Northeastern Fundraising at a Record High, Empower Campaign Soars

Northeastern University secured $71.9 million in fundraising in the 2013-24 academic year, far exceeding its goal and making the second-highest annual giving total in its history. Photo by Brooks Canaday.

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity secured $71.9 mil­lion in fundraising in the 2013–14 aca­d­emic year, far exceeding its goal and marking the second-​​highest annual giving total in its his­tory. The fiscal year of 2014 sur­passed the pre­vious one’s total of $63.3 mil­lion, and in recent years giving to North­eastern has out­paced the rate of total giving to higher edu­ca­tion on a national level. In fact, between fiscal year 2008 and 2013, giving to North­eastern grew 66 per­cent, com­pared to a 27 per­cent increase in total giving to higher edu­ca­tion over that same period, according to the Giving USA Foundation.

“The sup­port of our global family empowers us to extend Northeastern’s bril­liant arc of suc­cess,” said Joseph E. Aoun, pres­i­dent of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity. “This is an impor­tant moment that advances our mis­sion to impact the world through knowl­edge and discovery.”

Behind this surging momentum is the sup­port of the entire North­eastern family—alumni, stu­dents, fac­ulty, staff, friends, and uni­ver­sity part­ners. Their gifts and pledges have tar­geted a wide range of uni­ver­sity pro­grams and pri­or­i­ties, including finan­cial aid, global expe­ri­en­tial learning oppor­tu­ni­ties, and new schol­ar­ships and research fel­low­ships. Some uni­ver­sity depart­ments even reported 100 per­cent staff par­tic­i­pa­tion in giving, with Uni­ver­sity Ath­letics being the first to reach that mark.

In addi­tion to the remark­able overall giving of recent years, the university’s fundraising cam­paign has soared since its launch in May of 2013.  Empower: The Cam­paign for North­eastern Uni­ver­sity , a com­pre­hen­sive fundraising drive to secure $1 bil­lion in sup­port of stu­dents, fac­ulty, and research inno­va­tion, will shape the future of teaching, learning, and dis­covery at North­eastern; amplify the university’s strengthens in cre­ativity and entre­pre­neur­ship; and rede­fine its lead­er­ship on a global scale.

More than 79,000 indi­vidual donors and nearly 3,000 orga­ni­za­tions have sup­ported the Empower cam­paign since its launch. The unprece­dented cam­paign aims to raise $500 mil­lion in phil­an­thropic sup­port and $500 mil­lion through industry and gov­ern­ment part­ner­ships by 2017.

“What’s impressed me during this cam­paign is how much the com­mu­nity of sup­port for North­eastern resem­bles our stu­dent body. Our donors are smart, entre­pre­neurial, and innovative—and I’m truly grateful for their remark­able efforts,” said Diane MacGillivray, senior vice pres­i­dent of uni­ver­sity advancement.

North­eastern fol­lowed the Empower campaign’s launch with eight cel­e­bra­tions held both on campus and across the globe. Empower has con­nected with thou­sands of mem­bers of the North­eastern com­mu­nity in cities such as Hong Kong, London, Paris, New York, San Fran­cisco, and San Jose, Cal­i­fornia. In the fall, there will be an Empower event in Wash­ington D.C., fol­lowed by an event in Dubai in the spring. Guests at these events expe­ri­ence the future of North­eastern through inter­ac­tive exhibits show­casing the inno­va­tion, entre­pre­neur­ship, and research of the university’s out­standing stu­dents, fac­ulty, and alumni.