Yale University recently launched a major fundraising challenge as part of the university’s historic For Humanity campaign. Benefiting the Yale School of Medicine (YSM), Yale School of Nursing (YSN), and Yale School of Public Health (YSPH), the challenge aims to build the endowment of each school, securing a steady and permanent source of funding for the schools’ core priorities. The university has committed $150 million to this effort, or up to $50 million for each participating school.
“As we emerge from the present public health crisis, we can create a more resilient and equitable future by supporting the next generation of health professionals,” says President Peter Salovey ’86 PhD. “Yale’s commitment to develop future leaders in nursing, medicine, and public health will benefit not only the residents of this country but the well-being of everyone around the globe. Donors who join us in this effort will partner with the university to ensure a healthier future for all people.”
This challenge will support a range of needs at the three schools, with an emphasis on student aid, faculty support, and research funds. It will also address some of the vulnerabilities made salient by the COVID-19 pandemic, including shortages of health professionals and the need for increased diversity in the health fields. By expanding access to education, this challenge will advance efforts to improve health, foster advancements in health equity, and enhance the quality of healthcare for everyone.
Building permanent sources of funding
During the challenge period, which runs from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2026, when a donor makes an endowed gift to a school, the university will make an equal and unrestricted contribution to the school’s general endowment. For example, if a donor contributes $100,000 to establish a named scholarship in the School of Medicine, Yale will add $100,000 to the school’s unrestricted endowment, which provides discretionary funding to the dean.
Eligible endowed gifts include outright gifts, pledges, and planned gifts, such as bequests and gifts that provide lifetime income.
Endowed funds are a permanent part of each school’s finances. A gift to endowment is invested by the university, and the income it generates is directed toward an enduring purpose selected by the donor. Because the principal is not spent, the gift continues to support Yale in perpetuity.
Advancing Core Priorities
At Yale School of Medicine, which has announced a commitment to become debt free for all students, donors can unlock challenge funds with gifts to name endowed scholarships. In addition to financial aid for students, the school’s fundraising efforts for this challenge focus on education more broadly. Donors can also participate with gifts to areas such as post-doctoral fellowships, the MD-PhD Program, student diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, and the Physician Associate program.
Enhanced scholarship support is also a major goal for the Yale School of Nursing. Today, the average debt of a Yale nurse is $105,000. Greater financial aid will help the school attract the very best students and enable them to become Yale-trained nurse leaders. Donors of endowed funds can also support the school by giving to named professorships, funds for teaching innovation, and YSN’s state-of-the-art simulation lab, which helps students stay on the cutting edge of the profession.
Donors to the Yale School of Public Health will find their gift comes at a pivotal time. Recently, Yale announced YSPH will become a fully self-supporting and independent school within the university. Donors can secure challenge funds by creating new endowments for any purpose. For those supporting financial aid, additional matching funds are available for scholarship gifts of $25,000 or more. The school also welcomes gifts to endow the school’s deanship, professorships, and funds supporting faculty research and innovation.