USM Foundation

Fundraising Talks – July 2022

on July 22, 2022 by Micaela Cameron
Reflecting pool on campus

News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research

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:

  1. 60 percent of the reported principal gifts were from family foundations, trusts, or other private philanthropic vehicles.
  2. A major purpose of principal gifts was to provide long-term or perpetual benefits to institutions. Scholarships, fellowships, and other student financial aid were the most common philanthropic purposes funded.
  3. Donations from non-alumni donors made up half of the principal gifts. It is important to note that more than half of donors had existing relationships of 11 to 40 years with the institution, and 21 percent had been only engaged three years or fewer.

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!

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

Similar Articles
Reflecting pool on campus

Fundraising Talks – June 2020

News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research A Letter from the Director As summer begins, universities and…

Read More >
Reflecting pool on campus

Fundraising Talks – January 2022

News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research Letter from the Director Welcome to the February issue of…

Read More >
Reflecting pool on campus

Fundraising Talks – March 2022

News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research Letter from the Director We are looking forward to seeing…

Read More >
Skip to toolbar