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At the latest Board of Trustees meeting, UCF Foundation CEO Michael Morsberger announced that the Foundation’s most recent campaign, a multi-year initiative that aims to raise $500 million to benefit UCF, has raised $204 million since July 2011.

The UCF Foundation was founded in 1969 and is a nonprofit organization dedicated to its mission of supporting UCF through charitable donations from alumni and friends of the university, according to its website.

Its campaign is referred to as a “comprehensive campaign,” meaning that currently, donors such as individuals or organizations instruct the Foundation how they would like their money to be utilized.

From there, the Foundation designates certain projects to focus on during the time which they are raising money. The money for this campaign comes from alumni, individual supporters, friends of the university, corporations and other nonprofit organizations.

“It’s difficult to think of any part of UCF, in fact, that hasn’t been helped in some way by private donations,” Morsberger said.

The campaign just exited the “silent” or “leadership phase.” During these early stages of the campaign, the Foundation’s volunteer board of directors, foundation staff and university leadership worked quietly with established supporters of the university to encourage larger donations to the campaign in order to get it headed in the right direction.

After this phase, the campaign is set to enter the “public phase,” when approximately half of the goal has been raised. During this time, a kickoff celebration is held to announce the campaign in order to discuss its goals and priorities with the general public.

The Foundation hopes to launch the public phase in the fall of 2016.

“It is our donors who ultimately decide when, and if, we reach our $500 million goal. We hope to get there by the end of 2018,” Morsberger said. “UCF’s only previous campaign, the Central to Our Future campaign, which concluded in 2006, raised $366 million — well in excess of its original $250 million goal.”

The money is currently being raised to support UCF, the students and the faculty in numerous ways, ranging from student scholarships to faculty support, or building new facilities for needed programs within UCF. Previous campaign gifts helped build the Rosen College of Hospitality Management campus, the College of Medicine and Bright House Networks Stadium, among many other projects and initiatives.

According to the Foundation’s website, monetary donations are not the only way to support the Foundation. Students getting involved with different volunteer programs on campus, such as Volunteer UCF and Knights Give Back, ensure that other Knights have limitless options when it comes to enriching the college experience.

If students or any donors wish to get involved with the campaign, donations can be made by visiting UCFFoundation.org or by contacting Donor Relations at 407-882-1247.

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Samantha Bequer is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.

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