Development/fund raising

Giving: Up, but Going Down

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Donations to colleges and universities rose significantly in 2008 fiscal year, but decline widely expected going forward.

More Mystery Gifts

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Now that people realize an anonymous benefactor is sending millions to universities led by women, some donations from last year appear linked.

Flexible Fund Raising

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With even wealthy individuals feeling the downturn, development officers are making more accommodations, such as allowing more time to fulfill pledges.

Contributions to Colleges Drop 12%

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Decline is steepest in history of survey by Council for Aid to Education. Alumni giving rate drops to all-time low of 10%.

Limits on Presidents' Love Lives

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When Robert Zimmer separated from his wife and disclosed to trustees that he was romantically involved with a faculty member, the University of Chicago president gave rise to a host of thorny issues. How will conflicts of interest be resolved? How long will Zimmer’s estranged wife remain in the presidential residence, where official university functions are still taking place? And, more broadly, how might Zimmer’s own credibility be affected by his decision to date a professor on the campus?

The Fix Was In

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In a move called "unprecedented" in its state, the University of South Carolina held a competition to design a major new business school building -- and let the donor select the winner, without telling the other firms spending considerable time and money on their proposals that they wouldn't have a shot at winning, The State reported.

What the Alumni Read (or Ignore)

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The days when alumni eagerly turned to "class notes" sections of alumni magazines to find out about their old friends seem quaint in the era of Facebook. So the question for alumni magazines becomes: How do they stay relevant?

Finding Friends - and Ambiguity

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NEW YORK -- Gatherings of fund raisers, alumni affairs leaders, and communications experts in higher education have for years, one panelist here said, engaged in “hand-wringing about social media.” Should they get involved? Do they need to take it seriously? What is its role?

Searching for Cash Overseas

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NEW YORK -- What do you do, asked a fund raiser in the audience, when a prospective donor from Asia asks how much he has to give to get an honorary degree?

From a scan of the room here at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, it appeared that some were horrified that the question was asked and others were unfazed. (Not coincidentally, the audience was a mix of those who already have ambitious fund raising goals abroad and those hoping to start them.)

With Friends Like These ...

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The House investigation of Rep. Charles Rangel has focused in part on whether the congressman broke ethics rules while raising funds for a public service center at the City College of New York, but the panel’s recent report also suggests college officials were working hand-in-glove with Rangel as he solicited money from companies known to have business interests before a committee he chaired.

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