In 2014, the education sector received the second-largest amount of charitable giving out of all nonprofit sectors – reaching a total of $54.62 billion, according to Giving USA 2015: The Annual Report on Philanthropy. Contributions to the education sector comprised of 15 percent of total giving in 2014. The report shows that Americans donated an estimated $358.38 billion in total, which is the highest level in the report's 60-year history. When assessing charitable giving to the education sector in particular, the data shows a steady growth in charitable contributions. Between the years of 2013 and 2014, giving to education increased by 4.9 percent. Below are some more key findings and recommendations that are intended to help organizations in education effectively prepare for their future in fundraising.
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In her landmark college text on fundraising, “Effective Fund-Raising Management”, Dr. Kathleen Kelly - Winner of the 1998 Staley/Robeson/Ryan/St. Lawrence Prize for Research on Fund-Raising and Philanthropy - states, “The third most important issue facing fundraising - following the need to define who is a fundraiser and to reduce misunderstanding about philanthropy – is how the function should be evaluated.”
The recently released Giving USA 2014 report describes broad trends in higher education philanthropy. Total giving reached $335.17 billion in 2013, a 4.4 percent increase in current dollars and a 3.0 percent increase in inflation-adjusted dollars. The education subsector received the second-largest share of charitable dollars in 2013, at 16 percent of the total.
A Synopsis from Giving USA and the 2012 Voluntary Support of Education Survey
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) recently released estimates of funding cuts and tuition increases at public colleges and universities over the last five years. The results, to say the least, are concerning. State funding has decreased by an average of 28 percent, while public college and university tuitions have increased by an average of 27 percent.
Is there ever an awkward time to accept the donation of a large bequest? I can argue yes if it is made in the midst of a campaign that has not considered that type of donation in advance. Because by not building a planned giving component into the campaign, such a donation mid-stream can turn into a messy proposition.