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Campaign bolsters large, small programs

Today's stories mark the final installment in a four-part series on The Campaign for Duke.

The School of Medicine conceived by James B. Duke in his 1924 indenture has maintained its original purpose of training budding young doctors. At the same time, however, it has become a world leader in research and has expanded to provide health care across the state.

But even as the Duke University Health System becomes more autonomous, the Medical Center remains an integral part of the University, as reflected in the priorities of The Campaign for Duke.

More than one-third of the $1.5-billion campaign-$550 million-is targeted for the Medical Center. Although the campaign's goals were established long before the Medical Center expanded into DUHS, said Chancellor for Health Affairs Dr. Ralph Snyderman, campaign officials hope even the most recent acquisitions will benefit from the fund-raising effort.

To raise such large amounts of money, Snyderman said he and President Nan Keohane work separately, although they occasionally attend key events together. For example, the two recently attended a New York dinner and will be in Florida later this month.

Snyderman said selling donors on the Medical Center is one of the easiest parts of his job. "It's a strong story and a story I love telling," he said.

Many potential donors have some previous relationship with the Medical Center, said Joseph Beyel, vice chancellor for development and alumni affairs. Alumni are an obvious constituency, he explained, as are members of the 26 Medical Center volunteer boards.

Another programmatic goal, he added, is to have 100 percent of the Medical Center's staff and volunteers contribute to the campaign. People who live in the Carolinas are also more frequent donors.

The Medical Center carefully cultivates potential donors, often through educational programs, Beyel said. "People will not give you money if they don't know you."

Like the University as a whole, one of the Medical Center's primary goals is to raise endowment money, which provides unrestricted funds annually. Snyderman said the Medical Center has not had the substantial individual gifts-those of $50 to $70 million-that medical facilities at Harvard, Yale and Washington universities have enjoyed.

Beyel said that intertwined with the endowment effort is a plan to boost individual donations to half of total philanthropy. "Individuals give money to endowment; therefore, we need to increase individuals," Beyel explained.

Before the campaign, the Medical Center received less than $35 million in philanthropy each year. Last year, that figure reached $57 million, with $24 million from individuals; organizers hope to reach about $70 million by the campaign's end.

Another area in need of improvement is support for student financial aid. Snyderman explained that many campaign gifts come from patients and families, who do not typically contribute to financial aid.

The natural contributors to financial aid are medical school alumni, but Duke's relatively young graduate pool is not as wealthy as that of some of its competitors, Snyderman said.

One of the most noteworthy contributions to this difficult area of fund-raising is the Nanaline H. Duke Honorary Scholarships announced in February. This four-year full-tuition scholarship will be given to eight students each year and was formed by consolidating the $500,000 the Nanaline H. Duke Foundation donates annually.

Beyel explained that this scholarship will allow the medical school to remain competitive for applicants for the next several years, buying time until the campaign can generate more endowment funds for further improvements.

Other emphases of the campaign include research in genetics, immunology, neurosciences, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

"What we tried to focus on is those areas that we anticipated a need for growth," Snyderman said. "Duke Medical Center wants to be a very high-impact medical center."

To that end, Snyderman said, the campaign has excelled at meeting specific, tangible goals. For example, the McGovern-Davison Children's Health Center is nearing its fund-raising target. As of Jan. 30, the $30.5-million project was about $4 million short of its goal.

"It's so visible and understandable that you want to do things for kids," Snyderman said. He noted that unlike endowment and financial aid money, items with clear constituencies are often easy to raise funds for, as are programs targeted at specific health problems.

The importance of the Hospital is emphasized by James B. Duke's indenture of The Duke Endowment, which is separate from the University.

"I have selected hospitals as another of the principal objects of this trust because I recognize that they have become indispensable institutions," he wrote. "So worthy do I deem the cause and so great do I deem the need that I very much hope that the people will see to it that adequate and convenient hospitals are assured in the respective communities."

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