By Omar Shamout

Riverside’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign, Living the Promise: The Campaign for UC Riverside, closed on Dec. 30, 2020, after publicly launching on Oct. 15, 2016. However, the university met its $300 million goal months earlier, on Sept. 10. While higher education philanthropy across the nation slowed during the pandemic, and economic contractions have historically decreased fundraising, private support to UCR increased by 21% in 2020. Here is a look at some of the other highlights from the successful campaign.

in total funds raised, including nearly $44 million from alumni. $2.6 million of the total came from gifts under $100, with more than $121 million coming from first-time donors.

Illustration of people holding big lightbulbs as ideas

endowed faculty chairs, up from 36 at the start of the campaign — an increase of 100%.


increase in the value of the university’s endowment, which is managed by the UCR Foundation. As of Nov. 30, 2020, the endowment had a market value of more than $318 million. More than $89 million in endowment funds were raised during the campaign, and 229 new funds were established, bringing the total number of funds in endowment to 44. The endowment market value comprises new gifts received and the return on the endowment.


total gifts during the campaign 

* Amount tabulated as of Jan. 11.

‡ The period for which this increase was tabulated includes the “quiet phase” of the campaign.

The Impact of Private Support