UCSF Remains Top Public University in Fundraising for 2016

By Mike Billings

Sandy Weill and Joan Weill celebrate the launch of the UCSF Weill Institute for Neuroscience with Sam Hawgood in May 2016.
Sanford I. “Sandy” Weill (right) and Joan Weill (second from right) made a donation that helped to establish the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences. Photo by Elena Graham

UC San Francisco for the second year straight has raised the most in private contributions of any public U.S. university, with $595.9 million.

The Council for Aid to Education (CAE) rankings released recently report that charitable contributions to colleges and universities increased 1.7 percent in fiscal year 2016 to $41 billion. The gain over the previous year is nearly eliminated when adjusted for inflation.

UCSF’s private contributions place it as the fifth-highest of all universities nationwide, according to the CAE rankings.

Significant gifts to UCSF in 2016 included the gift from The Weill Family Foundation and Joan and Sandy Weill. The gift allowed the University to launch the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences to develop advanced therapies for brain and neurological diseases. Other support for mental health research included a grant from the Atlantic Philanthropies to UCSF and Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, to create the Global Brain Health Institute, a groundbreaking venture to stem the precipitous rise in dementia.

The support from Silicon Valley continued entrepreneurs continued last year. Entrepreneur Sean Parker and The Parker Foundation gave cancer immunotherapy a major boost with a $250 million grant, a portion of which will benefit UCSF, to establish the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.

The importance of private contributions to UCSF has grown as other funding sources have remained nearly static. State funding for education still accounts for just 3 percent of overall University revenue, and research funding from the National Institutes of Health has become increasingly competitive as the total amount awarded annually has increased only nominally overall in the past few years.

“The continued support of the philanthropic community and our friends has an enormous impact on the work UCSF is able to do,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS. “We are extremely fortunate that this continued support allows us to advance our work as researchers, clinicians and educators.”