Colleges spent more money on their foundations in fiscal 2020 as they struggled with lost revenue and increased spending related to the pandemic.

According to Nacubo-TIAA's annual study of foundations, published on FridayInstitutional spending from foundations rose 4 percent last fiscal year to a total of $ 23.3 billion – despite lower average returns.

"Even in this challenging year, higher education institutions have increased their engagement with students and deployed their foundations exactly as they were intended: to provide continuous, predictable and even increased support for their missions," said Susan Whealler Johnston, president and chief executive officer of the National Association of College and University Business Officers, on a conference call for reporters.

The study, which mirrors the responses from 705 institutions with foundation assets of $ 637.7 billion, found that foundations had an average annual return of 1.8 percent for fiscal 2020. That was a decrease of 5.3 percent in the previous year.

The 2020 financial year, which ended on June 30 for most institutes, only overlapped with the first few months of the pandemic. This means that the survey does not capture how the foundations might have performed during the market recovery over the course of 2020.

The pandemic also caused nearly half of respondents to increase their foundations' spending to support their operating budgets over the past fiscal year. Against the background: a decrease in cash flow (reported by more than 40 percent of respondents) – most likely due to lower income from tuition and support services – and a decrease in donations. According to the study, the new foundation gifts decreased by 16 percent compared to the 2019 financial year.

Here are other highlights from the survey:

of institutions increased spending from their foundations in fiscal 2020, an average of around $ 3 million.

(tagsToTranslate) Susan Whealler Johnston (t) National Association of Colleges and Universities (t) Data (t) Fundraising

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