I had the great pleasure of serving on a panel last week discussing the future of philanthropy in higher education, specifically for schools in England. The panel participated in an online chat session that proved both very engaging for me, as the lone American represented, and for my six fellow panelists as we compared experiences working in fundraising for higher education institutions and how things are different (and in some cases very similar) between the U.S. and the U.K.
Some quick observations in summary:
– Philanthropy is a relatively new phenomenon in higher education for the British, according to my fellow panelists. They view American universities as being light years ahead of their British counterparts.
– I gently refuted the notion that all or most higher education institutions in the U.S. are fabulously successful in fundraising. In fact, many are not far removed from where those in Britain find themselves, struggling to articulate why alumni should give back, to identify and reach out to their alumni, and to establish a culture of giving. While many private institutions in America have been raising philanthropic dollars for generations or even centuries, many, many public institutions were late to the game or even now are just starting such efforts. Continue reading