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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fundraising

Progress Update

The Office of University Development (OUD) continues to work in collaboration with chief development officers in every school, college and unit to identify their top DEI fundraising priorities and which of the university’s active gift funds serve a purpose related to DEI. Of those units that were able to identify their DEI funds, U-M raised $14,594,746 for DEI initiatives from 15,061 unique donors in FY21. 

In planning for the next fundraising campaign, DEI remains a critical element of campaign themes, and leadership has further emphasized the need to include DEI fundraising within university-wide initiatives. At the unit level, campaign planning meetings with each school, college and unit include discussion of their DEI-specific priorities and how they can be supported by the unit’s campaign plan. We are also working with Deputy Chief Diversity Officer & Director of Implementation for the DEI Strategic Plan Katrina Wade-Golden to identify DEI fundraising priorities across campus through the DEI 2.0 strategic planning process.

Notable highlights include:
  • Diversifying Our Donor Base:  In Year Five, OUD and its partners made significant progress in diversifying the donor base and promoting more equitable donor engagement through multiple fundraising initiatives such as The Raise: Generations of Black Excellence, the Women’s Philanthropy Committee (WPC) and the NextGen Committee. These initiatives are building critical infrastructure vital to the success of our next comprehensive campaign by enhancing donor engagement data, increasing diversity on our volunteer boards and developing and sharing best practices to engage people from underrepresented and marginalized identities and backgrounds.
  • DEI Leadership Council:  The DEI Leadership Council is now completing its second year of work. This university-wide volunteer network of philanthropic alumni and friends is deeply committed to ensuring that U-M continues to be a community of leaders and best in which all individuals are afforded an equal opportunity to thrive. Vice Provost Rob Sellers oversees the DEI Leadership Council, which in turn provides valuable counsel and input on real-world implications of our DEI initiatives. The group met twice this year to address community engagement, campus reactivation and DEI fundraising for the next campaign.

George Floyd Memorial Scholarship: During the memorial service for George Floyd, Dr. Scott Hagen, president of North Central University in Minnesota, challenged university presidents nationwide to join in creating a George Floyd Memorial Scholarship. Soon after, U-M alumna Marchell Willian proposed establishing a George Floyd Memorial Scholarship Fund and made the initial gift. As the first Michigan-led grassroots campaign for ODEI, this scholarship will begin the process of diversifying both the types of scholarships offered and their giving focus. In FY21, $80,600 was raised from 59 donors, including Willian. The first recipient, a Wolverine Pathways graduate, will receive the award in the fall.