Foundation plans to grow University endowment - News

LSU System Foundation plans to grow University endowment

Griffin: Fundraising can offset tuition hikes

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Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 5:56 pm | Updated: 12:13 pm, Wed Jan 23, 2013.

The LSU Foundation has developed a plan to double the amount of money it raises per year and to swell the University’s endowment by 2016, according to William Davis, director of Advancement Services and Strategic Planning for the foundation.

The foundation, as a private entity, raises money from donors for the University. Its “Road to 2016” plan is meant to increase fundraising from $30 million to $60 million per year and to grow the foundation’s endowment from $330 million to $430 million by 2016, Davis told the LSU Staff Senate.

In the longer term, the plan aims to raise the endowment to $680 million by 2022, he said.

“The goal is to increase the number of donors, raise amount of money we are getting from donors and grow the amount of money we give to the University on a yearly basis,” Davis said.

From 2003 to 2012, the foundation contributed $249 million to the University from donor funds, said Lee Griffin, president and CEO of the LSU Foundation.

“The entire reason we exist is to raise money for the LSU main campus, the Agricultural Center and the LSU Law Center,” said Sara Crow, director of communications and Donor Relations. “We want to make sure we raise money for what the University and the other two campuses need. They set the fundraising goals and the foundation helps to bring in the money.”

Of the University’s total operating budget, 38.9 percent comes from state funds, according to the University’s Office of Budget and Planning. That number has been dwindling since state budget cuts began in 2008. In 2008, state funds to the University were 57.9 percent of the budget.

“People think there will come a day when the state provides zero [percent],” Griffin said. “What will replace it?”

He said student revenue and growing the student base will help.

“Hopefully, we won’t have to increase tuition too much if we can get the foundation to double where it is,” Griffin said. “If we do that, we might be able to get out of the clutches of the state.”

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