The University of Wisconsin recently announced the “All Ways Forward” fundraising campaign will be extended through 2021 following COVID-19 financial blows to the institution.
The UW fundraising campaign, which was originally scheduled to end in 2020, was extended until Dec. 31, 2021. According to the All Ways Forward website, the campaign began as an effort to raise money for the university from the alumni community.
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The organization has raised $3.6 billion from 239,000 total donors, according to a news release. The funds have also contributed to capital projects, including the Nicholas Recreation Center and the Chemistry Building.
But, the COVID-19 pandemic forced UW to seek out more private funding. President and CEO of the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association Mike Knetter said private donations are more important than ever due to UW’s current financial situation, according to the news release.
UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank estimated tuition receipts were down by $24 million, and researchers are set to receive $28 million less than expected, according to the news release.
“There has never been a more important time to support UW–Madison,” Blank said in the news release. “By extending the campaign, we are able to engage our generous alumni and friends of the university to help meet the financial challenges we face now and into the future.”
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According to the All Ways Forward website, several university-wide projects and programs are funded by the campaign’s donations. $145 million is appropriated for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. An additional $284 million is set aside for the athletic department as well as $236 million for the Wisconsin School of Business.
Director of Media and Public Relations for the UW Alumni Association Tod Pritchard said in an email to The Badger Herald many scholarships are awarded to UW students through the donations. The campaign funds created 3,800 new scholarships and fellowships since 2015, with more on the way, Pritchard said.
“We’re very proud of the many programs funded through this campaign,” Pritchard said in the email. “If I had to pick one, I’d point to the enhanced student support.”
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National Chair of All Ways Forward and UW donor John Oros said he became involved with the campaign because UW gave him many opportunities early in his life. Oros said he felt the need to give back to the institution. One of his biggest goals in the early stages of the campaign was to increase endowments for UW professors.
Oros also explained people behind the fundraising saw no need to stop the campaign, hoping instead to build on the momentum they had gained in recent months.