July 17, 2023Published Article

Can Donors Still Support Race-Conscious Programs? Supreme Court Ruling Leaves College Fundraisers in Uncharted Territory

The Chronicle of Philanthropy

The Supreme Court’s recent ruling that upended the use of race in admissions decisions may also apply to scholarships and other efforts supported by donors, experts say.

The Chronicle spoke with lawyers and fundraisers about how the court’s decision could impact university fundraising efforts and relationships with donors. While much is still up in the air, there was consensus on a few points. As colleges await further guidance, it will be important to have the institution’s lawyers review scholarship programs and donor agreements that have race-conscious elements. The experts also said that major-gift officers may need to have tough conversations with donors and possibly lose out on some gifts, and that university staff, including those in advancement departments, will need to to mitigate the risk of lawsuits through policies and training.

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