About CASE

Pam Russell
Director of Communications


For Immediate Release
March 20, 2006

Top Education Foundation Executives Honored

CASE and Commonfund Salute Winners for Commitment to Advancing Education

Two widely respected professionals who have played key roles in helping foundations raise private funds for the educational institutions with which they are affiliated are this year’s winners of the CASE Commonfund Institutionally Related Foundation awards.

The awards recognize individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement, quality and effectiveness of their foundations and the community of institutionally related foundations as a whole. Institutionally related foundations are private, nonprofit corporations that cultivate and manage private resources to support the missions of the colleges, universities, and university systems with which they are affiliated.

The 2006 winners are:

  • Gerald Fischer, president and CEO of the University of Minnesota Foundation, Minneapolis, Minn. Fischer has served as president and CEO of the University of Minnesota Foundation since 1990. With a 45-member board of trustees, more than $1.3 billion in assets and an annual operating budget of $16 million, the foundation acts as the central development office for the University of Minnesota and coordinates raising in excess of $200 million in private gifts annually from 80,000 donors. Fischer’s proactive leadership has placed Minnesota ahead of the curve and earned the foundation a reputation as one of the most forward-thinking foundations in the country. He was an early champion of donor privacy that resulted in the 1993 passage of a data practices act in Minnesota that included donor privacy. He has been an entrepreneurial leader and model for other foundations nationally and led the charge at the University of Minnesota to develop a biotech incubator facility.
  • Karen MacArthur, executive director of institutional advancement and executive director of Delta College Foundation, University Center, Mich. MacArthur is a leading fund raiser and dedicated development professional who has helped build Delta’s reputation as one of the country’s premier community college programs. In addition to coordinating Delta’s fund raising, marketing, special events, and alumni relations, MacArthur oversees budgets totaling $5.4 million for the foundation and the institutional advancement office. In 1993, the institution was one of five community colleges to receive the CASE Circle of Excellence for Educational Fund Raising Award. Since then, the college has received more than $39 million in donations. Currently, it has an endowment fund of more than $10 million. In its first capital campaign in 1998, Delta exceeded a $5 million goal to raise $7.5 million, which included 91 percent employee participation. It also was the only community college to receive the 2004 PBS Development Award in recognition of a $4.5 million capital campaign for the digital conversion of its PBS station.

Jim Copeland, president of The Medical Foundation of North Carolina and chair of the CASE Commonfund awards committee, says Fischer and MacArthur have demonstrated outstanding performance and achievement throughout their careers.

“Gerald and Karen represent superior public university and quality community college programs,” Copeland says. “They have distinguished themselves as leaders and made vital, groundbreaking contributions to the institutionally related foundation community.”

The recipients will be honored at the 14th annual CASE Conference for Institutionally Related Foundations March 22-24 at the Westin Innisbrook Golf Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla.

The awards are underwritten by Commonfund, a nonprofit corporation with more than 1,350 members and more than $23 billion in assets under management. It provides fund management services and investment advice to educational institutions, hospitals, foundations, and other nonprofit organizations.

About CASE

CASE believes in advancing education to transform lives and society. As a global nonprofit membership association of educational institutions, CASE helps develop the communities of professional practice that build institutional resilience and success in challenging times. The communities include staff engaged in alumni relations, fundraising, marketing, student recruitment, stakeholder engagement, crisis communications and government relations. CASE is volunteer-led and uses the intellectual capital of senior practitioners to build capacity and capability across the world.

CASE has offices in Washington, D.C., London, Singapore and Mexico City. Member institutions include more than 3,700 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 82 countries. CASE serves nearly 88,000 practitioners. For more information about CASE, please visit www.case.org.