UCSB’s long-term fundraising drive – the Campaign for UCSB – has twice surpassed its monetary goal by millions of dollars and is still pulling in the big bucks.

Launched in October 2004, the Campaign collects private donations and funnels the money to campus improvement programs meant to ensure the university’s academic competitiveness.

According to Gary Greinke, associate vice chancellor of development and executive director of the Campaign, the fundraiser surpassed its initial goal of $350 million less than a year after being launched. Subsequently, the goal of the campaign was upped to $500 million.

In the 2007-08 school year, the fundraiser once again topped its goal, Greinke said.

“The campaign for UC Santa Barbara was organized as a multi-year approach for the campus to share our vision, needs, accomplishments with alumni, parents and friends,” Greinke said in an e-mail. “This campaign is actually the first one in the history of our campus. We originally set a goal of $350 million. It was subsequently elevated to $500 million. We have now surpassed this milestone.”

The campaign, according to the UCSB Web site, has raised $526 million to date and hopes to continue raising money for the future of the University, especially in the face of the UC financial crisis. With funding cuts striking campus on many fronts, Greinke said, the campaign will continue to give the school a much-needed boost in its finances.

“Our fundraising efforts are more important and rigorous than ever before, especially during this difficult budgetary time,” Greinke said. “Fundraising is very important, as we have experienced declining support from the state of California due to the economy, but it cannot completely solve the budget cuts currently experienced on campus.”

According to the Web site, donors can determine where their money will go, such as for naming a new building or establishing endowments.

The donations the Campaign receives, Greinke said, are typically distributed in order to benefit students, faculty and staff as much as possible.

“Most gifts received are designated for specific purposes by the donor and they supplement funds received by the state,” Greinke said. “The funds help provide facilities, scholarships and graduate fellowships for students, and they attract and retain outstanding faculty. These funds are already supplementing income from tuition and the state to keep the cost of attending as reasonable as possible.”