The UCSB Office of Development is continuing its efforts to secure philanthropic support to reach its $1 billion goal for private donations by the 2016-2017 academic year.

The Voluntary Support of Education Survey reported that private and public universities — including many UC campuses such as UC Berkeley, UCLA and UCSF — received a total of $30.3 billion in charitable donations for the 2010-2011 school year, with several public institutions ranking in the top 20 highest-earning.

According to Associate Vice Chancellor for the Office of Development Beverly Colgate, colleges are actively pursuing potential donors, such as alumni and local philanthropists, in efforts to reach their financial targets.

“A lot of higher education institutions are in campaign mode, which is a fundraising effort to package and market our fundraising in a way that is appealing and compelling to donors,” Colgate said. “[It is] a wonderful, unified effort.”

Senior Director of Development and Campaign Operations Jennifer Deacon said past success with similar efforts propelled the campaign forward into a second phase, set to conclude this spring.

“In 2000 we embarked on the first comprehensive campaign in UCSB history and our goal at that time was $350 million. And when we met that goal, we extended the campaign with a revised goal of $500 million and we reached that in 2008,” Deacon said. “We were moving so well and we had built up [such] an infrastructure of staffing and reaching out to our donors and friends that in the spring of 2011 we decided to embark upon phase two of the campaign and move forward toward one billion.”

While participation in the project is thriving, Colgate said it’s imperative to the future of the university system that the community continues to stand behind education in the face of difficult circumstances.

“Our totals are ahead of where we were last year at this time, by quite a bit. We also see more donors; while people aren’t giving maybe as much, more people are giving,” Colgate said. “Given the fact that tuition has increased and state funding has dwindled, our donors, our parents, our alumni [and] our friends all realize that the UC needs their help now more than ever.”

According to Deacon, fundraising efforts are forging a greater sense of belonging among students, alumni and other members within the realm of higher education.

“It is going to require our community … to come together in an organized way we have never seen before,” Deacon said. “It’s going to require a new culture of giving among our students and alumni, who value this place as we all do and who recognize its extraordinary nature and potential as a campus. It’s a very exciting time for our campus and for UC.”