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The Kresge Foundation grant will support DSU's work in holding its annual HBCU Philanthropy Symposium where representatives from black colleges and universities collaborate to learn fundraising best practices. The left photo shows a presenter speaking during a session of a previous DSU Symposium.

  Kresge Awards awards DSU $150,000 for fundraising HBCU work

DSU, HBCU Philanthropy Symposium, fundraisingA photo of some of the HBCU representatives along with DSU President Harry L. Williams (front far left) and Dr. Vita Pickrum (front far right), DSU vice president of Institutional Advancement, who attended a previous Philanthropy Symposium held at DSU.

Delaware State University (DSU) has been awarded a three-year, $150,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation to support its Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Philanthropy Symposium.

The grant will help build capacity for the symposium to identify solutions for some of the most challenging issues in philanthropy for HBCUs.

The HBCU Philanthropy Symposium, founded at DSU in 2011, has been an annual event that brings together Institutional Advancement leaders from other HBCUs to discuss common challenges. The purpose is to create a consortium of institutions to collaborate and identify collective solutions that will help HBCUs increase private funding and increase alumni giving participation.

According to Dr. Vita Pickrum, CFRE, vice president for Institutional Advancement at DSU, “Private funding sources are moving away from funding single institutions to funding networks of institutions. It will be critical to the survival of HBCUs to understand how we can collaborate to fit the new model of private giving from large foundations and corporations.”

DSU President Harry L. Williams said the Kresge support will help this ongoing joint effort to see HBCUs move forward and thrive. 

“Delaware State University has worked to be a unifying force toward the development of a consortium of HBCUs that will seek funding solutions to achieve long term sustainability for all such institutions,” Dr. Harry Williams said. “This generous financial expression by the Kresge Foundation not only acknowledges the leadership role DSU is playing in this endeavor, but also affirms the current and future relevance of HBCUs in the higher education landscape.”

“HBCUs play a disproportionately critical role in graduating our nation's minority students, but they have traditionally lacked sufficient financial resources, which are exacerbated in an environment where higher education business models are changing rapidly,” said William F.L. Moses, Kresge’s managing director for its Education Program. “DSU’s Symposium helps mobilize and equip HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions to strengthen their ability to raise additional funds to support students in their college dreams.”

Delaware State University will continue working with existing partners like CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) and TMCF (Thurgood Marshall College Fund) to expand the symposium to include all public and private HBCUs in addition to other minority serving institutions (MSI). The next HBCU Philanthropy Symposium is scheduled for July 19–21, 2017. More details can be found at

ABOUT THE KRESGE FOUNDATION: The Kresge Foundation is a $3.6 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development in Detroit. In 2015, the Board of Trustees approved 371 grants totaling $125.2 million, and nine social investment commitments totaling $20.3 million. For more information, visit