Survey Warns of ‘Dramatic Decline’ in Fundraising

revenue fundraising college will probably fall over the next two years as donors close their wallets to wait out the economic downturn and resulting pandemic, according to a new study released today.

The survey by EAB, higher education and technology consulting, consulting professionals raising 110 college funds on projections of current income. It was found that more than 40 percent of schools decreased 10 is projected percent or more in revenue from fundraising for fiscal 2020, which ends in most institutions later this month. More than one in five institutions expect revenue from fundraising to fall to the least 20 percent, the poll found.

In fiscal year 2021, declines are expected to be even more pronounced. Nearly 45 percent of the institutions of the project two-digit revenue declines fundraising, and a growing number of schools project a decline 30 percent or more compared with 2019 totals.

fundraising agents are having trouble reaching new donors, said Jeff Martin, director EAB.

"I'm always listening to fundraising frontline are having trouble getting new prospects to take meetings. They are having trouble opening the conversation about giving to people that they have not established relationships with, "he said.

Donations are likely to be more affected than smaller donations, according to the survey. fundraising agents said they are more likely to see revenue decline of gifts under $ 1 million between 10 percent and 19 percent. However, declining revenues of the greatest gifts are estimated at about 20 percent and 30 percent. the small gift income generally tends to be more reliable than the income of gifts above $ 1 million, which are more volatile, Martin said.

"The law of small numbers applies. Is, there are so few gifts above that level fundraising yields are not only going to be prone to extremes, "he said. "If one individual decides not to give a gift angular stone for a campaign, then the campaign is no longer viable."

Martin predicts that athletics could see a success because donors give to athletic departments are on average richer than other donors to college programs such as libraries. Restricted gifts for spending on current operations - in other words, gifts "aimed at a specific, immediate purpose." - Is likely to grow as they have done during previous recessions, while gifts unrestricted decrease, said Martin

Bill Stanczykiewicz, associate dean of the College of Family Lilly the University of Indiana-Purdue University Indianapolis Philanthropy, they noted that trends in charitable giving during a recession tend to assume a V shape, with steep declines followed by steep recoveries over a period of several years. During the Great Recession, charitable donations fell by 5 percent, he said. In the following years, 2014-2018, "which had been the most generous level of charitable donations in US history."

That does not necessarily mean that the current economic crisis will continue the same trend, Stanczykiewicz said.

"As my research colleagues like to tell you, if you've seen a recession, you have seen a recession. There are some points in common, but each is different, "he said.

universities face financial pressure on all fronts, as a result of the pandemic, and the number of schools expected to close has increased. Sometimes, on the edge of closing, universities are based on a push raising funds last resort, but this is not a foolproof strategy at any time, Martin said.

"I would say that institutions are expected may depend on philanthropy to build a sustainable company is likely an error. Certainly be exceptions to that, "Martin, aimed at Sweet Briar College and the University of Hampshire said. "For the average institution, fundraising, as big as the revenue numbers are, remains a small part of the budget pie."

Along with revenue projections, the fundraising practices have also been affected by the pandemic. Since he was telecommuting, many donor meetings have been online, and fundraising officers are becoming more donors in shorter amounts of time, Martin said. some of these practices will be left is predicted.

"I think a lot of gift agents previously adhered to a 'visit or nothing' mentality that if I could go to see the person in person, then could not participate with them absolutely. It will erode to some extent, "he said.

Stanczykiewicz said that despite the decline in consumer spending, personal income increased by 11 percent in April, partly due to stimulus checks issued by the government. April also saw an increase of 33 percent in personal savings.

"When you see this increase in the savings rate," he said, "you just have to wonder if the economy becomes strong, what people will do with that money?"

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