I have been involved with ULI and the ULI Foundation since the late 1980s, and I have always valued my membership with the Institute as a great way to connect with peers and build friendships that last a lifetime. But ULI is far more than that. Its greater purpose is to engage and empower members to make an impact — to make a difference in how communities grow and thrive.
ULI’s Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report documents the many ways that members are contributing to the Institute’s legacy of leadership in land use. I’m very proud that the ULI Foundation played a key role in these successes by providing more than $6.2 million in fiscal year 2017 to support the Institute’s efforts to enhance the member experience and foster excellence in community building.
The Foundation’s Annual Fund continued to be a key source of funding for ULI over the past fiscal year. More than 2,500 people contributed to the Fund in FY 2017, and the average gift was $458. Thank you to all who made a donation – your gifts supported an expansive range of programs, including UrbanPlan, Urban Resilience, and Advisory Service Panels, as well as Urban Innovation Grants to District Councils and National Councils. As you will see in the Annual Report, our members’ involvement in these programs is helping to expand ULI’s reach and strengthen the Institute locally and globally.
Another important source of funding for the Foundation in FY 2017 was the Major Gifts program. Through major gifts, our members are not only helping ULI create better communities, they are helping ULI reach the next generation of land use leaders to carry on ULI’s work. For instance:
- Key Leader Randall Lewis donated $500,000 to the Building Healthy Places Initiative to create the ULI Randall Lewis Healthy Mentorship Program. This program pairs rising professionals with senior land use experts who share an interest in improving health through the built environment. The gift also supports the ULI Health Leaders Network, which facilitates collaboration and information sharing among professionals in land use, real estate, urban planning, design, and public health.
- Key Leader Ronald Nahas contributed $300,000 as a matching gift to UrbanPlan – a program Ron has helped grow over the years, and which reached 4,600 students in FY 2017. His gift will expand the program even further to new markets, and will support curriculum development and upgrades.
The strength of the Foundation comes from the generosity of members such as Randall and Ron, who are passionate about land use leadership and see in ULI a way to fulfill their passion and turn their vision into reality. We are deeply thankful for their support, and that of so many others who are strengthening ULI’s impact through philanthropic gifts.
The Foundation’s support of ULI was also bolstered in FY 2017 through collaborative efforts with external foundations. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Colorado Health Foundation both renewed their support for ULI and the ULIF with increased funding for the Building Healthy Places initiative; the JP Morgan Chase Foundation funded ULI’s publication, Building Equitable Cities; and the Leichtag Foundation provided support for our Food and Real Estate program.
On behalf of the ULI Foundation Board of Directors and the Foundation’s dedicated staff, I thank all who have given to the Foundation to keep ULI’s momentum going. We take great pride in what the Foundation helped ULI accomplish in FY 2017, and we are confident that through the generosity of our members, we will help ULI do even more in FY 2018 and beyond. A gift to the Foundation is a gift for better communities now, and for generations to come.