Nonprofit news roundup, 01.29.16

Higher-ed fundraising grows, endowment returns drop

Charitable contributions to U.S. colleges and universities grew 7.6 percent to $40.3 billion in 2015, the highest total in nearly 50 years, while returns on schools’ endowments fell 2.4 percent, net of fees, after growing 15.5 percent in fiscal 2014,  two new report say.


Gifts from alumni grew 10.2 percent to $10.85 billion, or 26.9 percent of the total raised, although alumni participation — the number of donors divided by the number of “donors of record” that schools know how to reach — fell in the face of a 3.4 percent increase in the number of donors of record, says the Voluntary Support of Education survey from the Council for  Aid Education.

The number of alumni donors grew 0.7 percent.

Gifts from non-alumni grew 23.1 percent, while gifts from foundations, including family foundations, grew 3.6 percent, corporate giving was flat, and gifts from other types of organizations fell 1.2 percent.

Contributions for current operations grew 13.1 percent, while those for capital purposes — endowment, property, buildings, equipment and loan funds — were flat.

Gifts to restricted endowments, which account for the biggest share of gifts for capital purposes, had grown 23.3 percent in 2014.

College endowments grew three percent in 2015, down from 15 percent in 2014.

Eight gifts of $100 million or more totaling $1.44 billion went to four institutions, all among the 20 that raised the most, compared to five gifts at that level in 2014 that totaled $698.55 million.

The combined value of those eight gifts equaled the total raised by the 490 schools that raised the least, or nearly half the schools surveyed.

The top 20 fundraising schools together raised $11.56 billion, or 28.7 percent of the total raised in 2015 by schools surveyed.

Stanford University raised the most, $1.63 billion, the biggest total for any school the survey has reported since it began in 1957, followed by Harvard University, which raised $1.05 billion.

Duke University, which raised $472 million, ranks 12th among all schools surveyed and is the only North Carolina school among the top 20.

Endowment returns

Returns on college and university endowments fell to their lowest level in fiscal 2015 since a loss of 0.3 percent was reported for fiscal 2012, and contributed to a decline to 6.3 percent from 7.1 percent in 2014 in 10-year average returns, says the 2015 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments.

The 10-year average in 2015 was well below the median 7.5 percent that most endowments say they need to earn to maintain their purchasing power after spending, inflation and investment management costs, says the study, which was based on data from 812 institutions representing $529 billion in endowment assets.

While the average endowment totaled abut $651 million, endowments at over half the schools surveyed were below $115 million.

Despite the drop in investment gains, 78 percent of schools surveyed said they spent more in dollars from their endowments in 2015 than in 2014, and the median increase in endowment spending among those schools was 8.8 percent, well above inflation, the study says.

Among investment categories, returns totaled 6.4 percent for domestic equities, net of fees, down from 22.8 percent in 2014; 1.1 percent for alternative strategies, down from 12.7 percent; 0.2 percent for fixed income, including domestic and foreign bonds, down  from 5.1 percent; a loss of 2.1 percent for international equities, down from a gain of 19.2 percent; and a flat return for short-term securities, cash and other investments, down from a gain of 1.9 percent.

Duke gets $23 million for challenge fund

Duke University has received $23 million to establish a challenge fund for undergraduate financial aid.

Th challenge was launched with a $10 million gift from alumni Barbara and Fred Sutherland, $10 million from The Duke Endowment, and $3 million from other donors. The challenge will provide a dollar-for-dollar match for every qualifying gift to financial aid.

Nearly half of Duke’s undergraduates receive need-based financial aid.

Rex Endowment gives $824,000, names board member

The John Rex Endowment in Raleigh approved five grants totaling $824,106 to support the physical, mental and emotional well-being of children.

Recipients are the Natural Learning Initiative of the College of Design at North Carolina State University; Salvation Army of Wake County; Program on Integrative Medicine at the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Advocates for Health in Action; and PLM Families Together.

The Endowment also named Pablo Escobar, director of the Open Door Clinic at Urban Ministries of Wake County, to its board of directors.

Vasto, Greene join Land Trust

Alicia Vasto, a former graduate student intern at The Land Trust for Central North Carolina in Salisbury and later its Americorps outreach and stewardship coordinator, has been named operations and communications director.

Ethan Greene, a 2013 graduate of North Carolina State University, has been named the Land Trust’s first stewardship director.

Crumpler joining Communities in Schools

Jennifer Crumpler, director of development at Easter Seals UCP of North Carolina and Virginia, has been named the first associate vice president of development at Communities in Schools of North Carolina.

Arts Council names campaign co-chairs, trustees

Marybeth Wallace, special assistant to the president at Wake Forest University, and Leslie Hayes, executive vice president and business banking division manager for the Carolinas at Wells Fargo & Company, have been named co-chairs of the 2016 annual campaign of the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

The Council also named eight members to its board of trustees, including Carl Forsman, dean of the School of Drama at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts; Adriana Granados, founder of Design Edge and PixGift; Dana Caudill Jones, president of Caudill’s Communication and Electric Co.; Cheryl Lindsay, director of human resources and inclusion/diversity at Hanesbrands; community volunteer Melinda McConnell; Michael Moore, chief marketing officer at Lowes Foods; Silvia Rodriguez, certified public accountant; and Corey Walker, dean of the College and professor of humanities at Winston-Salem State University.

Guilford Heart Ball rescheduled for February 12

The Guilford Heart Ball to benefit the American Heart Association has been rescheduled for February 12 as a result of the winter storm the weekend of January 23, when the ball had been scheduled.

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