Educational Philanthropy Gets Ethical Update

The standards, guidelines anddefinitionsfor reporting the results of educational philanthropy around the world have been updated with new guidance on gift counting, a new definition of educational philanthropy and for the first time, a statement on ethics.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) released the CASE Global Reporting Standards. For the first time since its initial publication in 1982, the standards offer a digital subscription and six country-specific supplements.

Previously referred to as the CASE Reporting Standards and Management Guidelines, theCASE Global Reporting Standards isa common set ofstandards, guidelines anddefinitionsfor reporting the results of educational philanthropy activities at schools, colleges and universities across the globe.

The guidelines underpin CASE’s ongoing work to guide the profession, ensure integrity and consistency in educational advancement work, and to support CASE’s own work in data collection and reporting with its AMAtlas suite of tools such as the recently released Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey results.

There key changes within the standards this year are:

  • Updated guidance around gift counting, fundsreceived, new funds committed, and donor control and influence.
  • For the first time, the CASE Global Reporting Standards added the CASE Statement on Ethics to the front of the book and adds the CASE Principles of Practice for the advancement disciplines, all recently updated by the CASE Commissions for Philanthropy, Communications and Marketing, and Alumni Relations and approved by the CASE Board of Trustees. The CASE Principles of Practice provide global guidelines for those professions and represent the community-derived foundations on which the advancement profession stands.
  • A new definition for educational philanthropy: Voluntary act of providing private financial support to nonprofit educational institutions. To be categorized as philanthropy in keeping with CASE standards, such financial support must be provided for the sole purpose of benefiting the institution’s mission and its social impact, without the expressed or implied expectation that the donor will receive anything more than recognition and stewardship as the result of such support. 

“The CASE Global Reporting Standards have at their core the CASE Ethics Statement and Principles of Practice for the profession. As institutional funding has evolved and created increasing expectations for philanthropic support, the need for clear guidance is paramount,” CASE President & CEO Sue Cunningham said via a press release announcing the new guidelines.

The standards were reviewed and updated under the leadership of the CASE Reporting Standards and Management Guidelines Working Group. The group is comprised of 19 CASE volunteers and staff, co-chaired by Matthew Eynon, vice president for college advancement at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., and Brian Hastings, president and CEO of the University of Nebraska Foundation in Lincoln, Neb. Six groups of regional volunteers also provided guidance on the new regional supplements forAustralia/New Zealand,Canada,Mexico,Singapore,United Kingdom,and theUnited States, including text in Spanish and French.

“In developing the first global reporting standards for the advancement profession, CASE has decided to make a statement about the power, impact and importance of philanthropy around the world,” Eynon said. “The working group members represented many of the leading advancement programs in the world, and their efforts helped to ensure we defined standards which represent excellence in our profession,” he said.

CASE consulted with other groups including the Group of Eight, the CASE Industry Advisory Council, the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and the Ross Group.

“The standards are an essential element of upholding the integrity of our profession on a global scale,” Hastings says. “By reporting and benchmarking annual and campaign results consistent with the standards, all CASE member institutions can compare results with a greater level of confidence and understanding,” he said.

“The CASE Global Reporting Standards ensure the consistent and transparent reporting of institutional progress in fundraising to identify global trends and unify the field of advancement,” CASE Chief Research & Data Officer Cara Giacomini said. “When advancement tracks giving the same way around the globe, the profession can unlock new levels of collective insight and abilities to benchmark,” she said.

Print copies and a digital subscription are available to purchase with a CASE membership discount from the CASE Bookstore.