by Matt Kupec
September 29, 2019
Philanthropy plays a critical role in our society. In 2018, Americans gave $427.71 to charities, a record level. Of the total amount, $58.72 million went to support education. In higher education these dollars help colleges and universities recruit and retain students and faculty, improve and build facilities, strengthen academic programs and support cutting edge research.
At a luncheon with Southern Illinois University alumni earlier this week, I had the chance to make the following points to the Saluki alumni pitch about the important role philanthropy plays for the University:
- Philanthropy Provides the “margin of excellence.” Universities generate revenue from a variety of sources. These include state appropriations (for public universities), tuition, research (for research institutions), philanthropic support and auxiliary revenue. In many instances, dollars raised from philanthropy will be mingled together with other revenue sources to start a new program or build a new facility. Philanthropy provides “the margin of excellence,” that is the money from private gifts gives organization the funds needed to complete a project, an initiative or a fund. Without philanthropy, that project would not have been able to be completed. As state budgets get tighter, private giving is playing an even more important role in allowing Universities to meet the challenges that await them.
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