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IRF Update - February 13, 2015

University of Arizona, Monroe Community College Leaders Receive CASE Commonfund Awards

Leaders of the University of Arizona Foundation and the Monroe Community College Foundation are the 2015 recipients of the CASE Commonfund Institutionally Related Foundation Awards.

The awards recognize professionals who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement, quality and effectiveness of their foundations and the sector. The recipients are:

James H. Moore Jr., president and chief executive officer of the University of Arizona Foundation.

Moore has nearly 20 years of experience in institutional advancement. He began his advancement career in 1995 as director of development at Northwest Missouri State University. Since then, he has held various senior-level positions at Iowa State University, the University of Arizona and the University of Northern Colorado Foundation.

During his tenure at the University of Arizona Foundation, where he has served since 2006, Moore successful restructured the board, providing numerous benefits to fiduciary and operational oversight. He also established the National Leadership Council, a group that provides advocacy and support in encouraging further private support of the university. In addition, under Moore's leadership, the University of Arizona regularly appears in the top quartile of higher education institutions nationally as it relates to private gift support.

Moore is an active member of CASE. He served on the CASE Board of Trustees from 2010 to 2012 and the National Committee for Institutionally Related Foundations from 2007 to 2012. He is also a frequent presenter at CASE conferences and mentor to many in the profession.

Diane L. Shoger, executive director of the MCC Foundation.

Shoger has 28 years of experience in institutional advancement. Early in her career, she held leadership positions at the New York Special Olympics.

Shoger joined the MCC Foundation-serving Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York-in 1999 as director of development and major gifts. She was named executive director in 2008. During her tenure, she has overseen two capital campaigns that raised $18.1 million total and exceeded goals by $2.1 million. She is currently leading an initiative to raise $50 million in support of the academic endowment and scholarships.

Shoger is a long-time member of and volunteer for CASE. She has also played a pivotal role in the development of the CASE Conference for Community College Advancement, serving on the committee of the first conference, as co-chair of the 2nd annual conference and chair of the 3rd annual conference in 2014.

The awards are sponsored by Commonfund, which provides fund management services and investment advice to nonprofit organizations. The winners will be recognized April 23 at the 23rd annual CASE Conference for Institutionally Related Foundations in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Early-bird Registration Deadline Approaching for 2015 IRF Conference

There is still time to join college and university foundation leaders April 22-24 in New Orleans at the 23rd annual CASE Conference for Institutionally Related Foundations. The early-bird registration deadline is Friday, March 6.

The theme for this year's conference is "Connecting in the Crescent City." The conference is designed primarily for executives at foundations affiliated with four-year institutions and community colleges. Attendees will:

  • Hear from a distinguished lineup of speakers, including philanthropist and businessman Quint Studer, founder of the Studer Group; John Campanella, chief strategy officer of branding agency 160over90; Stephen Penning, executive creative director of 160over90; and Marc Broderick, senior vice president, U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management
  • Learn about the latest trends and best practices during elective sessions on a variety of topics, including foundation funding models, foundation investment management and talent management, and get updates on the latest news from FASB and cyber liability
  • Attend IRFx sessions, quick-hitting, 25-minute general sessions new to this year's conference organized around the common theme of "change"
  • Participate in sessions designed for community college foundations on benchmarking and emerging trends
  • Earn up to 14.0 CPE credits for selected sessions
  • Enjoy multiple opportunities to network and share strategy with foundation peers

Registration, travel, hotel and program information are available on the conference website.

S&P Keeps Negative Outlook on Higher Education

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has issued a negative outlook for U.S. nonprofit higher education in 2015.

The report cited, among other reasons, a struggle by colleges and universities to "balance the demands of their expenditures while addressing student affordability and access."

"...while we believe the demand for higher education overall is sound and that the need for post-secondary education will increase over time, the viability of individual institutions will depend on how well they can demonstrate their value and respond to potential students' needs," write the authors of the report.

The report, Upping The Ante: Costs Of Luring Top Students Keeps The Outlook Negative On U.S. Not-For-Profit Higher Education Sector, also predicts:

  • Investments will continue to appreciate as measured by the S&P 500 index.
  • Federal government spending will decrease by 0.7 percent, which may hurt research grant and contract awards and could also affect Pell Grant program awards.
  • The national unemployment rate will improve, which will help higher education because working students or families of students will be better able to afford tuition.
  • Despite the likely stronger national economy, the sector will likely see more negative rating actions as institutions work to keep tuition affordable while adding or improving amenities to draw and retain students.

Donor Retention Top Priority for Nonprofits in 2015

Nonprofit organizations ranked donor retention higher than donor acquisition for the first time in five years, according to a study that began tracking nonprofit communications trends in 2011.

The 2015 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report says engaging community, retaining current donors and brand awareness are the top nonprofit communications goals for 2015. Donor retention ranked fourth on the list.

The report also predicts that the frequency of appeals-both in email and print-will increase in 2015 based on survey responses.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • A nonprofit's most important communications channel is its website followed by email marketing, social media, in-person events, print marketing and media relations/public relations.
  • The biggest challenges are lack of time to produce quality content, lack of budget for direct expenses and inability to measure effectiveness.
  • Facebook is the most important social media site for nonprofits followed by Twitter and YouTube.
  • An average of 2.5 full-time employees are directly responsible for communications.
  • Facebook, e-newsletter and media relations/public relations are most time-consuming to produce.

More than 1,500 nonprofits in 43 nations completed the survey conducted by Nonprofit Marketing


College Endowments Grow Bearish on Alternative Investments
The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Feb. 5, 2015
The latest Commonfund survey of endowments show a drop in alternative assets, like hedge funds, for major university endowments. Alternatives have dropped from 61 percent to 57 percent. Experts believe the ratio will continue to fall.
Full Article

Obama Budget Again Calls for Limit to Charitable Deduction
The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Feb. 2, 2015
President Obama's proposed budget again pushes to limit the charitable deduction for higher income taxpayers. This is the seventh budget the president has proposed that calls for a limit on tax expenditures, including charitable giving.
Full Article

Sortable Table: College and University Endowments, 2013-14
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 29, 2015
The Chronicle of Higher Education has created a searchable database of data on endowments provided by the National Association of College and University Business Officers and the Commonfund Institute.
Full Article

Giving to Colleges Rises Nearly 11%
The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Jan. 28, 2015
The Council for Aid to Education has released the results of its annual "Voluntary Support of Education" survey. U.S. colleges and universities raised $37.45 billion in 2014, which is a historic high. The report also shows that while giving from all sources increased in 2014, overall alumni participation continues to decline.   CASE has also released a statment on the VSE.
Full Article

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