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Corporate Giving to Universities

17 July 2008 at 11:34 am
Staff Reporter
The first benchmarking study for philanthropic giving to Australia's universities has been released by Queensland University of Technology's Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (CPNS).

Staff Reporter | 17 July 2008 at 11:34 am


Corporate Giving to Universities
17 July 2008 at 11:34 am

The first benchmarking study for 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 said the survey results showed that the respondent universities had received $246 million in philanthropic donations in 2006.

He says of this more than 90 per cent had come from universities’ alumni and corporate and foundation sources were also found to be important sources.

Professor McGregor-Lowndes 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.

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 we do not yet have a broad culture of giving to universities.

Efforts to develop giving to universities are less than a decade old in Australia and already the picture has changed dramatically and we expect that future SOFAR results will track increased private support as programs gain momentum.

Professor McGregor-Lowndes said bequests and capital campaigns would be key areas of growth in future SOFAR surveys.

He says the first SOFAR results suggest participating universities currently have a median known value of bequests pledged to them of $1.5 million.

He says the growing number of Australian millionaires and the property and mining booms mean baby boomers will retire with sizable financial assets, many with well beyond the needs of their family.

He says it is likely more and more Australians will find a parcel of shares, property or a percentage of their estate to leave to a favoured institution as a bequest, once they have taken care of their family.

The universities in SOFAR included ones from the Group of Eight (Go8), Australian Technology Network (ATN), Innovative Research Universities Australia (IRU) and New Generating Universities (NGU).

The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies is located at the Queensland University of Technology. It brings to the community the benefits of teaching, research, technology and service relevant to philanthropic and Not for Profit communities.

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