Donations to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) reached a record high in the 2014 fiscal year, exceeding $4 million for the first time in the college’s 107-year history.
“Private giving is an important resource that enhances CTAHR’s ability to address Hawaiʻi’s need for sustainable communities,” said Dean and Director Maria Gallo. “It also expresses our benefactors’ confidence in our ability to deliver on relevant themes: human, plant and animal health; urban and natural ecosystems; and family and consumer vitality.”
A strong response by CTAHR alumni helped fuel a 40 percent increase in the annual giving campaign managed by the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation. Additional gifts came from CTAHR faculty and staff members, community supporters and non-profit organizations. Donations ranged from small, individual contributions to specific programs to a major anonymous gift supporting scholarships and special initiatives.
Half of the gifts, nearly $2.1 million, were designated for academic support and enrichment, including gifts from private foundations and businesses. Another 25 percent of gift dollars, more than $1 million, was designated for student opportunity and access, much of it in endowed funds that will support scholarships and fellowships in perpetuity. The remainder included support for research, extension and other college activities, including the UH Honeybee Project, bioenergy research, and the GoFarm program, which trains people interested in becoming food producers.
“CTAHR’s six academic departments have developed strong, productive partnerships with their constituencies, and private giving reflects that across the college,” said Leslie Lewis, CTAHR development officer. “Dr. Gallo is a tireless advocate for the college. She encourages the use of innovative funding strategies such as online crowd sourcing and, most importantly, meets nearly weekly with community groups and prospective donors to explain the people, place and promise of CTAHR.”
The strong year puts CTAHR ahead of pace on a seven-year, $15 million fundraising goal. Fundraising priorities for this year include expanding STEM education for Hawaiʻi’s keiki, pursuing initiatives in safe and sustainable agriculture, broadening efforts in public issues education for agriculture and natural resources, extending the Children’s Healthy Living program and promoting community partnerships.