Buffalo State fundraising highest among all SUNY colleges

Buffalo State was recently ranked first among SUNY comprehensive colleges for fundraising during the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

The honor comes after Buffalo State raised $6.9 million in total funds, marking the second consecutive year in which the college topped the list. That amount was also good enough for eighth place overall among all 64 SUNY campuses.

Buffalo State beat out other SUNY comprehensive colleges including Brockport, Fredonia, and Geneseo.

According to the 2012-2013 SUNY Fundraising Survey Report, of the total $6.9 million, the largest portion came from the $3.4 million for endowment — gifts which donors specify are to be retained and invested for income producing purposes. About $2.7 million came from gifts restricted for use in areas such as scholarships, research, or athletics. About $500,000 was in the form of unrestricted gifts, which can be used however a school sees fit. Another $300,000 was given for use in facilities maintenance and renovation.

Individual donors accounted for about $4.9 million of these gifts, with the remaining $2 million coming from foundations or corporations.

Overall, however, Buffalo State’s fundraising dropped from the 2011-2012 fiscal year when nearly $7.6 million was raised.

At the April 11 meeting of the college senate, Buffalo State Interim President Howard Cohen said he felt the giving by faculty and staff has been “especially generous.”

Cohen said that Buffalo State has reached its campaign goal yet again this year and they are looking to “push on and break the goal in a really impressive way.”

Susanne Bair, vice president of Institutional Advancement at Buffalo State, said the faculty and staff campaign has long been one of the top earning in all of SUNY.

“Last year faculty and staff committed $192,000 to the campus,” Bair said. “This speaks volumes about their generosity and commitment to Buffalo State. Our faculty and staff believe in our mission and are willing to give of their personal funds to support our goals.”

Bair said many donors are also alumni and therefore they understand the value of a Buffalo State degree.

“They know it leads to good jobs for graduates and that the campus is a strong partner in the community and economic development,” Bair said. “Donors also understand the excellence that exists in our academic programming and they want to invest in those programs.”

Bair said would-be donors are inspired to give by what they see happening at Buffalo State. They are not only impressed with what is going on in the classrooms, but with the great number of opportunities available to students such as undergraduate research projects, athletics and student life. Bair said coming to campus and seeing all the new facilities has also inspired donors.

Faculty and alumni are not the only ones contributing to Buffalo State’s financial success. Current students are also contributing to the school’s philanthropy.

“Last year students raised the money to commission the two stained glass campus crests that hang in the Union,” Bair said. “Very soon we are doing an event to recognize this accomplishment and I look forward to seeing what students choose as their next project.”


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