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ERIC Number: EJ931737
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0748-478X
The Giving Gap
Webber-Thrush, Diane
CURRENTS, v36 n6 p30-33 Jul-Aug 2010
Alumni participation rates of 40 percent and more are not uncommon at private baccalaureate institutions in the United States. At most publics, there is real cause for cheering when the rate peaks over 10 percent. Part of the problem is simply the math. With larger pools of alumni, public institutions face much higher costs, for instance, to send out a letter to all alumni. They also have a larger denomination when calculating participation rates. No one would scoff at 1,000 new donors to an annual fund, but at a public institution, that may be a dispiriting increase of less than 1 percent of the alumni pool. The same number of new donors at a small private institution could raise the participation rate significantly--and be cheaper to acquire, since the cost of mailing or calling the full pool of fewer alumni would be less. The author contends that development professionals working at public institutions can begin by acknowledging that there are some less-than-optimum circumstances for fundraising for publics that cannot be changed. This article discusses which circumstances can be changed and what can be done about the gulf between public and private institutions in alumni giving.
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 - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States