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Fund Raising Optimism

In the aggregate, higher ed fund raising seems to be rebounding.

February 10, 2013

In the aggregate, higher ed fund raising seems to be rebounding.

This is according to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), reported by The NonProfit Times. They report that while universities experienced a precipitous 11.9% decline in giving in 2009, things are starting to look more positive now.

A look at the Condition of Higher Education reports provides a complementary view of how fund raising in higher education has changed over time. The chart below shows the percentage of revenue per full-time-equivalent student attributed to “giving” by type of institution at two points in time: 1980 and 2010. 

Percentage of Revenue Per Full-Time-Equivalent Student Attributed to “Giving*” by Type of Institution: 1980 and 2010

*2005 Condition of Higher Education Table 56-2, “private gifts”
*2012 Condition of Higher Education Table A-42-2, “gifts” for public institutions and “private gifts, grants and contracts” for private institutions. Both definitions include contacts and contributions from affiliated entities. 

As revenue from other sources declines, many colleges have ramped up fund raising efforts to fill in the gaps. Echoing the trend of the blue line above, CASE reports that community colleges are among the most optimistic about their fund raising future. “The Big Give,” as described in this CASE article, is one example of the recent rise in community college fund raising initiatives.  This 24-hour online giving event resulted in 659 donors to yield $62,145.

What fund raising trends are you seeing at your institution?


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