Good news on charitable donations, but…

Source: Council for Advancement and Support of Education, "Voluntary Support of Education," February 2019.

Public associate-degree institutions saw an 8 percent increase in receiving charitable donations in 2017-18, according to a new study. But dollar-wise that still doesn’t come close to what other public and private U.S. colleges and universities received.

More than 100 public associate-degree colleges participating in an annual Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) survey reported receiving a total of about $174.5 million in voluntary donations in 2018, up from $161.6 million the previous year. The 2018 figure amounts to about $1.7 million per participating institution.

Compare that to the 28 public baccalaureate institutions that reported a total of $121.7 million in 2018 — an 8.5 percent increase — which is about, on average, $4.3 million per institution. Public two- and four-year institutions represent the two sectors that received the lowest amount of voluntary donations.

Almost 70 percent of the funds raised went to public and private doctoral/research universities. Together, the 226 participating institutions in this category raised $25.2 billion in 2018, averaging $111.4 million per institution. Seven different institutions each reported a gift of $100 million or more, CASE said.

Contributions rose from all types of donors and for both current operations and capital purposes. Capital purposes include gifts to endowments, loan funds, property, buildings and equipment.

Historically, alumni and foundations have contributed the largest share of charitable support to U.S. higher education institutions, CASE said. Since 2007, foundation support has exceeded alumni giving.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.