The Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded a $100 million unrestricted grant to support the United Negro College Fund’s capital campaign.
UNCF announced that it is undertaking a $1 billion capital campaign that includes five components: student scholarships; unrestricted funds to enhance the endowments for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs); capacity-building programs for member HBCUs, such as technology, training, and research; cash reserves and endowed funds for UNCF; and support for UNCF’s annual campaign.
The grant is the largest unrestricted private grant UNCF has ever received, according to UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax. It follows a $50 million grant from Lilly Endowment in 2015 that enabled UNCF to launch the Career Pathways Initiative to help enhance career outcomes for students.
UNCF plans to deploy monies from its latest grant award to building a pooled endowment fund that will increase the endowments at its 37 member institutions by $10 million each.
“Lilly Endowment’s unrestricted grant will be used as UNCF’s initial investment toward the establishment of an HBCU pooled endowment fund of $370 million,” said Lomax.
The UNCF president said the organization expects to raise $185 million, or $5 million per institution, through its capital campaign. It plans to collaborate with the institutions to match the contribution through their fundraising efforts.