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Articles: Fundraising

Tedd L. Mitchell, who began at the Texas Tech University System as interim chancellor in September, now serves as the fifth chancellor and CEO of the system.

Following a brief stint as interim chancellor, Tedd L. Mitchell will now head up Texas Tech University System, including Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, which he will continue to lead in a position he has held since 2010.

CENTER STAGE—University of Kentucky advancement leaders and Student Philanthropy Board members joined President Eli Capilouto, center, to cut the ribbon at UK’s Center for Student Philanthropy. It officially opened in September.

Higher ed institutions commonly work with students and staff on giving-related programs, and some are now opening offices for student philanthropy.

Under Jairy Hunter’s leadership, Charleston Southern changed its name when it achieved university status, dropping the word “Baptist” in 1990.

PURCHASE PURSUIT—Purdue President Mitch Daniels is framing the Kaplan acquisition as a way for the university to become a digital player in the evolving postsecondary education space.

Purdue University surprised its faculty and the general higher ed sector this spring with its plans to acquire Kaplan University for a symbolic $1 (with a revenue-share plan spanning 30 years).

To keep Stanford front and center in the minds and hearts of its graduates, the university’s alumni association—like other institutions—is investing time on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

When Teri McIntyre was a University of Wisconsin undergrad in the early ‘90s, she volunteered to call alumni to ask for college fund donations and—believe it or not—she liked making those calls. A university development officer noticed and offered McIntyre a job after graduation.

Betsy Mennell, Northern Arizona University’s development vice president, learned the hard way that “in fundraising, if you speak the language you can talk the talk, but you may not be able to walk the walk.”

After being burned a few times hiring the wrong people—“disorganized, not self-disciplined, afraid to ask for money”—she now requires candidates to tackle four tasks that every MGO must handle.

Female graduates receive fewer solicitations for donations, and they give at a lower rate than do their male counterparts, according to the “Alumni Engagement and Giving” survey by Alumni Monitor, a higher education consulting service.

At the University of South Florida, current and former scholarship recipients were among those who signed a giant thank-you card presented to donors Barron and Dana Collier during a ceremony announcing their latest major gift.

Smart advancement teams put thought and research into making stewardship individual and heartfelt. But how far will institutions bend on their mission when a donor offers big bucks? Are donors negotiating for honorary degrees, access to students, influence over scholarships or a leg up in recruiting graduates?

The U.S. experienced a decrease in million-dollar donations in 2014. (Click to enlarge)

At least 1,831 gifts of $1 million or more—a total of $24.5 billion—were given to charity across eight international regions in 2014, with higher education remaining the top recipient.

Yet it’s a decrease from 2013, when 1,995 donations worth $26.3 billion were reported.

Texas A&M University’s campaign to raise $4 billion for research, facilities and scholarships represents the largest-ever fundraising effort in a state known for going big. It’s also the second largest effort announced by a higher education institution.

When it comes to fundraising, most colleges and universities surveyed (59 percent) boost their effort through social media.

Also popular are social media-based days of giving and crowdfunding events. Of the 42 percent that held a day of giving, more than one-third raised over $50,000 that day. And of the 15 percent that crowdfunded, half earned more than $10,000 per year.

Charitable giving in higher education is expected to grow in the U.S. by 4.8 percent in 2015 and an additional 4.9 percent in 2016. (Click to enlarge)

Anticipating and planning future giving to nonprofits has been difficult, with scant reliable resources to help understand the outlook.

But thanks to a new report from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, institutions now have some predictions—and positive ones, at that.

Need donation spending advice? Turn to the students, as Oklahoma Christian University did.

In November, President John deSteiguer announced that students could vote to allocate a recent $275,000 gift to one of six projects in the university’s Thrive campaign.

Capital fundraising retains a top slot among institutional fundraising priorities due to renovation and construction imperatives, new program requirements and the need to update technology. In addition to broader capital campaigns and a razor-sharp focus on major donors, more institutions are seeking support from the business sector.

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