QUT Benchmarks Philanthropic Giving to Australian Universities
19 June 2008 at 2:40 pm
The first benchmarking study of philanthropic giving to Australia’s universities has been released by Queensland University of Technology’s Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (CPNS).
The study, titled SOFAR (Survey of Fundraising and Alumni Relations), was compiled from a survey of 18 of the nation’s 39 universities.
CPNS director Professor Myles McGregor-Lowndes says the survey results show that universities had received $246 million in philanthropic donations in 2006.
Professor McGregor-Lowndes says that of this more than 90 per cent had come from universities’ alumni and corporate and foundation sources were also found to be important sources.
He says the figures suggest more people are recognising that, while government does and should fund higher education, philanthropy allows universities to take on another dimension of research or build pioneering facilities that would otherwise not exist.
He says the university sector was becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of the philanthropic dollar.
The study says giving to universities in Australia is considerably below that of a country such as the United States with its stellar billion dollar individual gifts because Australians do not yet have a broad culture of giving to universities.
Professor McGregor-Lowndes says efforts to develop giving to universities are less than a decade old in Australia and already the picture has changed dramatically and it is expected that future SOFAR results will track increased private support as programs gain momentum.
He says bequests and capital campaigns would be key areas of growth in future SOFAR surveys.
The first SOFAR results suggest participating universities currently have a median known value of bequests pledged to them of $1.5 million.
The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies is located at the Queensland University of Technology.