Arkansas universities looking to smaller donors

LITTLE ROCK, AR (AP) - As gifts from major donors decrease, universities in Arkansas are looking to develop smaller donors to help make up the difference.

Brad Choate, the university advancement vice chancellor at the University of Arkansas, tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette "it's important to broaden the base" of donors because "not everybody can make multimillion-dollar gifts."

Spokeswoman Danielle Strickland says donations make up about 15 percent of the operating budget. According to a survey by the Council for Aid to Education, donations to colleges nationwide dropped by 11.9 percent in 2009.

University documents show that private donations to UA's Fayetteville campus fell from $91.8 million to $74.4 million between the 2008 and 2009 fiscal years. But from 2008 to 2010, the number of donors for the campus grew from about 26,800 to about 41,600.

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