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NC State Recognized for Top-Performing Fundraising Program

The Belltower as seen from above.
A view of the Belltower before it underwent its recent renovations and became the Memorial Belltower at Henry Square.

NC State University recently accepted an invitation to join the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s CASE 50, a community of the top 50 fundraising universities and colleges in the United States and the United Kingdom.

CASE – founded in 1974 as the result of a merger between the American Alumni Council and the American College Public Relations Association – is an international professional association that serves educational institutions and the staff members who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and related areas of advancement. The organization aims to help member institutions build stronger relationships with their alumni and donors, raise funds for campus projects, produce recruitment materials, promote themselves to prospective students, diversify the advancement profession and foster public support of education.

Members of CASE include more than 3,670 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in more than 82 countries. It serves nearly 81,000 advancement professionals on the staffs of these member institutions.

Goals for the ​CASE 50 community include developing programs, conducting research and designing services tailored to the requirements of raising funds to support higher education. Members have the chance to provide leadership, advocacy and policy development for the advancement profession.

“The invitation to join the CASE 50 is nice recognition for the overall advancement success we’re achieving at NC State,” said Brian Sischo, NC State’s vice chancellor for university advancement. “It’s a testament to the hard work going on as we prepare for the public launch of the most ambitious fundraising campaign in university history.”

NC State has enjoyed several years of growing momentum in fundraising. Last year was the most successful in its history, with $208.5 million raised in gifts and pledges — an 11-percent increase from the prior year and a 133-percent increase since Chancellor Randy Woodson took the helm in 2010.

Of this record-setting amount, more than half — $106 million — was earmarked for the university’s endowment, an investment pool that supports NC State’s long-term growth and success. At the end of last fiscal year, June 30, the university’s endowment stood at an all-time high of $984 million, up more than 90 percent since fiscal year 2011 and ahead of pace to achieve Woodson’s goal of reaching $1 billion in endowment funds by fiscal year 2019.

Gift receipts, an important measure of “cash in the door,” totaled $119 million, marking the fourth consecutive year receipts exceeded $100 million. Donations made through the university’s Annual Giving program increased by more than 10 percent to a record $2.7 million. Membership in the Alumni Association is up 25 percent since 2010, helping to fund $750,000 in financial aid for 150 students, and NC State’s University Communications group continues to garner accolades for its work across various platforms.

As public funding for higher education has decreased in recent years, universities have become more dependent on donor support of scholarships, professorships, facilities, research and other needs.

“Under the chancellor’s leadership, NC State is building a reputation as an innovation powerhouse,” Sischo said earlier this year. “It’s exciting and gratifying to see our alumni and supporters, including faculty, staff and students, working so hard to support the university’s upward trajectory. Philanthropy is what takes NC State from good to great.”