About CASE

Pam Russell
director of communications


For Immediate Release

Statement on the Results of the 2011 Voluntary Support of Education Survey

Statement by CASE President John Lippincott

The 8.2 percent increase in giving to U.S. colleges and universities during the 2010-11 academic year is welcome news that affirms the optimism that we have been hearing from CASE members.

The total of $30.3 billion is not quite back to the pre-recession peak of $31.6 billion, but we may see the record matched or surpassed in the next couple of years depending upon the economy.

Giving for capital purposes rose much more rapidly than giving for current operations. This is consistent with historical patterns, as capital giving tends to track the stock market, while giving for current operations tracks more closely with growth in the GDP (gross domestic product).

We're delighted to see the modest but real increases in giving from alumni after two years of decline. Direct donations from alumni accounted for a quarter of all giving to education for the year. Since some alumni make gifts through family foundations or donor-advised funds, actual giving from alumni is likely to be even higher.

It's not surprising that institutions with strong fundraising traditions account for a relatively large percentage of total gifts. Other colleges and universities can emulate this success over time by maintaining or reinforcing their commitment to fundraising and alumni and donor engagement.

Given the continued decline in state support for higher education and the importance of maintaining affordability, it's worthwhile to remind ourselves that private giving represents less than 6 percent of a public institution's operating expenses, on average, according to the CASE Advancement Investment Metrics Study. For private institutions, the figure is less than 15 percent. While philanthropy remains a critically important resource as institutions seek to increase educational quality and opportunity, it is not a replacement for funding from other sources.

Regardless, the fundraising program remains one of the best investments an institution can make, returning on average nearly $6 for every dollar invested, according to the AIMs study results. The return will vary by institution based on the maturity of its fundraising program, its donor base, campaign status and many other factors, but the key is that the return starts with the investment.

The VSE survey is voluntary and requires participants to report their numbers following the CASE Reporting Standards & Management Guidelines for Educational Fundraising, 4th edition. The reporting standards are also the basis of the annual CASE survey on educational fundraising campaigns.

About CASE

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas.

CASE was founded in 1974 and maintains headquarters in Washington, D.C., with offices in London (CASE Europe, 1994), Singapore (CASE Asia-Pacific, 2007) and Mexico City (CASE América Latina, 2011).

Today, CASE's membership includes nearly 3,700 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and non-profit organizations in more than 80 countries around the globe. This makes CASE one of the world's largest non-profit educational associations in terms of institutional membership. CASE serves more than 85,000 practitioners.

To fulfill their missions and to meet both individual and societal needs, colleges, universities and independent schools rely on—and therefore must foster—the good will, active involvement, informed advocacy and enduring support of alumni, donors, prospective students, parents, government officials, community leaders, corporate executives, foundation officers and other external constituencies.

CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with all of these constituencies by providing relevant research, supporting growth in the profession and fostering support of education. CASE also offers a variety of advancement products and services, provides standards and an ethical framework for the profession and works with other organizations to respond to public issues of concern while promoting the importance of education worldwide.