Marquette University is a Jesuit Catholic university located in urban Milwaukee. It was founded in 1881 as a liberal arts school for men to support the immigrant populations of the Milwaukee community. Now open to both women and men, the school carries on its founding tradition; this year, 25 percent of its freshman class is made up of students whose parents emigrated to the United States.
The hallmarks of its mission, like those of the 27 other Jesuit Catholic universities in the country, are excellence, faith, leadership and service.
Here, Julie Tolan, Marquette’s vice president of university advancement, talks about where the institution gets the 15 percent of its operating budget that’s contributed, a recent fundraising success and the lessons learned from it.
FundRaising Success: What are your sources of funding?
Julie Tolan: Thirty-four percent from alumni, 2 percent from parents, 20 percent from friends, 21 percent from corporations, 22 percent from foundations, 1 percent from associations.
FS: What is a “friend”?
JT: We’re in an urban setting, we’re in a city. So there are a lot of people in the community who are not alumni or affiliated with us in any other way who make a gift. Some of them may be past parents but, really, a lot of these people are people who support our athletics program, our art museum, our endowment in general. It’s people who have not had any affiliation as alumni or are not current parents, and we call them friends, benefactors who have adopted us as a priority in their giving.
FS: Tell me about a recent fundraising success.
JT: Magis was the name for the seven-year campaign that began in ’98 and finished in June ’05, and it was a comprehensive campaign, so it raised money for facilities, capital; it raised money for endowment; and it raised money for current use. The original goal was $250 million and we achieved $357 million, and that broke down to be almost 30, 30, 30 when it came to those three areas; facilities, endowment and current use.