A HOPE THAT TRANSFORMS

Philanthropy inspires community.

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.

ENDOWMENT POOL AND TOTAL ENDOWMENT

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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.

ENDOWMENT DISTRIBUTION

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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

ASSET ALLOCATION

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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

2020-21 MARKED ONE OF THE BEST YEARS
OF PHILANTHROPY IN FURMAN’S HISTORY.
James A. Lanier Jr. ’79 and
Mary Anne Anderson Lanier ’79
A HOPE
THAT
TRANSFORMS
“For us, sustainability is very much a part of our DNA now. In the 40 years since we’ve graduated, it’s remarkable how much smaller the world has become.”
– MARY ANNE ANDERSON LANIER ’79

With their gift, the Class of 2021 made a commitment to their alma mater that Furman belongs to them, and that they will care for and lead her in the future. Other donors joined them as over $67,000 in total was raised for the Vaughn Scholarship to support a more diverse and inclusive student body. The Furman University Investment Office collaborates with the Furman Board of Trustees’ Investment Committee, senior financial staff and external consultants to preserve and enhance the purchasing power of the endowment and support the current and future operations of Furman. The university has adopted an investment strategy that emphasizes the prudent management of risk, while working to generate long-term total return. Investments are diversified across a broad variety of asset classes – a strategy that, historically, has been shown to mitigate risk while enhancing portfolio performance.

During the 2020-21 fiscal year, approximately $31.7 million was distributed from the total endowment, in accordance with the board approved spending policy. These assets contributed approximately 21.4% to the university’s annual budget.

 
 
90.5%
OF STUDENTS RECEIVED SOME FORM OF FINANCIAL AID
$1.9 M
SUMMER RESEARCH AND INTERNSHIP FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM (multiple sources, including external grants and endowed funds)
$69,427,567
TOTAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FURMAN AWARDED TO STUDENTS
$43,146
AVERAGE FINANCIAL AID PACKAGE

Gifts to the university make an impact far beyond the Furman community. Gifts to Furman positively impact the economy through a new small business developed by an alumna. They enhance our community schools through the volunteer efforts of an alumnus. Gifts to study away experiences empower our students to belong to a larger, more diverse world. Athletics gifts inspire our student-athletes to connect to each other and work together for a common goal.

Gifts to student research experiences help inspire the next great medical discovery. And, gifts to a Furman institute help to solve a societal challenge through a partnership with the community. Philanthropy inspires the work of Furman faculty, students and staff and helps all of our students, and indeed all of us, to feel more deeply connected to our mission, to each other, and to our commitment to changing the world in positive ways.

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