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ERIC Number: EJ1016822
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0748-478X
Material Interest: Advancement Chiefs Struggle to Create Philanthropic Campuses, Study Says
Smits, Peter N.; Paradise, Andrew
CURRENTS, v39 n4 p25-27 Apr 2013
California State University, Fresno administrators and development leaders figured that a campus culture of philanthropy would be critical to the success of the institution's first comprehensive campaign. There was one problem: They did not know how to define it, or for that matter, measure it or grow it. The campaign proved successful, hitting 105 percent of the $200 million goal when it concluded, thanks to the work of the dedicated development team, tireless volunteers, and generous donors. Still, Peter Smits, Fresno State's vice president of university advancement, wondered: Is an effective campaign evidence of a culture of philanthropy? "If your president asked, 'What are the essential characteristics of a culture of philanthropy?' could you answer the question?" Smits posed this question to his fellow development leaders on CASE's Commission on Philanthropy, and during a spirited discussion most admitted that they could not. Thus began the effort to identify the defining features of a culture of philanthropy to help CASE member institutions nurture it. The commission asked the CASE research department to survey chief advancement officers across the globe for feedback on the definition it developed: "A culture of philanthropy fosters relationships that share a common understanding, appreciation, and responsibility for the importance of the joy of giving and receiving for the enhancement of the institution." Would advancement leaders agree with that meaning? The survey had another goal: to validate and rank 28 distinct characteristics thought to make up a culture of philanthropy, from the quality and reputation of the faculty to fundraising goals that align with the institutional mission. Kevin Reeds, associate director of corporate and foundation relations at Saint Mary's College of California, developed, identified, and refined most of the components as part of his doctoral studies. Would advancement leaders agree that a culture of philanthropy is characterized by any or all of the 28 components? For example, in their view, can an institution claim to have a philanthropic culture if staff giving is low? Does an institution have to demonstrate need? Does athletic success promote generosity among constituents? How does alumni career success factor into the equation? This article presents an analysis of the results of the survey and provides tips for institutions on how to begin to change their cultures to create a philanthropic climate.
Council for Advancement and Support of Education. 1307 New York Avenue NW Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-328-2273; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A