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Gifts to Portland State University triple in four years
Author: Tanya Gross, PSU Foundation
Posted: August 14, 2014

Portland State University has raised over $104 million in private gifts in the last four years, demonstrating a growing culture of philanthropy at Oregon’s largest university.

Over 10,800 individuals, businesses and foundations contributed a record $39.3 million in private gifts to the university in fiscal year 2014—more than triple the $12.8 million raised in fiscal year 2010.

“Our donors are inspired by Portland State’s mission and its role as a leading urban university,” said PSU Foundation President/CEO Françoise Aylmer. “We are grateful for this increased level of support and for the donors who are engaging with us.”

Foundation trustees unanimously appointed Aylmer to the position of Foundation President/CEO in June. On July 1, PSU’s Advancement division of over 55 staff members led by Aylmer transferred its responsibilities to the PSU Foundation, creating a single entity with a single focus—to support Portland State. As Foundation President/CEO, Aylmer oversees management of Foundation operations and assets, all private fundraising, and Alumni Affairs on behalf of the university. 

“The Foundation’s new structure will position Portland State for a successful comprehensive fundraising campaign,” said Foundation Board Chair Mark Rosenbaum. “It is an excellent model for enhancing our overall fundraising capabilities and will create opportunities for substantially more scholarship and faculty support dollars and for carefully-planned capital campaigns. In short, it means more resources for students, faculty and campus infrastructure.”

With state funding at new lows, philanthropy is increasingly important to Portland State. Twenty years ago, the state funded 80 percent of the cost of higher education. Now it funds 12 percent, shifting the financial burden to students and their families. As a result, more students borrow to cover costs. For PSU undergraduates with debt, the average debt is $26,000. With nearly 30,000 students, PSU enrolls and graduates more students than any other university in Oregon.

In response, Portland State has made scholarships a fundraising priority. In fiscal year 2014, 45 percent of gifts to the university were for scholarships and student aid. Other fundraising priorities are capital projects for the School of Business Administration and the Viking Pavilion and Academic Center. Read more here. 

Portland State University raised $39.3 million in private gifts in fiscal year 2014—a 34 percent increase over last year and well ahead of its $34.1 million goal.

About the PSU Foundation (PSUF)
Celebrating its 51st year, the PSU Foundation is an independent tax-exempt organization. Gifts advance Portland State University by providing scholarships for students, supporting faculty research and instruction, and enhancing facilities and program development and growth. To give to the University’s fundraising priorities, please contact our campaign office at 503-725-2649 or