IU Foundation President Daniel Smith said canceling the race was the right thing to do in order to keep athletes safe but caused a loss of about $20,000 from gift support.
(Indiana University Bloomingtion)
Indiana University fundraising is likely to take a dip due to the pandemic induced recession, but its large donor base is likely to prevent major shortfalls, according to IU Foundation President Daniel Smith.
A survey from EAB, a higher education consulting firm, polled 110 university fundraising professionals and found 41% of institutions are expecting a decline of fundraising by 10% or more compared to the 2019 fiscal year.
Smith says that IU's more than 600,000 alumni will likely keep the university from suffering dramatically from the current recession.
"We will probably see some ripple effect of COVID going forward but I don't know that it, for Indiana University, will be that severe simply because of the enormity of the number of people that are supporting IU," Smith said.
The fundraising staff at the IU Foundation quickly adjusted their strategy for working and staying in touch with donors as face-to-face contact was stopped. Smith says the staff was quick to embrace phone and Zoom calls.
"Our fundraisers really have adapted to this new world and our donors, even some of the older ones, have really gotten into this," Smith said.
In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, April turned out to be one of the strongest April's of the foundation's current eight-year "For All" campaign that ends in October. May proved to be around the average of the previous seven years.
"We kind of expected that May would fall off the tabletop and it didn't," Smith said.
The foundation is the organization in charge of the annual Little 500 bike race and fundraiser. Smith said canceling the race was the right thing to do in order to keep athletes safe but caused a loss of about $20,000 from gift support.
During the 2008 recession, fundraising at IU dropped by about 20 to 25% Smith said. The foundation used those numbers to adjust future goals for fundraising during the current recession.