USM Foundation

Fundraising Talks – August 2022

on August 18, 2022 by Micaela Cameron
Reflecting pool on campus

News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research

Letter from the Director

It’s hard to believe that we are approaching another academic year. Higher education institutions are welcoming students, faculty, and staff back to campus. August is also national “Make-A-Will” month, which is an opportunity for fundraisers to discuss estate and planned gifts with prospective donors. Recently, news articles indicate that several colleges and universities are reporting a strong fundraising year, however, economic factors such as inflation and decreased enrollment can bring challenges to the future of philanthropic landscape.

An article from the Chronicle of Philanthropy provides information on an emerging trend in higher ed where institutions are reaching out to former students to bring them back to campus to finish their college education. According to the article, “the number of people who began college but left without a credential grew to 39 million in 2020, up nearly nine percent in two years.” The National Student Clearinghouse’s Some College, No Credential (SCNC) report outlines data from across the US on students who did not earn a credential. Our hope is that university officials will utilize different outreach efforts to re-engage and bring back students who might have dropped out. This will increase student enrollment and develop a pipeline of constituents who can help with future fundraising.

As we mentioned earlier, inflation impacts charitable giving. High inflation can have a negative impact on charitable giving as inflation decreases the purchasing power of individuals, and therefore, may lead to a fewer number of charitable gifts. According to an article by givingusa.org, we can use these strategies to mitigate the potential decline in giving by donors:

  • Focus on the Baby Boomer generation who are expected to be the wealthiest generation in the US, by encouraging them to give through assets such as appreciated stock.
  • Share impact reports with current donors and highlight how inflation is negatively impacting those that are in need.
  • Have relevant conversations to understand donor’s giving interests, needs and goals, and align them with those of your institutions’ to allow donors’ to make the greatest impact.
  • Educate donors on the all the types of gifts that can be received, including: real estate, DAFs, and bequests, and allow them to make the gift that provides the most tax benefits.
  • Offer blended gift strategies to further create strong affinity to your organization.
  • Educate donors about the benefits of life-income gifts.
  • Implement strong stewardship practices that will enable fundraisers to engage in meaningful conversations with the donors.

Nonprofit organizations are vulnerable to inflation, but they can continue to mold strategies to maintain stable philanthropic momentum. We hope the information mentioned in this newsletter will allow you to create strategies that withstand instabilities in fundraising. As always, please feel free to reach out to us with questions, comments or any assistance with fundraising research!

Best Regards,
Sapna and USM Advancement Research Team
Read more in this issue of Fundraising Talks>>

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