Stanford University is 1st college to raise $1B

Stanford University has set a new record for college fundraising, becoming the first school to collect more than $1 billion in a single year, according to a report released Wednesday, the Associated Press reports. For the eighth straight year, Stanford ranked first in the Council for Aid to Education’s annual college fundraising survey, which shows that elite institutions continue to grab a disproportionate share of donor dollars. In the 2012 fiscal year, roughly 3,500 U.S. colleges and universities raised $31 billion, 2.3 percent more than the previous year. The record was set in 2008 when schools took in $31.6 billion before fundraising dropped during the height of the financial crisis.

“We’re climbing out of the doldrums,” said survey director Ann Kaplan. “We haven’t returned to the high point of 2008, but we’re approaching it. I think you can say that about a lot of industries…”

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Universities could convert music, movie downloads into fundraising cash

Student downloads could raise money for colleges.

College students’ love of music, movies, video games, and books could be a supplement to college and university fundraising as campus decision makers prove more willing to experiment with technological ways to ask donors for cash.

A new website called Huzo is inviting colleges to join its entertainment service, and the site’s founder, Terrell Samuels, said that if enough students sign up and buy songs, games, and eBooks, institutions could bring in tens of thousands of dollars.

Huzo users earn back 2 percent of every purchase they make on the site, meaning they’d receive two cents when they purchase a $1 song. If a college or university persuaded its students, faculty, and alums to join Huzo, and each member spent $7 a month on the site, the campus would reap about $30,000 annually, Samuels said.…Read More

Higher ed fundraising jumps amid recovering economy, social media use

Universities expect the fundraising increase to continue through 2011.

Seven in 10 colleges and universities have recorded an uptick in donations this year after historic decreases in 2009-10, and experts said Facebook and Twitter adoption could be a driving force behind the optimism among campus fundraisers.

Ten percent of campuses reported “significant increases” over the past six months and 35 percent reported “moderate increases” in a survey released April 7. Twenty-two percent of colleges recorded a “little increase” in donations.

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Tech tool could take the guessing out of college fundraising

Alumni giving fell .4 percent in 2010, according to a recent report.

College and university fundraising officials might not have to wonder how alums feel about their alma mater thanks to a computer program that can tell just how much a former student likes or dislikes the institution.

Oregon State University (OSU) on Feb. 17 launched the Building Community Initiative (BCI), a program designed to “assesses the affinity and connection” between alumni donors and their college or university.

OSU announced that it will make the tool available to other campuses.…Read More

Technology helps save college fundraising

Higher-ed leaders should make college fundraising videos brief, experts say.

Carefully crafted social media strategies and web videos that tug alumni heartstrings could become a foundation of college fundraising as campus officials use dwindling resources to recover from the largest ever one-year decline in contributions.

College operating budgets have stagnated or dropped during the economic downturn, meaning few campuses have funds for pricey mass mailings, open houses, and traveling to meet with wealthy donors across the country.

College fundraising experts instead have turned to less expensive pleas for cash in recent years, hoping well-timed tweets, Facebook campaigns, and high-quality videos will keep alumni attention long enough to secure a donation for a new stadium or academic building in the works.…Read More