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The Institutional Advancement Advantage: The Road Best Traveled

Is Your Glass Half Empty or Half Full?
Now is the Time to Lead!

Whenever we have a crisis that affects the marketplace, questions arise regarding the impact the events will have on giving. As many are aware, Giving USA did a study of thirteen crises that occurred before 9/11 to help determine the impact 9/11 might have on philanthropy. During the previous 54 years, and despite a variety of crises, fundraising has increased every year except one, 1987. True to form, giving then went up 7.1% in 1988.

CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) did a study of colleges and universities and determined fundraising for institutions of higher education will decrease 1.7% in 2009. Another survey suggested giving would decrease 5% in 2009. In either case, giving will still be significant in 2009 ranging around 95% or more.

Under consideration, as part of the federal budget, is a change that could impact charitable giving as a tax deduction—reducing the charitable deduction from 33% to 28%. We need to keep in mind the following:

  1. In a 1984 study, only 7% of the respondents indicated that reducing or eliminating the tax deduction they would receive from making a financial gift would negatively impact their decision to donate. They did not say they would not give, rather that it would negatively impact their giving. Several other studies have indicated precisely the same -- that donors will give but they might not give as much.
  2. Some have argued that people actually give more when taxes are increased. Virtually all studies related to taxes and giving suggest that tax breaks have little impact on giving.
  3. Our experience and research indicate that the vast majority of people give based on the compelling nature of an organization's case for support.

As we all know, quality community colleges with visionary leaders are critical in this kind of environment. Budgets are cut at the same time enrollments go up. Spending for travel and new employees are frozen. Existing budgets are stretched to the limit. Colleges are faced with tough choices. Some will make budget cuts by requiring each department pick up an equal share of the cut; thereby, potentially penalizing the competent and rewarding the incompetent. Others will view their budget cuts as successful if no one loses their job.

It is a time when business and industry is letting thousands go and a time when many community colleges “hunker down.” BUT there will be and are other visionary CEOs and Presidents that will use this opportunity to eliminate incompetence; eliminate unsuccessful and perhaps unnecessary programs which are no longer relevant; implement cost-cutting measures; determine what the communities they serve need; create flexible financing plans to meet short-term, intermediate, and long-term needs; determine new sources of potential funding; and, finally, determine what portion of their funding needs to come from the private sector.

There has never been a time over the past 50 years when community colleges have been needed more than today! This is the time for community colleges to show what they can do to assist the constituents they serve to not only maintain but enhance their quality of life.

The Clements Group is committed to assisting community and technical colleges to achieve their goals.


Issue V

Dealing with Challenges

When a challenge hits, visionary leaders step forward with solutions

Now is the time to illustrate what can be done

Twist the “rubics” cube so you are able to view each challenge as an opportunity

Seek out other leaders that see the positive and will support you in the college and community

Seek out other key leaders willing to stand with you and who see the challenge as an opportunity to make a difference and achieve your vision

Do lots of cheerleading about the positive opportunities the challenge presents


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