Canadian College Fundraising: State of the Art 2021

A REPORT TO THE CANADIAN NON-PROFIT SECTOR

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Postsecondary education in Canada in general, and particularly college level education, is experiencing a wave of changes. From the steady decline in public funding to the rising need of strategic alignment with employers, corporations, the rise of college-based applied research, and the rapidly evolving labour market, these changes take various forms.

This report looks at the crossroads of all aspects of fundraising practice. We examine different types of colleges and their engagement with fundraising practice. We compile views from the field with a goal to understand the most important and pressing issues for college fundraising in Canada in 2021 as we emerge from the COVID pandemic.

Connecting these changes with fundraising and philanthropy is crucial. This report responds to several questions: What is the current state of college fundraising in Canada? What are the gaps and best practices? Are members of college leadership involved in the fundraising process? What is the role of the Boards? What are the key roles in college fundraising?

The target audience for this report are people who engage in decisions of this nature daily: Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Directors, Officers and Board Members as well as individual and corporate donors and stakeholders.

The key challenges identified include structuring philanthropic strategy, both short and long-term; multiple colleges chasing the same dollar; and the pressing need to further change and develop both the culture and mindset of college leaders who continue to put fundraising priority into question.

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