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MUSC Annual Report 2011-2012

The Year in Philanthropy: A Success by Every Measure

By Jim Fisher
Vice President for Development

Inspiration is never hard to find on the Medical University's campus. 

You can see it everywhere:  In our patients' faces…in our students' sense of determination…in the passion of our volunteers…and in the dedication of our staff, faculty and caregivers, all of whom understand the importance of their work to the lives of others.

As Vice President for Development, I have the opportunity to see that inspiration in another place: in the generosity of the people, businesses and organizations that choose to support the Medical University through a philanthropic gift.

Two thousand eleven was an incredible year in philanthropy at the Medical University.  Here are a few of the highlights that were especially meaningful to us:

A growing family of supporters  

Giving can be hard during tough economic times.  At a time when many supporters might have been hesitant to give, we actually saw double-digit growth in the number of donors making a gift to MUSC.  More than 11,000 benefactors felt strongly enough about the importance of our work to make a gift in its support.  

Record giving

Giving to the Medical University reached nearly $83 million in gifts and pledges during 2011- about 8 percent more than the previous year.  This was a record for the university that, again, took place during a time of great economic uncertainty. 

Notably, the sharpest increase in giving took place among people who did not graduate from one of our six colleges.  That amount grew 42 percent, to $26.5 million. Their support was motivated by something beyond love of alma mater…something a little deeper and more meaningful to the community as a whole.

Support from within

Our employees' generosity has been nothing short of inspiring.  Their support of the university's employee fund-raising campaign increased 10 percent during 2011, providing vital funding for services and programs across our campus.  These contributions were important, both materially and symbolically; an enterprise that has the full faith, confidence and support of its own people cannot fail. 

Loyal partnerships

More than 75 percent of last year's contributions came to us from "repeat benefactors."  This is important because it tells us that people see the university as a sound investment with a proven track record of achieving results.  We are honored by their confidence, and pledge to be faithful stewards of their continued trust and generosity.

New beginnings

This year, Boeing expanded its operations in South Carolina with the opening of its new final assembly facility in North Charleston.  Before the company even cut the ribbon on the new building, it made a gift to establish a new center aimed at promoting healthier lifestyle habits among the state's young people.  We are deeply gratified by Boeing's investments both in the Lowcountry and in the Medical University, and look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with Boeing and the 1,161 others who made a gift to MUSC for the first time last year.

Inspiring acts of kindness

Every so often, we see an example of selfless generosity that is so pure it stays with us forever.  This year, this example came to us through 7-year-old Aidan Roff.  Moved by a schoolmate's courageous but unsuccessful battle with cancer, Aidan recruited some friends to open a lemonade stand near his home in Charleston, raising more than $2,000 for cancer research.  In doing so, he not only demonstrated a drive and compassion beyond his years, but also embodied in a beautiful way the very essence of philanthropy: the idea that no problem is so large that it can't be solved when impassioned people decide to act.

These are just a few of the year's highlights in philanthropy from my perspective, as one who works with the Medical University's benefactors every day - there are many, many more.  However, the more meaningful measures of last year's success were those that took place in our research labs, our classrooms, in the community and at our patients' bedsides as a result of this giving.  We invite you to visit our campus, so that you may see for yourself how your gifts are transforming our campus and the lives of the people we serve.

If you made a gift to the Medical University last year, please know that your contribution is making a bigger difference in more lives that you can imagine.  These are significant, transformative investments that will leave an enduring mark on our campus and create a legacy of better health for countless people for generations to come.  On behalf of the entire Medical University family, I thank you.


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