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How to Count Philanthropy


A new set of fundraising reporting standards aims to help colleges and universities compare their performance across borders. It also prioritizes ethical considerations at a time when donor and institutional conduct are under the microscope. JJ Gouin/iStock/Getty Images Plus

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is releasing an update of its Global Reporting Standards today, providing the first new edition in a dozen years of a set of guidelines and definitions used in reporting educational philanthropy.

CASE releases the update at a time when it is attempting to expand its reach around the globe by providing colleges and universities in different parts of the world with data that can be used to benchmark their fundraising efforts. Since the last guidelines were published, much has changed in fundraising policy and practice. Difficult ethical questions in the field have also drawn increasing scrutiny.

The standards are important for colleges and universities because they offer a common way to measure the complex gifts and pledges donors provide through a dizzying number of mechanisms. They’re of use to institutions in the United States, where developments in philanthropy and the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act sparked skyrocketing interest in giving through channels like donor-advised […]

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