Game Onward: Penn Champions Club Sets Fundraising Record of $63.4 Million in 2018-19


PHILADELPHIA – The Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics and the Penn Champions Club achieved record-setting fundraising results during the 2018-19 fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018 and concluding June 30, 2019. During that time, the Penn Champions Club raised $63.4 million in commitments towards Penn Athletics’ highest priorities, representing a new total commitment record for Penn Athletics. Fundraising was focused on annual fund support, endowment gifts and capital projects. The previous fundraising record for Penn Athletics was $23.5 million recorded in 2017-18.


In addition to setting a record for overall commitments in a given fiscal year, the Penn Champions Club set individual fundraising records for annual fund commitments ($10.4M), endowment commitments ($16.0M) as well as capital project commitments ($37.1M). This marks the third straight year the Penn Champions Club has raised more than $20M in commitments. In addition, total cash-in for the Division was the second highest amount in Penn Athletics history, finishing the fiscal year at $20.6M. FY17 was the only other year with higher totals when $23.4M in cash was raised.


The historic fundraising year helped the Penn Champions Club surpass its overall fundraising goal of $150M million for the Game Onward Campaign for the Future of Penn Athletics by raising a total of $157.4M through June 30, 2019.  The funds raised for Penn Athletics are part of the University-wide campaign, The Power of Penn: Advancing Knowledge for Good.


“What our student-athletes have been able to accomplish both in the classroom and in competition is a testament to the University and all those who invest in their success,” the T. Gibbs Kane, Jr. W’69 Director of Athletics and Recreation Dr. M. Grace Calhoun said. “The strong culture of philanthropy among Penn Athletics alumni, family and friends is not only vital to the University, but to all student-athletes both now, and in the future. These are the kind of results we aimed for in the first fully-public year of the Game Onward Campaign—and they were only achieved through the collective efforts of our generous Penn Athletics community. We look forward to building on the momentum created through the campaign to date and continuing to work with our constituent base to find meaningful and impactful ways to support our student-athletes’ pursuits.”


A renewed focus on endowment fundraising has led Penn to more than double its athletic specific endowment since Dr. Calhoun arrived on campus five years ago. Through transformational support, such as the commitment from Mr. and Mrs. T. Gibbs Kane, Jr. to name the Director of Athletics and Recreation position, Penn’s athletic leadership has been enabled to continue its number one goal of holistically developing all 1,000 varsity student-athletes as well as club and intramural sports participants.


Over 6,000 Penn alumni, family members and fans contributed to the record-breaking fundraising year, the highest number of donors recorded in a single year.


“Through their passion and commitment to the unique offering that is the Penn student-athlete experience, our donors have elected to roll up their sleeves and collaborate with the coaches, administration and, most importantly, Penn student-athletes as we work tirelessly to redefine what the gold standard is in Ivy League athletics. We recognize that Penn has one of the most dedicated and loyal donor bases in the country, and for that, we are truly grateful.” Tim Folan, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development and Alumni Relations, said. “While we have hit key milestones in the Game Onward Campaign, we also understand this collaboration is far from over and we remain steadfastly committed to continuing the great work being done on behalf of current and future Penn student-athletes through the end of the campaign and beyond.”

The 2019-20 fiscal year is now underway. For those interested in learning more about supporting Penn student-athletes and the Game Onward Campaign, please contact the Penn Champions Club at (215) 898-4717 or visit