Higher Ed. Donations Up Nationally, Constant at UWL - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Higher Ed. Donations Up Nationally, Constant at UWL

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- Fundraising professionals at more than 2,000 schools across the country say charitable giving to higher education increased in 2012.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education survey reported that increase amounted to about 5.5% more in donations than what was recorded in 2011.

At the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, which is a CASE member, donations remained steady.

Chancellor Joe Gow said his institution did not see a significant spike in donations, but it also did not see them drop.

"At a time when state funding is really constrained and we're trying not to raise tuition, we're all the more dependant on donors," Gow said.

"We have some very generous people at UW-La Crosse and we're grateful they've set up so many scholarships for our students," the Chancellor said.

Gow also said he is optimistic donations will remain constant, if not increase, in 2013 -- provided there are no significant changes made to tax policy regarding charitable deductions.

Democrats and Republicans in Washington frequently discussed raising tax revenues by capping deductions and closing so-called "tax loopholes" during the fiscal cliff negotiations in January.

Eventually, a deal was reached that raised tax rates on American individuals making more than $400-thousand annually and families earning greater than $450-thousand.

But both the President and Senate Democrats have said they would like any future debt deal, such as one to put-off the so-called "sequester" of government spending cuts in March, to include additional tax revenues.

Gow said that has him worried.

"One of the things still in play that concerns us a great deal is how will donations be treated from a tax perspective," Gow said. "I don't think that's the primary reason, by any means, that people give. But it certainly would be helpful to maintain the generous tax deductions people get when they make gifts."

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