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Before the economic recession, the national trends in higher education were ‘donors down’ and ‘dollars up’. That all changed in 2009 with both key metrics dipping and dipping sharply. For the second year in a row, however, we are seeing a return to pre-recession trends and patterns, indicating that the impact of the recession has been minimized.” Shaun Keister, vice chancellor of development and alumni relations at the University of California, Davis. via Alumni Donors and Revenue in Higher Education Return to Pre-Recession Levels – MarketWatch.

Key findings from the report include:

  1. Alumni Donors were down – Overall, alumni donors were slightly down for both public and private institutions. The overall median change in donor counts was down 1.1 percent, with private institutions dipping 0.7 percent and public institutions down 1.1 percent.
  2. Revenue is up – Overall revenue is up, with a positive change of 5.3 percent compared to 2012. This marks the third consecutive year of positive change in revenue for both public and private institutions, after tougher years in 2009 and 2010, showing that the impact of the recession has subsided.
  3. Donors are giving more on average – The actual median change in revenue per donor in 2013 was impressive, with a 5.8 percent positive change overall. The median revenue per donor in 2013 was $531 (compared to $488 in 2012 and $469 in 2011).

Important is that even when the number of donors declines, excellent relationships can produce more income.