Johns Hopkins University has announced the end of an eight-year fundraising effort that raised more than $3.7 billion from 250,000 donors, the second-largest total ever raised by a U.S. university. Only four universities have raised $3 billion or more in a campaign, and only one, Stanford University, which had raised $3.8 billion as of August, has exceeded Hopkins' total.
Funds raised through the "Knowledge for the World" campaign have already created ninety-two professorships, generated 550 new scholarships and graduate fellowships, and helped modernize teaching, research, and patient care facilities at Johns Hopkins campuses in Baltimore and around the world. The campaign also helped launch the Carey Business School and Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and endowed the deanship of the Whiting School of Engineering.
The original goal of the campaign — to raise $2 billion by the end of 2007 — was surpassed two years ahead of schedule, thanks in part to some of the largest gifts ever received by the university. They include four commitments totaling $157 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for reproductive health initiatives and research on childhood pneumonia and tuberculosis in AIDS patients in developing countries. Of the total raised by the campaign, $2.2 billion — or 58 percent — was designated for Johns Hopkins Medicine, while about $1 billion was awarded for program support. Nearly $3.1 billion — or 82 percent — of the funds raised came from sources outside Maryland.
Universities, especially major research institutions such as Johns Hopkins, are raising increasingly large sums from private donors, the Washington Post reports. Although experts predict a small decline this year as the economy falters, giving to educational institutions has increased by an average of 7 percent annually for the past twenty years. The ability to keep raising funds could become especially important as the value of endowments at universities nationwide continue to fall. The value of Johns Hopkins' endowment fell about 20 percent — to $2.4 billion — over the last six months of 2008.
"I am amazed and gratified not just by the generosity of our supporters but also by the sheer number of people who believe so strongly in the work we do," said William R. Brody, who was president of the university throughout the campaign. "Each gift, regardless of size, was an affirmation from our friends and alumni that Johns Hopkins is a sound investment. Each gift was a vote in support of our determination that the work we do at Johns Hopkins — in teaching, discovery, and healing — will make this world a better place."