director of communications
For Immediate Release
August 7, 2012
Washington, D.C.—Fundraisers for schools, colleges and universities estimate that giving to education grew 4.9 percent during the 2011-12 academic year just ended and will grow an additional 5.9 percent in the year ahead, according to survey results released by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
The CASE Fundraising Index, or CFI, is conducted twice a year and asks fundraising professionals 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.
The 5.9 percent predicted for the forthcoming 2012-13 academic year slightly exceeds the 20-year average of 5.8 percent, said John Lippincott, president of CASE.
"These are some of the most optimistic predictions we've received from fundraisers since the great recession," he added. "If they hold true, giving will have reached or exceeded pre-recession records when the books are closed on 2011-12 and will rise to a new record in 2012-13."
Giving to higher education reached a record $31.6 billion in the 2007-08 academic year but dropped an unprecedented 11.9 percent to $27.85 billion the next year due to the recession, according to the results of the annual Voluntary Support of Education Survey conducted by the Council for Aid to Education.
"The CFI is based on predictions from fundraisers who are talking with current and potential donors every day," Lippincott said. "The results suggest that donors are signaling a continued renewal of confidence in the economy and a continued interest in providing needed philanthropic support to education."
Lippincott noted that fundraisers at public colleges and universities, who predicted a 5.1 percent increase for 2011-12 and a 6.5 percent increase in 2012-13, were more optimistic than their counterparts at private institutions, who estimated increases of 4.4 percent for 2011-12 and 6.1 percent for 2012-13. He said fundraisers affiliated with two-year institutions were the most consistently optimistic.
"It's heartening to see that survey respondents from community colleges, many of which are relatively new to fundraising, are predicting the highest increases among any institution type in 2011-12 followed by strong additional growth in 2012-13," he added. "Clearly, they're beginning to see their investments in fundraising lead to increased private support."
Lippincott stressed that the CFI percentages are averages and that performance at individual institutions will vary based on a variety of factors, such as the maturity of the fundraising program and whether or not the institution is in a campaign.
He 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. It is also intended to help fundraisers set preliminary benchmarks for past and future performance.
The CFI is based on an online survey of senior-level fundraising professionals at more than 2,100 CASE-member institutions in the United States conducted during July. The July CFI survey had a response rate of 7.1 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 3,600 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 76 countries around the globe. This makes CASE one of the world’s largest nonprofit educational associations in terms of institutional membership. CASE serves more than 70,000 advancement professionals 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.