At its basic definition, philanthropy is the desire to promote the welfare of others.
Giving to Furman is an act of connection. Connection to what we value. Connection to what has impacted our lives. Connection to the future. Most of all, giving is an act of connection to the people of the university and each other – students, faculty, staff, alumni.
When we give to Furman and join so many others across the generations who have given, we belong to this community in deeper, more meaningful ways. After a year where our very understanding and experience of community was challenged and stressed, Furman’s shared core commitment to care for each other made this last surreal year successful, and even record-setting.
Collectively, 2020-21 marked one of the best years of philanthropy in Furman’s history with a total of $64 million in commitments from more than 7,000 donors, including a record of more than $10 million for athletics. Community and philanthropy were front and center for Dins Day in April 2021. Donors from all parts of the university community came together to support those aspects of Furman that they care most about, the parts of Furman that belong to them and make them feel as though they belong to Furman.
That day, over 3,100 gifts from alumni, parents and others – meaningful gifts of every size – made a powerful statement to our students that, as a community, we are invested in them and their success.
James A. Lanier Jr. ’79 and Mary Anne Anderson Lanier ’79 previously committed $1.05 million to invest in Furman University’s Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities and added to it in March with a $1 million planned giving commitment to Furman, bringing their total commitment to more than $2.2 million.
Scholarship gifts through the Partners Program and other endowments help free students from financial worry, enabling them to immerse themselves in their Furman experience and The Furman Advantage. This year the senior class made their gift of over $30,000 from more than 52% of the class to the Joseph Vaughn ’68 Scholarship.
As of June 30, 2021, Furman’s total endowment was valued at an estimated $839 million, of which $642 million was invested in the endowment pool (the portion under the decision-making authority of the university). The remainder of the endowment is separately invested or managed by other entities.
The endowment distribution breaks down as 21% for departmental/library/programs/other, 47% for professorships, Facilities/operations/maintenance/improvement, unrestricted budget support and 9% for scholarship
The asset allocation breaks down as 7.5% fixed income, 8.8% real assets/natural resources, 22.3% private equity/venture, 17.6% U.S. equities, 17.6% hedged strategies, 23.2% international equities and 3% cash