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Feature

The buck stops here

From M, winter 2004

Alumni may figure that, given the size of the University, any gift they might make really won't make a difference. That is among the following myths of private support. Myth: "I can't give very much, so I might as well not give at all." Fact: The University of Minnesota has approximately 330,000 living alumni. That's equal to the population of St. Paul--plus about half of Duluth. If each of those alumni gave $10 a year, their gifts would have the same impact as an endowment of $66 million. (Gifts of endowment are invested and spent at a rate of approximately 5 percent per year, preserving the fund in perpetuity.) Myth: "I don't have to support the U; they get plenty of support from corporations and foundations." Fact: Of all the donors to the University last year, 92 percent--more than 72,336--were alumni and other individuals. And they gave 78 percent of all gifts--$177 million of the total $234 million in private giving. Myth: "I've paid my share with my tuition and taxes." Fact: While tuition and legislative appropriations are the primary source for core funding, they meet only a portion of the U's total annual expenses. Gifts go above and beyond this core funding--providing for scholarships, fellowships, and faculty support, among other uses. Donors, in fact, may direct their gifts wherever they want; 98 percent of all gifts are designated by donors for specific purposes.

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