Illinois State University has just recorded the second largest fundraising year in the institution’s history. In fiscal year 2016, Illinois State raised more than $21.6 million through the support of corporate partners, friends of the University, and nearly 12,000 alumni, including 1,029 first-time donors. The gifts will go toward student scholarships and university programs.

This marks the second time Illinois State has cleared more than $20 million in annual fundraising and is another highlight in a record-breaking, three-year stretch for philanthropy at the University.

image of Vice President of University Advancement Pat Vickerman

Vice President of University Advancement Pat Vickerman.

“Our goal was to reach $21 million in gifts and commitments to the University. Attached to that $21 million goal was a secondary goal of $11 million in cash received,” University Advancement Vice President Pat Vickerman said. “Through the generosity of our donors, both goals were achieved.”

The outright gift support, pledges, gifts-in-kind, and estate commitments will help the University support students and professors in the classroom.

“Private gift support brings resources that can be invested to help students, faculty, and programs right away,” said Vickerman. “It is important to maintain a balance of current support and estate gift commitments when planning for the future of the University.”

Through the University’s fundraising efforts, 2,008 scholarships were awarded in 2016, a 7 percent increase from 2015, and 25 new scholarships were established. And once again, Illinois State alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends came together to make the University’s participation in Giving Tuesday a success. Donors gave 1,467 in financial gifts totaling $580,993 during the one-day online campaign held in December 2015. Those totals were large increases over the previous year’s numbers.

image of Larry Dietz

President Larry Dietz

“Illinois State changes lives—making an impact on the futures of individual Redbirds and those lives they touch after receiving an excellent education at the University,” President Larry Dietz said. “I deeply appreciate the contributions of our donors whose gifts make this far-reaching change in the lives of so many.”

This year’s success was a further sign that a culture of philanthropy is taking root at Illinois State, as set forth in the University’s strategic planEducating Illinois 2013-2018: Individualized Attention, Shared Aspirations.

The Illinois State University Foundation is the private nonprofit organization dedicated to securing and stewarding private gifts that benefit Illinois State.

“The Foundation Board is proud of the unprecedented fundraising success of the last three years,” said Foundation Board of Directors Chair Ann Baughan, MBA ’83. “Many of Illinois State’s indicators of success are trending in a positive direction. Thank you to our Redbird alumni and friends for their role in making fundraising another of those positive trends.”

Those looking to support Illinois State University are encouraged to make a gift now at