Terrorist attacks had little effect on the fundraiser's efforts
While many charities have seen a drop in donations since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the UA's billion-dollar fundraiser, Campaign Arizona, has seen contributions remain steady over the last three months.
The last official report of donation totals saw numbers in excess of $640 million - more than half the amount officials hope to raise over the next three and half years.
Dana Wier, spokeswoman for Campaign Arizona, said official numbers that reflect the past three months are not yet available, but said those working on the campaign do not expect a drop in gifts.
"Campaign Arizona is about major, long-term relationships," she said. "It's not a matter of an annual gift that someone might be thinking of making and having to scale back. These are once-in-a-lifetime gifts - more of a long-term commitment."
She said a national trend of alumni and business leaders donating to universities has landed more money in the hands of the University of Arizona from private donors.
Wier said the percentage of gifts from alumni is on the rise, in that 18 percent of Campaign Arizona's annual total comes from that group.
Nevertheless, she said the majority of the campaign's donations come from large companies and foundations.
Although the attacks do not appear to have had an effect on the campaign, it has been affected by the UA's current budget cuts. In October, the UA Foundation gave back nearly $1 million to the university, which would have been used to buy a state-of-the-art computer system for Campaign Arizona.
Wier said that right now officials are working with a 15-year-old computer system to track donors and gifts.
"It is clumsy, it is slow and it is archaic," Wier said. "But we can get by on it."
As university officials wait to find out how much the state will cut from the UA's budget this year and next, Wier said Campaign Arizona is even more important than ever.
"I think the university budget cuts emphasize to our supporters the increasingly important role of private support to public universities," she said.
Campaign Arizona was officially launched in fall 1999 after a two-year silent period of fundraising. Officials say they hope the campaign will raise $1 billion by June 2005.