News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research
Letter from the Director
If there is a bright spot in the times we are living in, heightened awareness of the importance of civic engagement, social justice and inclusion, and need to help one another is one of them. I know all my colleagues have been working tirelessly to ensure that some of this awareness translates to support for our students and campuses.
Although we are yet to see the full impact of the pandemic on fundraising in higher education, a recent report from Washburn & McGoldrick sheds some light on the recent landscape. This report is based on a September 2020 survey, the third in a series on the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report titled, “Advancement Moving Forward: Perspectives on the challenges to Philanthropy due to the COVID-19 Pandemic,” confirms that the majority of fundraisers are confident in meeting their fundraising goals in FY21. The report suggests that diversity, equity, and inclusion issues (DEI) have emerged as a fundraising priority, whereas other fundraising priorities such as capital projects and faculty support may take a backseat in the coming months. The majority of the survey respondents indicated that they preferred a remote work environment. However, a few found it challenging to work remotely as they felt a lack of connection with colleagues. With an upsurge of remote work, advancement officers are increasingly using video conferences and phone calls to qualify prospects and solicit donors. Despite the indication of improved confidence in achieving FY21 fundraising goals, respondents of the survey lacked optimism in predicting a speedy recovery. It is not surprising to see that over 90 percent of respondents anticipate a long-lasting impact of pandemic on their work. Fundraising professionals are embracing the reality of the current situation and staying committed to learning from their experiences, in order to survive the current period.
This report confirms and aligns with the experiences, feelings, and thoughts on fundraising by professionals in higher education. As aforementioned, we may not be able to fully understand the impact of the pandemic on higher education fundraising at the moment. However, we hope you can use the findings in this report to create new and successful strategies for fundraising. As always, please feel free to reach out us with questions, comments or any assistance with prospect research!
Sapna and USM Advancement Research Team
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