2014 will go down as a record-breaking year for fundraising at the University of Montana. 

The UM Foundation has received $37.4 million in donations and pledges this fiscal year, which began July 1. This breaks a record set in 2008, when fundraising totaled $36.7 million. This year’s total comes from 10,000 individual gifts.

University of Montana Vice President for Integrated Communications, Peggy Kuhr, said some of the larger gifts and donations total in the millions of dollars.

"They include a recent $5 million gift from an anonymous donor for a scholarship endowment that is specifically for Montana students with financial need," Kuhr said. "We also have a $2.4 million gift for an online college prep curriculum for students who need to get ready for college level math courses."

Kuhr said the gifts to the UM Foundation will eventually lead to higher enrollment at the school.

"The number one reason that we've heard that why students who want to come to the university of Montana but don't, is financial need," Kuhr said. " They didn't have enough scholarship support, or the financial aid package was not sufficient for them, so being able to have more scholarship monies to offer our prospective students does make a difference down the road."

Last July, Engstrom and the UM Foundation launched a three-year initiative called Investing in Student Success. This year’s fundraising total includes $20.3 million toward the initiative. The rest of the gifts and pledges are for programs and support for faculty across the University.

“The groundwork laid by many people in the past has led to this year’s success,” said Shane Giese, president and CEO of the UM Foundation. “There is so much more to be done. This is just the beginning of the Foundation’s increased support for this great University.”

The UM Foundation is the fundraising arm for the University. The Foundation focuses on increasing support for the University’s strategic goals. It is led by a 40-member Board of Trustees composed of alumni and friends from across the country.

UM Vice President for Integrated Communications Peggy Kuhr