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Financial Management

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Saving Sweet Briar
CURRENTS Article The inside story of how a scrappy group of passionate alumnae raised money, fought in the courts, and gathered support from community leaders to keep Sweet Briar College's doors open—and what advancement can learn from it

What’s the Deal with Donor-Advised Funds?
CURRENTS Article Offering donor-advised funds can strengthen bonds with longtime donors interested in alternative giving vehicles, but they can put institutions in a tricky place in terms of how they relate to their supporters.

Odds and Ends: Owning Overhead
CURRENTS Article In this Q-and-A interview with Dan Pallotta, the social entrepreneur and author discusses why overhead is the wrong metric by which to judge a charity; some changes that nonprofit boards need to make; and his advocacy for the nonprofit sector, including the Charity Defense Council organization he started.

Course Correction
CURRENTS Article In the view of many college presidents, the economic crisis of 2008 was a tipping point. In its aftermath, a "new normal" is redefining higher education realities and reshaping the traditional role of college and university presidencies. Higher education leaders say they are less focused on empire-building and more attuned to financial management, institutional marketing, improving the customer experience, and finding ways of helping financially strapped families pay for college.

Changing the Way You Ink
CURRENTS Article The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay discovered that they could save ink (and hence money and the environment) by switching their default font to Century Gothic.

Rethinking Reform
CURRENTS Article James C. Garland, retired president of Miami University of Ohio, discusses the problems he perceives with the typical business plan of today's public higher education institutions. He proposes a student subsidy system that would give state funding directly to needy students and let them choose which public institution to attend. Public colleges and universities would have to compete for state dollars, which would mean they would either improve and offer more value to students or eventually shut their doors.

Office Space: Adversity and Opportunity
CURRENTS Article Budget cuts can be tough, but smart changes can improve your advancement operation

Timely Answers
CURRENTS Article This article looks at the latest of five surveys on benchmarks for advancing smaller colleges and universities.

Closing Remarks: Stewarding Tuition
CURRENTS Article In this column, Steve Pawluk writes that advancement professionals must remember that they are stewards of sacrifices made by students, their parents, alumni and donors.

Talking Points: After SOX
CURRENTS Article Recent corporate scandals in the United States led to accountability measures like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Although most of the legislation applies to public companies, institutions and foundations might want to adopt parts of it and should be aware of the one part with which they must comply.

Keeping the Piece
CURRENTS Article GASB Statement No. 39 sets new requirements for public colleges and universities to include financial data of "component units"--including many institutionally related foundations--in annual reports. This article explains what the requirement means for institutions and their affiliated foundations and offers guidelines for reaching compliance by the June 2004 deadline.

Talking Points: The Fading Color of Money
CURRENTS Article During the economic slowdown of the early 21st century, American higher education endured a painful combination of spending cuts and tuition increases. This article reviews the varied ways in which states have handled tuition hikes for public campuses, how private institutions were affected, and the problems springing from the failure to think in the long term. This Talking Points column is of interest to all advancement managers, but especially chief advancement officers, government relations officers, and communications directors.

Managing Precious Resources
CURRENTS Article To cope with the double problems of growing graduating classes and dwindling funds, alumni directors are trying to generate more revenue, trim expenses, and reallocate limited resources. A short accompanying article lists cost-saving measures.

Clarifying Complexity
CURRENTS Article To communicate to varied audiences about the complex effects of tough economic times on college and universities, public relations officers need to do four things: explain the benefits from and the needs of higher education; anticipate and manage difficult issues; devise coordinated communications and lobbying efforts; and connect with institutional friends, alumni, and taxpayers. A short accompanying article lists cost-saving measures. This article is of interest to advancement managers and managers of media relations and public relations programs.

Bright Ideas for Dark Times
CURRENTS Article Ten creative ways to battle fund-raising budget cuts include starting to plan the next campaign, evaluating cost per dollar raised, concentrating on prospects with the greatest potential, segmenting appeals, and striving to keep morale up. This article is of interest to advancement managers and managers of campaigns and annual and major gift programs.

Talking Points: By the Numbers
CURRENTS Article Recent accounting scandals have made the very idea of an audit sound somewhat shady, but the annual auditing of an institution’s financial statements is an important practice. Audits help keep financial information reliable, paint a picture of the institution’s fiscal health, and help campus leaders identify and address any potential problems.

Manager's Portfolio: Five Budget-Busting Myths
CURRENTS Article Your job as a manager is to learn how to negotiate what you need so your programs and staff members can keep up the good work—even in tough times like these. There are five myths you need to overcome if you want to be one of the people who know where the money is.

Climate Control
CURRENTS Article Experts suggest that the American economic boom is over. Development professionals can prepare for a possible drop in giving by building up internal support for the development operation, increasing research and cultivation efforts, and seeking donors from a variety of economic sectors. Veteran fund-raisers offer advice on when and how to tell campus leaders about fund-raising shortfalls and how to handle budget cuts with minimal damage to the program.

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