May 28, 2008

Oxford U. Announces $2.5-Billion Campaign

American universities have long dominated the “billion-dollar club,” the select group of nonprofit institutions capable of pulling off a campaign to raise $1-billion or more.

With Oxford University’s announcement today of its campaign to raise $2.5-billion, some British institutions are not that far behind.

Only three American universities have completed campaigns that raised more: Columbia University ($2.8-billion), the University of Southern California ($2.9-billion), and the University of California at Los Angeles ($3-billion).

Six others are still in drives with goals of $2.5-billion or more, including the three largest by Columbia University ($4-billion), Cornell University ($4-billion), and Stanford University ($4.3-billion).

Jon S. Dellandrea, Oxford’s chief fund raiser says that his university’s campaign is the “biggest in Europe,” followed by another British campaign at the University of Cambridge, which in 2005 announced its drive to raise the equivalent of nearly $2-billion.

While Oxford hopes to win big gifts from British donors, it has turned to North American fund raisers in planning and running its campaign. Mr. Dellandrea was recruited from the University of Toronto, for example, and Oxford has also hired Jerold Panas of Panas, Linzy & Partners, a Chicago fund-raising consulting firm.