North­eastern Uni­ver­sity has achieved its best fundraising year by gen­er­ating $53.5 mil­lion in new gifts and pledges during the 2011 fiscal year, sur­passing its annual goal by $10.5 mil­lion.

Since 2007, Northeastern’s yearly fundraising average has more than dou­bled — a remark­able accom­plish­ment given the eco­nomic cli­mate.

“Our fundraising suc­cess is emblem­atic of the momentum we have as an insti­tu­tion,” said Joseph E. Aoun, pres­i­dent of North­eastern. “People are investing in North­eastern because of the pow­erful impact our teaching and research have around the world.”

This year’s fundraising suc­cess demon­strates that Northeastern’s shared vision for the future is reaching a broader audi­ence than ever before. Alumni, par­ents and friends of North­eastern, for example, now give to all of the University’s schools and col­leges at an unprece­dented rate.

The vast majority of the $53.5 mil­lion — a total of $41.5 mil­lion — comes from gifts of $100,000 or more, as well as sup­port from alumni, par­ents, cor­po­ra­tions, foun­da­tions and friends. This bodes well for Northeastern’s future suc­cess as major gifts often cat­alyze other sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions.

“This year we truly raised the bar on giving across the entire Uni­ver­sity,” said Diane MacGillivray, senior vice pres­i­dent for advance­ment. “We are building the pipeline for the future and this extra­or­di­nary year pro­vides the per­fect plat­form as we embark on a com­pre­hen­sive fundraising ini­tia­tive.”

Five col­leges received gifts of $1 mil­lion or more from new donors. The Uni­ver­sity added a total of more than 2,100 first-​​time donors to the pipeline, an increase of more than 17 per­cent over last year.

North­eastern also had the highest number of under­grad­uate donors since 2005 and exceeded its par­tic­i­pa­tion goal of 11.5 per­cent, which builds a strong pipeline for the future.

Gov­erning board mem­bers, whose phil­an­thropic sup­port has inspired others to step for­ward and invest, have been instru­mental in Northeastern’s fundraising efforts, Aoun added.

At the same time, the recently built internal fundraising infra­struc­ture has enabled deans to iden­tify gift oppor­tu­ni­ties among co-​​op employers, ven­dors and others who have tra­di­tion­ally not engaged in phil­an­thropic opportunities.