Director of Communications
For Immediate Release
July 20, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Fundraisers at educational institutions estimate that donations during the academic year that ended June 30, 2011 (AY11), increased by 4.7 percent over the previous year, according to survey results released today by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. They also predicted further growth of 5.5 percent for the academic year that began July 1, 2011.
The CASE Fundraising Index, or CFI, is conducted twice annually—once at the end of the academic year and once at the end of the calendar year—and asks fundraising professionals at U.S. schools, colleges and universities to estimate the level of charitable giving to their institutions for the 12-month period just ended and to predict the level for the 12-months ahead.
For AY11, there was a significant difference between estimates offered by public and private institutions of higher education. Fundraisers at public colleges and universities estimated that giving to their institutions increased by 2.6 percent, while their private counterparts estimated that giving had increased 5.7 percent over the previous year.
"The differences between estimated results for public and private institutions underscore an important point regarding the CFI," said CASE President John Lippincott. "The figures we report are averages. Actual results will vary based on the particular circumstances of an institution, including governance structure, geography, maturity of the fundraising program, influence of a current fundraising campaign and the potential donor base."
"That said, there is very good news in these figures," Lippincott added. "Donors are still deeply committed to the strong tradition of giving to education in this country even in the aftermath of the great recession. In fact, the predicted 5.5 percent increase for the coming academic year is remarkably close to the 20-year average annual increase of 5.6 percent. These promising figures also reinforce the value of staying the course when it comes to fundraising programs."
Fundraisers at independent elementary and secondary schools in the survey were less optimistic than their higher education counterparts for AY12, estimating 3.2 percent growth.
Lippincott said the CFI is intended to complement work being done by other organizations that provide detailed analyses of giving based on actual results reported several months after the close of the calendar or academic year.
"The CFI gives us a snapshot of the educational fundraising landscape," Lippincott said. "It is intended to help fundraisers set preliminary benchmarks for their recent performance as well as expectations for their future performance."
The CFI is based on an online survey of senior-level fundraising professionals at more than 2,100 member institutions in the United States conducted during the first two weeks of July. The July 2011 CFI survey had a response rate of 8.3 percent. Results of the CFI since its inception in July 2008 can be found on the CASE website.
The 20-year average growth rate for giving to education is based on the Council for Aid to Education's annual Voluntary Support of Education survey.
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 more than 3,670 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in more than 80 countries around the globe. This makes CASE one of the world’s largest nonprofit educational associations in terms of institutional membership. CASE serves nearly 81,000 advancement practitioners on the staffs of its member institutions and has more than 17,000 professional members on its roster.
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.