Category Archives: Revenue


Many Colleges ‘Hoard’ Endowments During Rough Economic Times

When the economy is doing well, many colleges increase their endowment spending on new programs, new buildings, new positions, and breaks in tuition. But when times are tough—at precisely the moment that campuses could most use the money—colleges’ endowment managers are less likely to spend it.

“That’s a really strange thing to do if the purpose of the endowment is at least in part to help the university overcome economic shock,” says Jeffrey R. Brown, a professor of finance at the Univers…


Abilene Christian U. Opens Campaign With $55-Million in Gifts

Architect’s rendering of the Onstead Center for Science and Humanities (Courtesy of Abilene Christian U.)

Fund-raising campaigns frequently open with one big gift. Abilene Christian University has begun the public phase of its “Vision in Action” campaign with three sizable donations.

The Texas institution, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, announced on Friday that it had received gifts totaling $55-million. The money provides a foundation for its campaign to raise $75-million to con…


Fund Raisers Predict 5.2% Growth in Gifts to Education This Year

Donations to colleges, universities, and private elementary and secondary schools rose an estimated 5.1 percent in the 2013 fiscal year, and fund-raising professionals expect to see that rate increase to 5.2 percent in 2014, according to a new survey by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

The CASE Fundraising Index, which is compiled twice a year, is based on a survey of 1,800 CASE-member institutions in the United States. The January survey had a response rate of 10.1 percent.


Report Notes Sharp Rise in Giving to Education in 2013

Charitable gifts to colleges and other educational institutions rebounded in 2013 thanks to a recovering economy, a booming stock market, and the cultivation of major donors, says a new report by Blackbaud, a company that makes fund-raising technology.

Overall gifts to education rose 6.5 percent in 2013, and online giving to education was up 14.4 percent, says the “Charitable Giving Report.” Giving to charities of all kinds grew an average of 4.9 percent, while online giving grew 13.5 percent, t…


Columbia U. Completes $6.1-Billion Campaign

Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia University, announced in a letter to alumni on Thursday that the institution had collected $6.1-billion in a seven-year capital campaign that concluded on December 31.

It was the biggest sum raised by an Ivy League institution and the second largest in higher education, behind Stanford University’s $6.2-billion in a campaign that ended in 2011. Harvard University announced a $6.5-billion campaign last fall.

Donations to the Columbia campaign included a $40…


Now, Even Campus Buildings Will Revolve Around Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame football

(Image courtesy of U. of Notre Dame)

Football has long been the symbolic center of the University of Notre Dame. Now it has moved a step closer to becoming the physical center as well, as the university announced on Wednesday a plan to attach 750,000 square feet of new building space to the south, east, and west sides of Notre Dame Stadium.

The $400-million Campus Crossroads Project will include research and classroom space, academic offices, premium sports seating, and the obligatory climbing w…


Report Proposes Another Way to Raise State Spending on Higher Education

With state spending on public colleges recovering slowly and tuition rates still rising, a policy-advocacy group has proposed creating a competitive federal grant program to give states incentives to increase spending on and reduce the cost of higher education.

The group, the Center for American Progress, on Tuesday released a report exploring the effects of what it called state disinvestment in public colleges and universities. In the report, the group proposed a program through which the feder…


$50-Million Gift to Establish Bioscience Center at U. of Southern California

A rendering of the planned USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience (foreground), with the existing Irani Hall behind it. (Image courtesy of USC)

A rendering of the planned USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience (foreground), with the existing Irani Hall behind it. (Image courtesy of USC)

A retired orthopedic spinal surgeon plans to announce on Monday a $50-million gift for an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Southern California that he hopes will generate a wave of inventions in the biosciences.

The donation, by Gary K. Michelson, will establish the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience, where resea…


The Secrets of ‘Million-Dollar Ready’ Colleges

Less than a third of American colleges managed to attract individual donations of $1-million or more from 2000 to 2012, leaving the other two-thirds to wonder: What is their secret?

According to a study released on Tuesday, a number of factors influence an institution’s chances of landing a big gift, including presidential tenure, the student experience, and the philanthropic example that its board members set.

Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the fund-raising consult…


Moody’s Issues a Negative Outlook for Higher Education

Moody’s Investors Service on Monday issued a negative outlook for higher education in 2014—which should come as a surprise to no one. The bond-rating agency’s report last week, a survey of net-tuition revenues, was grim, and its outlook for higher education in recent years has been mostly bleak.

This year Moody’s cited a weak economy that will “affect families’ willingness and ability to pay for higher education.” It also anticipated federal budget pressures, including a looming sequestration th…