as well as capital projects and programs, and is the second-best year in the university’s fundraising history. The total amount raised for Campaign Arkansas now stands at $947.4 million.

“The visionary gifts we received from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation and Windgate Charitable Foundation certainly helped propel our success this fiscal year,” said Chancellor Joe Steinmetz. “It’s encouraging to see the momentum and excitement building from our campus, alumni and friends as we embark on the remaining years of the campaign.

“Over the next two fiscal years, we will continue our focus on advancing academic opportunity and supporting the university’s guiding priorities through Campaign Arkansas. It’s an exciting time for the university, and we are very appreciative of the generous benefactors who make these transformational opportunities come to life, as well as the deans and unit leaders who work so tirelessly on behalf of our campus.”

The university’s original goal for fiscal year 2018 was $245 million. The amount raised includes gifts of cash, gifts-in-kind, planned gifts and new pledges received from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018. Approximately $130.6 million of the fundraising total was allocated for endowed funds and adds to the university’s overall endowment.

Support for student scholarships and academic programs accounted for 49 percent of the money raised. Advance Arkansas, a scholarship initiative to promote student success, was launched during the campaign and remains a fundraising priority.

Justin Miles, a pre-med major from Gilmore, Arkansas, was one of the inaugural recipients of an Advance Arkansas scholarship in 2017.

“Thanks to the scholarship support I received over the last two years, I’ve been able to pay off my loans from the first two years,” he said. “When I graduate, I’ll be debt free.”

Miles graduated in spring 2018 and has since been accepted to medical school.

Another 14 percent of the funds raised in fiscal year 2018 was allocated to faculty and staff. Faculty support, often in the form of endowed chairs, professorships or fellowships, is critical to recruiting and retaining high-quality faculty for the university and ensures students have the opportunity to learn from and conduct research with the nation’s best.

The remaining funding for fiscal year 2018 includes 32 percent for capital improvements and 5 percent for other key initiatives.

Gifts from individuals, such as alumni, friends, parents, faculty and staff, made up 12 percent of the $292.7 million raised during the 2018 fiscal year. Another 14 percent came from corporations, while 70 percent came from foundations and 4 percent came from other organizations, including trusts and estates. All private gifts to the university are designated and allocated for specific purposes set forth by each donor and used solely for those purposes. The university makes every effort to align donors’ giving interests with campus priorities.

Cash receipts, which include pledge payments, outright gifts and estate and planned gift distributions, reached $243.5 million in fiscal year 2018. The campus brought in 99,943 outright gifts and new pledges from 53,122 benefactors during the fiscal year.

“Gifts of all sizes are contributing to our campaign’s success,” said Mark Power, vice chancellor for university advancement. “Campaign Arkansas is a wonderful opportunity for all of the university’s alumni and friends to get involved and give back to the areas of campus and strategic priorities that mean the most to them.

“Doug and Shelley McMillon did an outstanding job leading Campaign Arkansas over the last fiscal year, and we are very appreciative of their time and commitment to the university. Our campaign volunteers, along with the incredible work performed by our advancement team, made this a record-setting year for the campaign. We are thrilled to have Bill Dillard join us as chair of Campaign Arkansas for the next fiscal year and know he will do an excellent job energizing and engaging our committee.”

Dillard earned a business degree from the Sam M. Walton College of Business and is chairman and chief executive officer of Dillard’s Inc. He will lead the campaign as chair through June 30, 2019.

“As an alumnus and business leader, it’s exciting to see the outstanding progress being made at our state’s flagship and land-grant,” said Dillard. “Campaign Arkansas should unite us all in support of the University of Arkansas. Everyone can get involved and be a part of this effort. I look forward to leading the campaign over the next year and continuing to help students, faculty and staff.”

Campaign Arkansas is an eight-year comprehensive fundraising campaign focused on advancing academic opportunity at the university. It will conclude on June 30, 2020 and originally had a goal of $1 billion. That amount was increased to $1.25 billion in spring 2018.

About Campaign Arkansas: Campaign Arkansas is the ongoing capital campaign for the University of Arkansas to raise private gift support for the university’s academic mission and other key priorities. The campaign’s goal is to raise $1.25 billion to support academic and need-based scholarships, technology enhancements, new and renovated facilities, undergraduate, graduate and faculty research, study abroad opportunities and other innovative programs. The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in a wide spectrum of disciplines as it works to fulfill its public land-grant mission to serve Arkansas and beyond as a partner, resource and catalyst.