News Release

U launches system-wide fundraising campaign; goal of $4 billion by 2021

UMN Campaign

Today the University of Minnesota launched the public phase of a 10-year system-wide fundraising campaign called Driven: The University of Minnesota Campaign. The campaign goal is to raise $4 billion for students, faculty, and the University’s three-part mission of education, research and outreach for the benefit of all Minnesotans.

The campaign will benefit all five University campuses, all 16 degree-granting colleges and many more non-degree programs, including Athletics, the Weisman Art Museum, Extension and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

“In an era of tremendous transformation and constant change, it’s time to restate the promise of the University of Minnesota — to ignite hope, inspire new generations and deliver innovations that fuel our economy and shape our world,” said University of Minnesota system President Eric Kaler. “Our University is uniquely positioned to lead the way. Through Driven, we will have a direct and enduring difference on our students, state and world. But getting there will take courage, commitment, a sense of adventure and an even deeper belief in the power of generosity.”

Work between University leadership and donors began on the campaign in July 2011 when Kaler became president. Over the last six years, the University has secured more than $2.5 billion in gifts, grants and commitments from the private sector. The goal is to raise the remaining $1.5 billion by June 2021. The campaign will rank among the top five campaigns of public universities nationwide.

The campaign’s priorities align with the University’s focus on solving the grand challenges of our time and providing a world-class education to Minnesota’s future leaders. In fact, the campaign will raise $1 billion to support students.

“More deserving students from Minnesota and around the world will receive scholarships and fellowships, have the chance to study, work, and volunteer abroad, and benefit from real-world experiences and hands-on learning,” said University of Minnesota Board of Regents Chair David McMillan. “By transforming the lives of our students, we know that we are improving the quality of life in our communities across the state and around the world.”

Since 2011, the campaign has supported more than 700 new scholarships, 398 new fellowships and professional school scholarships and transformative commitments to Native American and nursing education.

The University last launched a system-wide fundraising campaign 18 years ago and closed that campaign in 2003 after raising $1.6 billion. As in that campaign, nearly one-third of the gifts that will make up private giving in the Driven campaign are expected to be estate gifts realized at a future date, benefiting future generations of students. Nearly half of the gifts are expected to be committed to the University’s endowment – the interest from which is invested in University priorities that donors designate in their gift agreements.

The campaign is chaired by John and Nancy Lindahl, prominent University donors, and a committee of more than 30 community leaders who have worked to build momentum behind the campaign leading into today’s public announcement.

“John and I are honored to co-chair this campaign and help lead so many dedicated supporters, alumni and friends of the University on this important journey,” said Nancy Lindahl. “Already, nearly 200,000 people have donated to this campaign and each has their own story about the power of the University of Minnesota. Together, we will lift the University, its students and our state and world even higher.”

For more information on Driven: The University of Minnesota Campaign, please visit, and to participate in the conversation, use the hashtag #UMNdriven. 

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