University ‘mega’ donations on the rise

In the past two years, David Palmer has landed two of the largest philanthropic gifts in Canadian history, one of CA$100 million (US$78 million) and one of CA$250 million (US$196 million). The donations are a windfall for the University of Toronto, where Palmer is vice-president of advancement. They may also herald a new era in philanthropic giving, writes Joe Friesen for The Globe and Mail.

Palmer, who has built a career coaxing private money into the service of public institutions, believes big gifts tend to spawn even bigger ones. “There’s ample evidence that these large gifts cause others to think about what they’re doing to lift their sights,” Palmer said. “I think we all feel that we have barely begun to tap the enormous financial capacity for philanthropy that exists in our society.”

In September, the University of Toronto announced that James and Louise Temerty had donated CA$250 million to the university, the largest gift of its kind in Canadian history. Only 18 months earlier, Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman donated CA$100 million. Between 2011 and 2018, the university’s Boundless campaign brought in more than CA$2.6 billion. Over the past decade, university fundraising has taken on added urgency as provincial government funding has stagnated.
Full report on The Globe and Mail site