Donations to colleges and universities topped out at a record $43.6 billion in the fiscal year that ended on June 30, according to the Council for Aid to Education’s annual Voluntary Support of Education survey. Giving increased by 6.3 percent (3.7 percent adjusted for inflation), according to the survey results released on Feb. 6.
Writing about it for the Wall Street Journal, reporter Melissa Korn cited last year’s stock-market rally and revived charitable activity from alumni as reasons for the record year.
“Much of the increase in giving last year can be attributed to alumni activity,” Korn wrote. “Gifts from school graduates jumped 14.5 percent last year, more than reversing a decline in fiscal 2016.”
With this renewed activity by alumni, it’s never been more important for development offices to advance their alumni engagement and target communication to them as efficiently and effectively as possible. This means engaging them on the interests they are showing in the moment through their online behavior.
It’s a winning strategy for future growth in alumni giving, and it’s a strategy that requires a different set of tools.
While fiscal 2017 was a great year for university giving, there will always be new challenges. And there seems to be a pretty significant one just on the horizon.
As Korn writes in the WSJ, “The tax overhaul passed by Congress late last year may upend trends in charitable giving, including to colleges and universities. Many individuals increased their giving right before 2017 closed out, but the new law, which doubles the standard deduction, reduces the tax incentive for making donations.”
With the potential decline of fiscal philanthropic incentives, it is now more important than ever to develop meaningful relationships and deliver a strong case for support based on individual interests. See how Capture Higher Ed’s marketing automation for advancement can help you automate and streamline your development efforts, allowing you to communicate with alumni and donors when it matters most.
By Kevin Hyde, Senior Content Writer, Capture Higher Ed