The University of Montana just concluded the most successful higher education fundraising campaign in the history of the state.

Cindy Williams, President and CEO of the UM Foundation made the announcement on Friday.

“Today the University of Montana and the UM Foundation announced and are celebrating more than $450 million given by donors during a seven year fundraising effort called Campaign Montana,” said Williams. “Gifts received from more than 34,000 donors have elevated every student college, school and program.”

Williams provided some details of the giving by generous donors.

“For example, donors gave more than $126 million for student scholarships and support like academic advising and career preparation,” she said. “They contributed more than $91 million to enhance and launch new academic programs, more than $50 million to renovate and construct learning environments, and more than $45 million to support faculty and staff including new endowed faculty positions.”

Williams said throughout the 10 year fundraising campaign, giving was remarkably steady year to year.

“The momentum of campaign Montana was consistent from the beginning all the way to the end, in that total fundraising for us averaged between $50 and $60 million a year,” she said. “And again, it exceeded all of our expectations and every goal that we set for the campaign. The initial goal was $320 million, which we achieved a couple of years before the campaign was scheduled to conclude, and then we exceeded that $400 million enhanced goal a year in advance.”

She said fundraising actually reached new levels after the COVID 19 pandemic struck the campus.

“Much to our surprise, the level of private support didn't diminish at all,” she said. “After the pandemic started our donors commitment remained just as strong and their focus changed a little bit during the pandemic. They contributed more than $100,000 in the spring to support students who had lost jobs in the community and were struggling to meet their basic needs.”

Donors represented all 50 states and gave nearly 100,000 gifts.

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