USM Foundation

Fundraising Talks – March 2023

on March 30, 2023 by Micaela Cameron
Reflecting pool on campus

News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research

Letter from the Director

It feels like we just entered the new year — it’s hard to believe that we’re already in March! Regardless, we are ready for longer days and more sunshine. Last month, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) published findings from the 2022 Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey. Overall, the findings confirm that contributions to US higher education reached their highest level, totaling $59.5 billion in FY 22. It’s remarkable that higher education philanthropy performed well amidst economic uncertainty and rising inflation.

The CASE VSE survey, which is considered a definitive source on philanthropic support for nonprofit and public higher education institutions, was based on data on private charitable gifts and grants from 826 participants in FY 22. The survey included two new optional questions which collected data on giving by gift bands and graduation cohorts. Donor-advised funds were considered a separate donor-type in this survey. Other main findings from the survey are as follows:

Gifts from all sources increased in 2022, which means both individuals and organizations increased their level of giving. Individual giving comprised of alumni and non-alumni gifts, while organizational giving included gifts from foundations, corporations, DAFs, and others. This is the first time that CASE’s VSE survey counted DAFs separately. Organizations reported the largest share of the gifts (61 percent), followed by alumni (23 percent), and non-alumni individuals (16 percent).

  • Both endowments and current operations received an increase in restricted gifts.
  • Stock market performance seems to have a significant impact on charitable giving, especially major gifts.
  • Contributions to all types of institutions increased, except public master’s and associate’s institutions. Some of the giving may have been impacted by large gifts from MacKenzie Scott.
  • In 2022, colleges and universities received seven gifts of $100 million or more. These donations were made by four foundations, two donor advised funds, and one living individual. None of these seven gifts were from corporations or bequests.
  • Among a total of 217 respondents, the average number of gifts received by institutions totaled $81.76 million from 13,165 gifts.
  • 200 institutions responded to a question about alumni giving by graduation cohort, which showed that those who graduated 21 years ago gave 88.9 percent of total alumni support while more recent graduates gave 11.2 percent of the total. Alumni participation rate was higher for those who graduated earlier.

The findings from this CASE survey are valuable as it focused specifically on charitable giving to colleges and universities in the U.S. This allows institutions to compare and benchmark where they stand among others in the nation. We can also use these findings to increase our own gifts from foundations and bequests. Institutions should focus on engaging and cultivating alumni early to create stronger relationships with them. We wish you a wonderful spring! 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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