UC Davis Sets Fundraising Record

Donors Show Commitment During Pandemic

Wioman leaves Quad with a bag of groceries, from an array of bags set 6 feet apart on the Quad.
With emergency relief funding, student-aid organizations continued distributing food during the pandemic — with bags set 6 feet apart for pickup on the Quad. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Quick Summary

  • 2019-20 total of $252.9 million includes nearly $323,000 to emergency relief funds
  • “Collective effort of generosity” supports COVID-19 response, students in need and much more
  • Others setting records: UC Davis Health, College of Biological Sciences, School of Law and Intercollegiate Athletics

University of California, Davis, fundraising the last fiscal year set a new record: $252.9 million from 30,520 donors whose support contributed to a multitude of university initiatives, not the least of which was the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In direct response to the ongoing public health crisis, 2,108 donors contributed a total of $322,986 to emergency relief funds from March 1 to June 30.

“I know these days we could all use good news and in terms of fundraising, the news does not get any better,” Chancellor Gary S. May said. “This record just shows the deep belief that people have in UC Davis during what are historic times for the nation.”

These funds allow UC Davis Health experts to develop state and national COVID-19 standards, establish its own testing capabilities and advance new treatments to help save lives. UC Davis has performed more than 33,698 COVID-19 molecular tests.

In addition to supporting health care, emergency fund donors supported students in need across the university. Student Affairs raised $117,734 for the Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center, The Pantry student food bank, Murphy Basic Needs Endowment and Student Emergency Relief Aid Fund.

‘Collective effort of generosity’

“The amount we raised means so much more than breaking a record,” said Shaun Keister, vice chancellor of Development and Alumni Relations and president of the UC Davis Foundation. “It’s a collective effort of generosity that drives UC Davis to help the world be a better place.”

During a time when coronavirus care and research dominated the news, UC Davis Health surpassed its own record, raising $89 million through philanthropy in the fiscal year that ended June 30. Of that, the School of Medicine secured $49.7 million and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing brought in $38.9 million.

“This level of community support is cause for celebration and for motivation as we redouble our efforts to strive for excellence in fulfilling our mission,” Chancellor May said. “In the midst of a pandemic, we are being depended on to make a difference through our research, our innovation and our world-class scholarship.”

Gift impacts

Across UC Davis, donors supported causes that will significantly advance the university’s mission of teaching, research and public service. Among the most impactful:

  • $37.5 million to the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing — With this single grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the school launched the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship Program for Nurse Leaders and Innovators, recognizing early-career nursing scholars and innovators. The foundation seeks to prepare nurses as collaborative leaders with the skills and confidence to inspire others, enact change and challenge the status quo.
  • $2.5 million to the College of Biological Sciences — The Genentech Foundation donated this sum — the largest-ever single gift to the college — to establish the Avenue B program, which supports community college transfer students.
  • $2.6 million raised through UC Davis’ fourth annual Give Day — This year’s Give Day, April 17-18, brought in a record-setting $2.6 million from 4,825 gifts from across campus and around the world, including gifts from 43 states and nine countries. Of the 4,386 donors on Give Day, 969 were new to UC Davis.

On the Davis campus, top fundraisers were the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at $37.6 million and the School of Veterinary Medicine at $34.5 million. Other colleges, schools and units also had banner years: The College of Biological Sciences, School of Law and Intercollegiate Athletics all broke their previous records, collectively raising $11.7 million more than last year.

“The world has seen what UC Davis can achieve,” Darryl Goss ’83, chair of UC Davis Foundation, said. “And now, we can only strive to reach greater heights and give back to the community more than ever before.”

Media Resources

Betsy Towner Levine, Development and Alumni Relations, 530-752-9693, etlevine@ucdavis.edu

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