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Gift Accounting & Reporting

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Closing Remarks: Standards Issue
CURRENTS Article The science of fund raising requires development officers to measure and evaluate their efforts using rules, definitions, and standards that uniformly measure accomplishments. CASE’s Management and Reporting Standards are a valuable resource for doing so, especially for campaign accounting, crediting, and gift reporting. The author, a member of the committee that revised the M&RS, says standards enable fund raisers to communicate clearly with donors, colleagues, and other constituencies, and contends that fund raising never will be a true profession without the discipline of a common language and the rigor of clear standards.

Donation Inflation
CURRENTS Article Many development leaders grouse that liberal arithmetic for determining fundraising totals is becoming more common and does not comply with CASE's Reporting Standards & Management Guidelines. No one CURRENTS contacted for this story wanted to charge specific institutions with promoting bogus totals, but everyone wanted to talk about what they feel is a scourge on the profession. They cited examples of practices that enable institutions to claim they're breaking fundraising records. Such practices pressure other institutions to keep up, detract from the mission of educational institutions, undermine the promise and joy of philanthropy, and damage the profession's reputation.

The Benefits of Branching Out
CURRENTS Article Many institutions shy away from accepting real estate or convert the gift into cash by selling it. But at Mississippi State University's College of Forest Resources, donated land is a gift that keeps giving. Since it started soliciting land gifts through its Bulldog Forest program in 2005, the college has received more than 28,000 acres from 26 families.

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.

Advance Work: Cracking the Code
CURRENTS Article Keying in 300 pledge cards after a phonathon was an all-day activity until Mississippi's Delta State University started tracking alumni by barcode and using a scanner.

Closing Remarks: Those Enormous Endowments
CURRENTS Article The endowments of the richest U.S. colleges and universities are big and becoming enormous. The author posits that U.S. higher education is losing its way and proposes a way to rectify the disparity between rich and and not-so-rich institutions.

Sweet Smell of Success
CURRENTS Article The 2007 CASE Circle of Excellence grand gold and gold medal winners profiled in this article have taken their advancement publications, events, and programs to a higher level. These featured winners, however, are a small sample of the 319 winners from 195 institutions.

What Is "A" Transaction?
CURRENTS Article Development officers count the total number of gift transactions as part of their performance measures. However, a single transaction can take a few minutes or days or even weeks. It depends on whether it's just a check or a mysterious transfer of stock.

Present and Accounted for
CURRENTS Article The new climate of accountability has left many institutions scrambling to demonstrate to donors that their gifts are valued, are doing what donors intended them to do, and are continuing to have an impact on the institution’s long-term success. This article chronicles the development of Donor Direct, an online endowment-stewardship tool developed by the University of Texas at Austin to reassure donors that their gifts are being managed properly. In addition to providing standard financial reporting, Donor Direct allows donors and their beneficiaries to connect directly online, building what UT Austin hopes will become lifelong relationships across generations of supporters.

AdvanceWork: Stuck in Neutral?
CURRENTS Article The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 altered the tax rules pertaining to charitable gifts of used vehicles. As of Jan. 1, 2005, donors can only claim the gross proceeds from the sale of their gift as a tax deduction, rather than its fair market value. This article explores the implications of this change both for donors and for the campus development officers who must process and steward such gifts.

Price Check
CURRENTS Article Many in development say measuring and reporting the cost of fund raising is a vital issue, while others contend it's overblown--that donors don't care about the return on investment of the money they contribute. This article explores why the cost of fund raising is so difficult to measure and compare among institutions, why it matters, and what factors campuses are counting in their expense totals.

Standards Practice
CURRENTS Article Revisions to CASE's management and reporting standards clarify gift counting and reporting guidelines, address new gift types, and ensure greater consistency in reporting annual and campaign results, says CASE President Vance T. Peterson.

Mining for Gold
CURRENTS Article Profiles of 12 CASE Circle of Excellence 2003 winners. Member institution nominees were judged on the creativity of their alumni relations, communications, and development initiatives, including alumni publications, reunions, constituency giving, stewardship, and alumni relations programs. Profiled winners include Brigham Young University/University of Utah; Columbia College Chicago; Georgia Tech Alumni Association; Goucher College; Imperial College London; the Institute for Shipboard Education; Lehigh University Alumni Association; Monroe Community College Foundation; Pennsylvania State University; the University of Chicago; the University of Iowa Alumni Association; and the University of Miami.

Tech Support: The Buzz on Bar Coding
CURRENTS Article Bar-code technology can help streamline gift processing by increasing data-entry speed and accuracy. Pederson describes types of bar-code software and explains how the equipment fits into an office computer setup.

AdvanceWork: Receipting Year-End Gifts
CURRENTS Article Advancement Services with John H. Taylor

AdvanceWork: Take It or Leave It?
CURRENTS Article Legal Issues: What to consider when accepting gifts of foreign real estate

AdvanceWork: Deutsche Marks to Dollars
CURRENTS Article John H. Taylor responds to the question of counting gifts received in foreign currencies.

AdvanceWork: Giving Through Umbrella Agencies
CURRENTS Article John H. Taylor responds to a question about sending a receipt or acknowledgement to donors who give through the United Way.

AdvanceWork: Return to Donor?
CURRENTS Article Legal rights of unhappy contributors

AdvanceWork: On This Date in History
CURRENTS Article Advancement Services with John H. Taylor

AdvanceWork: A Stock Answer
CURRENTS Article AdvanceWork: A Stock Answer

AdvanceWork: Double-Checking?
CURRENTS Article Advancement Services with John H. Taylor

Your Noncash Gift Questions Answered
CURRENTS Article Duke University director of alumni and development records Taylor creates and answers some sample questions that address some common concerns about noncash gifts. He tackles questions such as on what date do gifts of stock become the property of the institution; how to value gifts of art; whether gifts should be valued at the retail or wholesale price; how to value gifts of advertising; and how to value gifts that have no history of valuation. A list of guides on noncash gifts is included.

End Notes: Psst! Want a Match?
CURRENTS Article As institutions struggle to increase their numbers of matching gifts, staff need to be aware that over-zealous donors may go to great lengths to have their gifts matched. Staff must adhere to the matching gift guidelines established by participating companies, and be mindful of whether to recognize the gift as coming from the employee or the company, among other issues. Several problem areas related to the acceptance and recording of matching gifts are described.

Having Double Trouble?
CURRENTS Article If matching gift programs are to succeed, colleges and universities must institute procedures that make it clear which donor gifts are eligible for matches and make it easy to go after them. First, it is important to spread the word about your matching gift program, using volunteers if necessary. Other ways to announce your matching gift program include: 1) highlighting potential matching gift donors before a phonathon and training callers to ask for employer information; 2) sending information with pledge reminders; 3) mailing leaflets, such as those available through CASE; and 4) promoting the program in donor newsletters. Another approach is to focus on several companies that employ large numbers of your alumni and establishing a corporate agent program.

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