Letter from the Director
Welcome to the July issue of Fundraising Talks. I hope all of you are having a safe and relaxing summer. Have you seen the recent report by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and Bank of America? This is CASE’s first study on principal gifts to U.S. colleges and universities. For higher education development professionals, it’s a valuable resource to help understand trends and the impact of principal gifts, which are often considered transformational and a major source for fundraising campaigns.
The CASE Study of Principal Gifts to U.S. Colleges & Universities, analyzes data from 555 institutions who participated in CASE VSE surveys over the past 16 years. The report findings include primary sources of gifts, their uses and purposes, impact, and the nature of the gifts. The size of principal or transformative gifts varies by types of higher education institutions, however, generally these gifts tend to make a significant impact on the institutions. The minimum threshold for gifts was: $250,000 for community colleges, $3 million for baccalaureate institutions, $1.5 million for master’s institutions, $10 million for research/doctoral institutions.
Other key insights from the report include:
Based on the findings from this study on principal gifts, it is clear that almost half of the big gifts to higher education do not come from alumni. Therefore, it is essential for fundraisers to diversify and build relationships with other constituents, such as family foundations, private donors, and trusts. Many large gifts are the result of strong relationships with supporters of institutions. The full report from CASE can be accessed here. I hope you have a wonderful summer. As always, please feel free to reach out to us with questions, comments or any assistance with fundraising research!
Sapna and USM Advancement Research Team
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