Fundraising standards revised

Colleges, universities and independent schools have a new set of standards for documenting fundraising results.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education revised its voluntary standards, which go into effect immediately, to more accurately compare fundraising results across institutions.

In tallying fundraising totals, institutions no longer can include revocable and legally unenforceable gifts, such as pledged assets, temporary use of personal property or software, or any gift a donor can withdraw.

Irrevocable, legally enforceable deferred gifts must be reported only at their discounted present value, not also their face value, as previously required.

The standards also suggest keeping goals for current cash and pledges payable within five years separate from gifts deferred until the death of the donor or heirs.

Alumni membership dues cannot be included in fundraising results, but any amount paid in excess of required dues can count towards fundraising.

The revised standards, which start applying to fiscal year 2003-04, will help people “know with greater certainty in the future how campaigns have helped move the needle in terms of increasing overall philanthropic support for education,” says Vance T. Peterson, president of the Council. “In the past, it has sometimes been difficult to answer such fundamental questions.”

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