Greater than 118 million in donations for UQAM

This text is part of the Philanthropy special

UQAM has just completed the largest fundraiser in its history and even surpassed its goal. The 100M Ideas campaign raised $118,848,248 over five years. Thanks to this money, students have been able to obtain grants to support them financially or to support the realization of their projects, whether in research, training or creation.

Launched in 2018, the campaign was a work of “collaboration and joint effort, but also commitment and dedication,” says the rector of the University of Quebec at Montreal, Magda Fusaro.

Of course, the pandemic hasn’t made things any easier, admits the Director General of the UQAM Foundation, Michelle Niceforo. “We had to change our approach and way of doing things, but people responded, they were generous, and the most surprising thing is that 48% of our donors are new donors,” she says. A real success for the director, since new people could discover the establishment, even if the meetings and the presentation of the projects had to take place virtually to arouse the interest of the donors.

Donor profiles are diverse, ranging from wealthy individuals to corporations, including the university community. “We have had more than 17,000 donors and of these 16,580 are individuals. The rest are organizations, whether foundations or companies,” says niceforo.

The result of this action is also a nice farewell gift for Fusaro, who ends his five-year term in January. “From $25 to $1 million, there was a really interesting variety of donor profiles,” she says. Participation was also possible by supporting research projects on autism, intellectual disabilities, mental illnesses, fighting suicide, but also humanities, educational sciences, digital literacy, communication and administrative sciences or art.

scholarships needed

Magda Fusaro reminds that between March and June 2020, many international students were stranded in Montreal due to the pandemic and the lockdown. It was difficult for many to make ends meet without a job. “People’s generosity has made it possible to release emergency funds to help these students and it has really had a huge impact on the lives of many,” she thinks.

“UQAM is known for being a university where boldness, imagination, projects for access to studies and higher education are important,” argues the Rector. On the other hand, it is less well known that UQAM is strong in research, has centers of excellence and has put a lot of energy into supplementing study financing with scholarships. In addition, the institution promised at the beginning of the fundraising campaign that more than a third of the funds raised would be used for scholarships for students in the three study cycles, she emphasizes.

“There are scholarships from the first cycle. It’s important because it’s the start of university life,” says the Rector. The Albert Leblanc Scholarship, for example, aims to encourage Aboriginal students to study law.

Students have moved

In the granting of the scholarships, which took place online, the students expressed the need to receive certain scholarships in order to be able to continue their studies. The Marie-Josée Berger grant winner, Monique Brodeur, explains that returning to school forced her to give up her job temporarily and thus lose her livelihood in order to devote herself to writing her work.

In addition to the financial aspect, others have testified what brought them this recognition, such as the Trottier Family Foundation grantee, who is from abroad. “I can prove that I have a good education, which is good official recognition from Canadian universities,” she says. Or feeling legitimized and supported while research is an area where loneliness can be present. “It inspires my courage, my passion, I feel like I’m studying for someone bigger than me,” said the Madeleine St Martin Scholarship winner in Canadian or Quebec history in her acceptance speech.

Promotion of the UQAM

This campaign also promotes UQAM. “Having so many new donors is a great sign of recognition for the university,” said Fusaro.

For its most ambitious campaign in its 50-year history, UQAM can be proud to have successfully fulfilled its mission beyond its expectations. “It sends a great message to the entire Montreal ecosystem and beyond because we have donors from other provinces,” the rector said.

More projects will certainly be waiting for the foundation because, as the two women remind us, ideas are constantly being renewed at the universities.

This special content was created by the Special Publications team at Have to, Marketing related. The elaboration of Have to did not participate.

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