Miller School of Medicine Excels in Annual Fundraising Survey

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine made impressive gains in fundraising performance among medical schools, placing in the top 16 percent in the newest Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Development Survey.

After analyzing data from 129 public and private institutions for the 2015 fiscal year, the survey showed that the Miller School moved up four spots from 2014, ranking 21st with total private support of $116.5 million.

Among “Joint Programs” (medical schools with hospitals, health centers), the Miller School ranked 13 out of 57 institutions and moved up two places from its previous ranking of 15.

“It is an enormous honor to be ranked in the top tier of medical schools in terms of fundraising,” said Laurence B. Gardner, M.D., interim Dean of the Miller School. “It is a true team effort to secure philanthropic support for the medical school, and a testament to our commitment to education, research, and community service. We are optimistic that our unprecedented fiscal year 2016 results ($159.8 million in cash) will place us even higher in the AAMC rankings next year.”

Just above the Miller School in ranking are Cleveland Clinic Foundation, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Weill Cornell Medicine, and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Just below are Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine, University of Michigan Health System, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, and Emory University.

The AAMC conducts the annual benchmarking survey to measure the impact, costs, and staffing of fundraising at its member medical schools and teaching hospitals. The results help medical schools and teaching hospitals identify philanthropic trends for development planning purposes.

Key highlights show that average philanthropic support increased in 2015. The mean total private support among all reporting institutions rose by 12.0 percent, from $59.8 million in 2014 to $66.9 million in 2015. Specifically, support among private institutions increased from a mean of $84.5 million to $91.4 million, while public schools experienced an increase from $41.4 million to $49.0 million.

Current operations continued to be the largest recipient of private support gifts, with the mean of ongoing operations gifts increasing 19.9 percent from $39.7 million in 2014 to $49.0 million in 2015. Unrestricted gifts accounted for 12.9 percent of total support dedicated to current operations in 2015, down from 15.1 percent in 2014.

As philanthropic support increased, so did the cost of fundraising. Expenses in this category averaged $6.7 million in 2015, marking a 4.9 percent increase from the $6.4 million reported for 2014.

Also on the upswing was the number of $1 million-plus gifts. Data for 2015 reflect 1,482 “extraordinary” gifts – noted as new outright cash gifts and new pledge commitments of $1 million and larger – of which 235 were in the $5 million-plus category. By comparison, results for the previous year revealed 1,346 gifts of $1 million and greater, of which 250 were donations of $5 million-plus.

While major gifts increased, scholarship donations decreased. The median of gifts raised for medical student scholarships stood at $1.2 million, which is below the $1.3 million median reported for 2014. As in previous years, this reflects significant differences in the amounts raised by private institutions compared to public institutions. The average in 2015 for private schools was $2.0 million, while $0.8 million was raised by public institutions.

The survey also showed the largest segment of individual donors is non-alumni and non-staff members. Of the average total private support gifts by individuals received in 2015, 81.4 percent were contributed by other people; many of these gifts are likely made by former patients and/or family members of former patients.

On average, all institutions received approximately $19.9 million in support from all unaffiliated individuals. These gifts averaged $3,506 and the median donation was $1,208. Comparatively, the average gift from medical school alumni was $1,709, and the median was $1,055.

Among institutional gift sources, the average donation from corporations was $43,690; the average gift from family foundations was $106,574, and the average contribution from other private organizations was $124,719.

Fifty-seven percent of the institutions surveyed reported being involved in a campaign in 2015, representing a marginally higher proportion than the 2014 survey (55 percent). Joint programs reported a median campaign goal of $676.8 million; medical schools had a median goal of $200 million, and teaching hospitals’ median goal was $300 million.

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