$64,000 difference

April 20, 2007

Your article on fundraising in American universities (Features, April 6) was welcome, but it is a shame that the US examples were not contrasted with some from the UK.

At least two factors differentiate our universities from those on the other side of the Atlantic. First, we need to rediscover a passionate belief that higher education is a "mainstream" charitable cause.

Education is the answer to so many of the issues that our great charities seek to address. We must be as bold in proclaiming our cause as they are.

Second, we need to invest time, staff and resources in developing relationships with our constituencies of potential donors. US universities whose campaigns were described in The Times Higher typically have one member of staff in fundraising and alumni relations for every 1,000 potential donors. In the UK, this ratio is probably attained only at Oxbridge - the average ratio is nearer 1 to 10,000.

Perhaps, in this context, it is no surprise that most British universities raise about one tenth of what is raised by their American equivalents.

Adrian P. Beney
Iain More Associates
Durham

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