ASU Foundation closes year with $136M in new gifts, commitments

Among the many milestones realized by the ASU Foundation for A New American University during the 2012-2013 fiscal year was a goal-busting $136 million generated in new gifts and commitments that will serve to advance the university now and in the years to come.

“Once again, our investors have made it clear they value Arizona State University’s track record and enduring commitment to excellence, access and impact,” said R.F. “Rick” Shangraw Jr., chief executive officer of the ASU Foundation. “One of our main purposes in the foundation remains to connect investors with opportunities reflecting their passions, which range from supporting scholarships and new facilities to advancing research and attracting and retaining world class faculty.”

The foundation endowment grew to $553 million at the end of the fiscal year.

“Those philanthropists who invest in the future of ASU have a significant and meaningful impact each and every day,” said Shangraw, who has led the foundation since his appointment by ASU President Michael M. Crow in October 2011. “These are higher education advocates who enhance and bring greater value to the real-life and academic lessons being shared by renowned faculty with those who will become tomorrow’s leaders, those who will teach the next generation of changemakers.”

In addition to the milestone generation of new gifts and commitments, the foundation realized these successes in 2012-2013:

• Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest, most-utilized evaluator of charities, awarded the ASU Foundation its premier “Four Star Charity” rating for the second consecutive year. The foundation’s average score of 68.94 points of 70 possible was the highest of all 105 educational institutions ranked, and included a perfect score of 70 for “transparency and accountability.”

• GuideStar, an online nonprofit evaluation resource for donors, awarded the foundation the GuideStar Exchange Seal in recognition of its commitment to maintaining transparency and accountability.

• Foundation engagement programs reached record numbers. The ASU President’s Club achieved a total membership of 496, marking an increase of more than 70 percent over the past two years. The organization raised more than $1 million in support of the ASU president. Women & Philanthropy celebrated 10 years of support for the university in 2012-2013, reaching a membership total of 238, the largest in the organization’s history. Women & Philanthropy generated $100,000 for the New American University Matching Endowment Program and awarded a record-breaking $286,000 to six ASU programs. The foundation’s Presidential Engagement Programs, a connection gateway for new and potential donors, attracted a record-setting 3,000 attendees to 27 selected ASU lectures, discussions and workshops while generating more than $125,000 in new gifts and commitments. The Sun Devil Family Association, formerly the ASU Parents Association, recreated itself to better reflect its outreach impact and generated $1.4 million in giving from ASU family members.

• Major foundation donors were recognized with the naming of the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics and the dedication of the Diane and Bruce Halle Skyspace Garden.

• The foundation’s assets division pre-leased and began pre-construction on SkySong 3, the next-phase office building in ASU’s Scottsdale Innovation Center. Nearing completion in SkySong is a 325-unit high-end apartment project, on schedule for occupancy in fall 2013.

• The foundation conducted a 37-hour, social media-driven fundraising micro campaign, “Mark It Day,” that exceeded its goal by more than 400 percent. Nearly 1,000 donors, including 250 first-time ASU donors, contributed $171,000.

• Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), a foundation affiliate that serves as ASU’s exclusive intellectual property management and tech transfer organization, marketed, negotiated and closed a record number of contracts, resulting in 41 licenses and options. AzTE also posted record numbers – 11 ASU faculty startup companies launched, 250 invention disclosures processed and 44 U.S. patents secured.

• The foundation advanced ASU’s Solutions concept and its five platform areas (New Health, New Teacher/New Learner, New City, Better Designs/Better Decisions, University as Enterprise), and linked them to foundation and corporate philanthropy. The result was 200-percent attainment of fundraising totals for the joint effort, including $22 million in corporate giving and $38 million in foundation awards; a total of $61 million in new gifts and commitments.

• The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) gave multiple Circle of Excellence awards to the foundation for materials and activities, including Gold Awards for financial literacy training and the 2012 endowment report, and Silver for the engagement newsletter, ASU Connection. The inaugural publication for the rebranded Sun Devil Family Association (formerly ASU Parents Association) received a CASE regional Bronze Award.

• The foundation’s commemorative book, “From Normal School to New American University: A history of the ASU Foundation,” received a best-in-class award from the Arizona/New Mexico publishing industry.

• The foundation created its first local effort in conjunction with the Giving Tuesday national initiative, raising $15,000 in 24 hours from nearly 100 ASU parents.

• Foundation employees collected and donated more than 9,000 cans of food for Giving Tuesday and other food drives throughout the year.

• In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, foundation employees donated and sent pajamas, socks and blankets to the hard-hit town of Babylon, N.Y.

• Foundation team members gave more than $40,000 to the 2012 Valley of the Sun United Way drive.

• The Sun Devil Family Association donated more than 3,000 hours in volunteer service to ASU programs and events.